Note: Although this post specifies my Scottsdale home base, its cautionary message applies nationwide, urging increased driver awareness of mobility device users sharing the road.
Dangerously so, it happened again this morning: Scottsdale drivers came close to hitting my mobility scooter while I was transiting a crosswalk. Many of these chronic traffic violators are on their cell phones; others are seemingly oblivious to my presence as they cruise across the white crosswalk lines right in front of me; most are all deaf to my shouting “admonishments” (to put it politely); and they are all conveniently blind to traffic signals giving pedestrians and other crosswalk users right of way. Scottsdale prides itself on being “clean and scenic,” which indeed it is. But given the degree of reckless driving, the city’s streets are also hell on wheels.
Greater respect, responsibility and awareness are needed on behalf of everyone: drivers, law-enforcement officials, and pedestrians/bicyclists/mobility device users. To that end, my equally as concerned husband has added a flag and an ever increasing number of flashing lights to my red scooter and helmet; I’ve formally complained to the police; and I’m writing to inform readers now. Officer Eric Schwartz of the Scottsdale Police Department assured me that “information will (also) be relayed to our Patrol units in the area so that they can be vigilant in watching for these violations.”
If in addition, drivers would please:
1. Drive free of distraction from your cellphone. Arizona law (and that of many states) now “prohibits all drivers from using a portable electronic device or cellphone to talk or write, send, or read a text message,” and for a very good reason.
2. Yield to pedestrians and cyclists at intersections. It’s the law (read).
3. Stop before the crosswalk, not in it.
4. Look around you when idling at an intersection.
5. Make eye contact and hand signal pedestrians and others waiting to cross safely to show that you see them.
6. Stay at least 3 feet clear of cyclists, which include mobility device users.
7. Report the license plate number of traffic violators in this regard.
Let’s all share the road. Let’s make Scottsdale’s roads — and all roads everywhere — as safe as they are beautiful.
Voice Your Concern
If you or anyone you know is also experiencing traffic safety concerns in Scottsdale, please contact Officer Eric Schwartz of the Scottsdale Police Department (ESchwartz@scottsdaleaz.gov) or call +1 (480) 312-5000.
Or complain to your local police department.