Sorry if the subject line sounds discriminatory, but in all of my 8 years in Taiwan I have only seen TW people crossing the street without looking.
So last night it was raining and I decided to stay off the major highway becuase it is a zoo at the best of times, let alone in the rain. And I’ve been meaning to check out other ways of getting between schools anyway.
As I said, it was raining and for some reason people seem to forget the rain adds an element of risk to driving, never mind walking, on most TW roads.
As I was driving in the scooter lane on this smallish minor artery, I noticed a guy crossing the street between the cars that were stopped in traffic. He was a few car lengths ahead of me and although he was looking my way, he failed to yield and I slowed to let him cross in front of me and get on the sidewalk. This was not at a crosswalk so he was jaywalking in the rain, at night, during rush hour. :bravo:
Just after that, as I was just getting up to a little higher but safe speed, a woman ( I think ) also crossed the road between the stopped cars and missed walking into my handlebars by a whisker. It was as if she didn’t even care that she was going to walk right into the side of my moving scooter. :no-no:
I even grimaced, ready for the impact, because I had no time to react. I have no idea how she missed me. She may have pulled back at the last nano-second I guess. If I would have hit her, my whole year would have been ruined. Never mind her injuries.
Can anyone tell me, without being cynically humorous, what is going through the minds of these people? The same thing almost happened to me in Chiayi several years ago. If not for some quick reflexes and luck at at that time, I would have mowed into a small family that walked into the scooter lane and then froze with fear when they realised that there were actually scooters in the scooter lane.
In all of my years in Taiwan, I have never figured out how or why these people figure they are invincible, and that everyone can safely stop for their selfish acts. Sure this happens with scooters and cars all the time, cutting in front of moving traffic, forcing it to stop or just missing a collision while doing so.
But pedestrians walking in front of moving traffic has always baffled me. I think I will stick to the major highways whenever possible from now on.
Although it is always dangerous, I rarely see jaywalkers trying to dodge four-lane traffic on a rainy night during rush hour.