Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lessons in Transit Shame from Smiley the Clown's "People Behaving Naughtily"

Doesn't matter if you're a texting pedestrian, biker rolling through a stop sign, or a person in a 2 ton pickup speeding through red lights.  Smiley Robinson and his clown van will find and SHAME YOU!
image found here and here 
The streets of San Francisco were rightly designed to move and store cars on every street, along with afterthought sidewalks and the smattering of bike lanes here and there.  Every day, at least 3 people are hit by cars while walking and pedestrians make up over 50% of all traffic fatalities, four times the national average.  San Francisco's data, as part of Vision Zero, have uncovered that most of the injury and death is allegedly caused by:
  1. drivers speeding
  2. running red lights 
  3. running stop signs
  4. violating pedestrians’ right-of-way in crosswalks
  5. failing to yield to pedestrians while turning
But it certainly doesn't hurt to pepper in a little victim blaming now and then to give motorists some sense of relief that their behaviors are on par with that of bikers and pedestrians.  And that's why so many people love Smiley Robinson, a clown that drives around in van, recording stranger's naughty transit habits to give his TV viewers a "balanced" view of what accounts for all the death and injury on the roads.  Many of the offenders on Smiley's "People behaving Naughtily" show smile and say "you caught me being naughty, Smiley!" and laugh at their deadly behaviors to the chagrin of the viewers.

Naughty behavior is all around us, from bikers rolling through stop signs, jaywalkers, motorists impinging upon other's right of way, to cars blasting into each other at high velocities
images found here, here, here and here.
Smiley's program helps everyone build their own anecdata based conclusions on why people meet their doom on streets that weren't designed for non-motorized transit.  Motorists can feel like they are are often the true victims of pedestrians & biker's impatient and suicidal ways.

"Oh yeah I love Smiley, said one motorist.  We really get a kick out of that clown busting people on the streets doing stupid things.  Admittedly, I text while driving and never abide by the speed limit, but then I see that clown's show I think, 'look at all those distracted pedestrians and that biker on the sidewalk.  They're just as bad as me!'  I can sleep a little more soundly at night knowing that some of those people had it coming."  Smiley admittedly doesn't choose favorites and everyone can be an equal opportunity offender.

Smiley's recent month long attention to naughty bike behavior in San Francisco which he has chocked up to an angered "cycling community".  People have argued that bikers not abiding to laws designed for motorized vehicles has led to an insignificant fraction of the 4,735 pedestrian deaths and 66,000 reported pedestrian injuries and was undeserving of such attention.  That hasn't stopped Smiley's viewers from building anecdote fueled rage at these scofflaw bikers and threatening violence against them.  Although the clown has said this retaliation against bikers makes him sad (*cue slide-whistle*).

According to Vision Zero SF, 41 percent of all pedestrian related crashes take place in a crosswalk, and Smiley urges everyone to make sure they are in a crosswalk, because, well, that's the law.  The 1 in 4 patients at San Francisco General Hospital’s trauma center who are people hit by cars while walking can take comfort in the fact that they weren't naughtily breaking the law when they were struck by vehicles.

Smiley catches people texting and walking through car dominated streets.  Doesn't it just grind your gears you when you see this kind of naughty behavior.  They're just asking for trouble!
image found here 
Thanks to Smiley, we can all have a good heathy chuckle at our naughty behaviors, regardless of whether they could cause harm to ourselves or wipe out an entire family in the blink of an eye.   This clown's strict, unquestioning and religious adherence to traffic laws is certain to make our city streets safer for everyone.  

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