Ride In 6/24: Busted

Saw this:

This was on New Mexico Avenue, near an unsignalized crosswalk. Seeing this certainly doesn't make me feel especially safe about crossing the street. It does, however, make me wonder if we should try to apply some version of the broken windows theory to traffic crimes. We could call it '"busted bollards" or something. Like, what if the fine for hitting one of these signs was like $1000? What if knocking into plastic sticks resulted in your arrest? The idea behind 'broken windows,' at least so far as I understand it, is that you go after the little crimes (graffiti, vandalism, etc.), so things don't metastasize and lead to bigger crimes. Would holding people accountable for minor infractions and not letting anything slide, even the destruction of plastic road markings or street signs, create a climate in which people become much, much safer drivers around things (read: people) that actually do matter? I don't know. What I do know is that I'm looking at a picture of a sign that says that it's the law to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and that sign has been run over, trampled even, (destroyed really) and maybe this just means that it was an 'accident' or maybe this means that it's not just the sign that's broken, but rather the broken sign is a sign itself that something much bigger is broken and that it's no accident at all.

1 comment:

  1. Personally I'd settle for punishing drivers who run over actual living pedestrians and cyclists, but even that seems a tall order sometimes.