This morning as we were walking along Road 415 going to Coarsegold, a highway patrol officer stopped and told us he was responding to calls that we were walking on the roadway.
We said, “Yes, at times, we do walk on the roadway because there is no place else to walk. All city, county, state roads are public thoroughfares. They are open to all comers – person on crutches, driving a wheelchair, pedestrian, bicycle, equestrian and extra terrestrial (ET) on a vacation. These thoroughfares are not for the exclusive use of the High Speed Motorist (HSM) and its most favored and valued friend the Automobile. When the HSM sees a pedestrian, equestrian bicycle or an ET moving on the roadway exercising their absolute legal right to be doing so, the HSM must reduce its speed or stop if necessary so all involved can pass safely. There is nothing in the law stating the HSM has a legal right to be going at the speed limit regardless of the circumstance.”
The officer responded, “Be careful.” He went on his way and we continued our way.
“Run for the bushes, jump in a ditch, you all be damned. I slow up for nothing or nobody.” This is the pervasive attitude held by many HSM.
This HSM attitude is the main cause of death on the public thoroughfare in this country. The public thoroughfare is a place where people meet, trade goods and knowledge, experiences and generally enjoy moving freely from one place to the next. It was never intended to become a High Speed Dragstrip for machines running everybody else into the ditches in fear of becoming a bloody mess.
The Public Thoroughfare is the tenuous tread by which The Mules exercise their right to move freely in one of all four directions when they choose and how they choose. We will never give up our legal and mystical use of it. Nor should anybody else.
Below is National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Press Release from July 1, 2016.
“Every American should be able to drive, ride or walk to their destination safely, every time.” – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
“94% of crashes can be tied back to human choice or error.” – NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind