March 27, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz….

A few days ago, I was on my routine evening walk.  The time was about 7.30 pm, and I was walking on the footpath on the right hand side of the road.  Heading towards Ortaköy area, I was about a few meters away from the Metropol traffic lights, when all of a sudden I saw a long black car whizzing past on the left hand side of the road.

The speed was exceptionally fast and the driver could not stop at the traffic lights. Just a few meters from where I was, the car literally flew across the traffic lights, moved towards the other side of the road, hit a white car on the other side of the road, which was waiting for the signal to change, and ultimately crashed into the outer wall of a house.

It was a loud boom, and everybody rushed towards the scene. I was almost stunned.  I had seen everything as it was happening.

Luckily there was no big loss.  No one was injured. Of course, the people inside the two cars were badly in shock, but none had been injured. The white car was lightly hit on the left front side. The black car did have some serious damage as it had hit the wall of the house.

I stopped there for a couple of minutes, and then moved ahead, continuing my walk.

I was shocked on two accounts. The first one that I had witnessed the accident from a very short distance. Two days have passed, yet still, I have that particular scene in my mind, unfolding again and again.

The other aspect is very important. I would have been at the same place where the black car had ultimately hit the wall of the house, in a few minute’s time. I would have been at the same spot had the event taken place after two or three minutes. That black car would have in that case directly hit me. I might have been knocked down or sandwiched between the car and the wall of the house, or maybe both.

As I moved ahead from the accident site, the first thing that came to my mind was really very interesting.

I thought how would news about my death in the accident appear the next day in a newspaper. As always I had first thought of the heading of the news. It might be “another life lost in traffic accident”, or “speed kill”, or maybe ” crazy driver hit a pedestrian on the road”. Ultimately I opted for the last one, though I knew that it would not be I who would make the news and its heading.

Then I thought, which of my photos would my family give to the news reporter when contacted. I am sure they would find it difficult to find a good photo of mine. “Would they find one from the memory of my mobile phone”, I thought. Or would they get one from my Facebook page?

But the first problem for the news reporter and the hospital staff would be to recognise me. “How would they identify me, as I never carry either my identity card or anything with me. But I did find its answer easily, as the people in that area,  all recognise me as for years they have seen me walking the same route twice a day.

However,  there is an another important point to be discussed here. “How safe is it to walk on the footpath?” Of course, it is not  safe to walk on the pavement. Any crazy car driver may hit a pedestrian at any time, anywhere. We read news of the like frequently. But I personally feel that it is safer to walk rather than drive a car. A pedestrian can make a quick movement to avoid a crazy car about to hit him. The pedestrian does have a fraction of a second to take any step for his security. But a car driver does not have even that fraction of second at his disposal. Just imagine, you are waiting for the traffic light to change to green, and all of a sudden you see a car about to crash into your car. What will you do, in that fraction of a second? Can you turn your car right or left? No. Can you reverse your car in that fraction of a second? again No.

So if you are in a car, and all of a sudden you see another car about to crash into your car, you cannot do anything at all, in that fraction of a second for your safety. You just get hit.

So in a nutshell, on these roads, where crazy drivers are on the loose, walking is fractionally safer than driving a car.

What do you think?

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