Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nobody ignores red lights

Further to Nathan's post about Andy von Geurard's death still not making sense: people don't ignore red lights. Not pedestrians. Not drivers. Not cyclists.

Unless they are incapacitated, diminished, or distracted, people who run red lights are fully aware of the red light and consciously choose to disregard it, making a calculated gamble that they will get through the intersection safely. The overwhelming majority of the time, they are right. It can be irritating and annoying to others, but it is rarely high-risk.

That, to me, is what is inexplicable about von Geurard's death. Hitting the back of a mini-van isn't consistent with the typical red-light running gamble. It just doesn't seem to be a case of not getting the timing quite right.

1 comment:

Nathan Phillips said...

Two questions which to my knowledge have not been addressed:

- Did Andy's brakes work? Seems key to supporting the assumption that he intentionally blew through a red light, which was immediately the presumed, dominant storyline.

- What did his cell phone call record show, in terms of timing of received calls or sent messages? Could he have been distracted by responding to/making a call?