On My Mind

Cell Phones and Mascara

June 1st, 2006 by Julie Silver

People in Santa Monica drive like they’re talking on cell phones and applying mascara. Wait a minute. They ARE talking on cell phones and applying mascara. Just walk down Montana Avenue any time of day. People do not pay attention to the road signs, to pedestrians, to other drivers. And the worst, the absolute worst, is walking on the South side of San Vicente and heading WEST toward the water. NO ONE looks to the right before turning right onto the street. Drivers just do not care. The road is packed with skinny, lycra clad racing bikers who need only to be tapped by a Razor Scooter to get thrown off their bikes, and no one drives the speed limit.

I used to think I had rights as a pedestrian. When there was a stop sign or a red light, I could cross with ease and know that drivers would obey the law. Forget about it. In my early years as a Santa Monica resident, finding out the hard way how people choose to just breeze through the stop signs, I would wave my arms and yell, “Hello!! I’m crossing!!. That didn’t do anything because everyone’s on a cellphone and/or applying mascara. Even the women. They are shocked to learn after the fact that a pedestrian was waiting to cross. And you know how those pedestrians just come out of nowhere.

So now, I just stand there watching drivers completely blow through the stop signs, turn right onto San Vicente, and when they invariably notice me standing there with a disappointed look on my face, pointing to the stop sign and motioning to them “WHY?”, I see a glimpse of a brake light and a “deer in the headlights” look in their rearview mirror. Look both ways before crossing the street used to be something you learned as a kid, and then applied it to driving as you got older. Clearly, cracking down on drivers who roll through stop signs and turn right on red with no regard for pedestrians is in order.