I understand that people in Lebanon have been driving this way for as long as they’ve known themselves, and I also understand that the lawlessness has its roots in war (or rather, wars). I understand that the concept of “pedestrian right of way” does not exist in Lebanon, and that when choosing to cross the street here, I am accepting the risk that cars might not stop for me, even if I am in plain sight.
But one thing I do not understand is how people do not yield to a woman pushing a stroller when she is trying to cross the street. No excuse or explanation will ever make me understand that type of behavior. It is beyond my comprehension. Way.. WAY beyond my comprehension.
To try and get people to change their driving habits in Lebanon would be an exercise in futility – but maybe..just maybe..I can get people to change the single habit of not yielding to pedestrians in the street.
To all of my readers, understand that when people are crossing a busy street or intersection, it is likely that they have no other means of getting to their destination than to cross a busy street. If they had another way of reaching where they need to go, I’m sure they would take it! Please, especially in the case of women/men with strollers, exercise basic human decency, and let them pass. And that doesn’t mean inch your car as clooooose as you can to the pedestrian in question..it means leaving an ample amount of room for the person to cross without feeling pressured.
Where did all of this come from? Well, I was crossing the street in downtown the other day when I spotted a woman who was in obvious distress..there she was, stuck in the middle of downtown traffic with a stroller, trying to get cars to stop for her so she could pass. When I saw this, I ran to where she was standing and put my body in front of an oncoming car so that she could finally cross the street. The driver threw his hands up in the air in disgust. I threw my hands back at him in disgust.
After the woman and her stroller reached the sidewalk safely, I turned to her and said, “I’m so sorry, I really am so sorry.” Angry and flustered, she looked down at her baby to see if she was ok..and then looked at me and said, “This is the worst country in the world. Really. Thank you so much for your help.”
Please. Yield to pedestrians when they are trying to cross the street. It is the decent thing to do.