About a week ago, I witnessed a traffic accident. I was stopped at a light, waiting to turn left, when a young man impulsively gunned his gray car toward me and an old man barreled over a hill and T-boned the young man.
I was not paying careful attention, but I remember seeing the young man's body sway from the impact. Somehow, even though I wasn't in the accident, I developed retrograde amnesia. I know this because I stayed to talk to the police and when questioned I could recall nothing.
"So you were stopped at the light. So it was red."
"I can't remember exactly if it was red or not. But there must have been some reason why I wasn't driving."
"So the gray car turned left on to your street."
"I recall him coming at me, but I don't remember where he came from."
So, I was useless. However, I kept my mouth shut and I think the possibility that I might contradict them kept the two men honest. At first they both claimed they had a yellow light, and the officer mentioned that was impossible.
I thought about it a while, and I realized that the young man must have turned on a left turn arrow. Not five minutes after that, I saw someone turn left even though the left turn signal was red. Not flashing red, which means you should stop, but a solid red arrow.
I think what's happening is the lights for a red arrow and the green arrow are the same light. With the usual red / yellow / green signals, color-blind people can at least see which light is illuminated: top, middle, or bottom, but not so with the turn arrows we have now.
Do other people stay when they've witnessed an accident? I always think I should, but usually that's because someone is clearly at fault and might try to weasel out of it. In this case they both were in the wrong, I think.
Perhaps I got a credit in the car Karma category. The next weekend a purple car completely cut me off on a four lane street. That's by my definition of cut off, which is swerving into my lane without signaling and causing me to apply my brakes. I have to clarify, because some people define "cut off" as "changing into my lane, even five car lengths in front of me." At any rate, it was a tiny bit rude, but I applied my brakes and it was fine.
It was NOT fine with the teenage boys behind me. They didn't honk, but about a block later they passed me, got a lane away from the purple car, paced it, and flipped off the purple car with extreme prejudice. And they didn't let up. That bird flew for ten seconds. Then they took a left, but they gave the bird an extra flourish as they turned.
I was amused at how indignant they were, given that they were one degree of separation from the actual cut off. Cut off once removed, as it were. Cut off adjacent. Still, like me witnessing the accident, they needed to weigh in.
Finally, in traffic-related news, this morning I was behind a car with a plate that read UCKGO. The owner waited till it got grimy and wrote an F on one side of the plate and a D on the other.