We all know that when you get that yellow light as you’re turning left by Chili’s on Lone Tree Way, many people push the envelope and run that red light. The oncoming traffic sits there waiting for all these drivers who absolutely must get to happy hour for those bottomless chips to get through the intersection. Hey, I love happy hour as much as the next guy, but would it kill you to wait till the next green arrow?
I was on my way back home from Target, cruising back up Lone Tree and saw a yellow light at the intersection by Anderson’s Bakery. I was driving alongside a woman in a green van with a child in a car seat. I began slowing down, the light was now red, and a car was entering the intersection from our right. The woman in the van just blew right through the red light. She didn’t even slow down! What is this, red light Russian roulette?
I yell a lot in my car; my kids hate it. “They can’t hear you, Mom!” they yell. I don’t care. “What are you doing lady??” I bellowed. At the next intersection I couldn’t wait to get a look at this woman who put her life, her child’s life, and the life of the driver who had to slow down and let her go through the red light, in danger.
She was 30ish and eating a bag of Doritos. Her child was playing with a hula skirt in the back seat. I contemplated rolling down my window and asking her if she knew she had just run a red light, but the minute the light turned green she threw another chip in her mouth and floored it. She was gone.
The ultimate horror story came the last week of school. It was 3 p.m. and I had just picked up my two youngest kids. A call came in on my Bluetooth, hands-free phone from Onstar. (Yes, I purposely mention this because my other pet peeve is texting drivers.
Anyway, my oldest daughter was almost crying, her voice trembling. She told me she had almost been killed on James Donlon Boulevard. She was waiting to turn left onto James Donlon at G Street. She had the green light. From her left, flying down the road at approximately 55-60 mph, came a large, beat-up brown Astro Van with Saran Wrap for windows. This guy was flying and made no attempt to slow down. Kaelin threw her brakes on so hard they were smoking.
When she arrived home, I gave her a long, long hug and thanked God she was OK. I was consumed with relief; I was consumed with anger. I wanted to hunt down that guy in the brown van. Instead, I’m asking everyone out there to put down the phone, put down the Doritos, do something no one seems to be doing these days: pay attention while driving your car.
Life is too precious.