Funny How A $124 Ticket Can Change Behavior: Redo

On my usual route in the mornings I’ve noticed a shrine of flowers growing near a cross walk. I’ve been puzzled. Shirley if someone had been killed at that spot it would have been all over the news. I would have heard about it. But I’ve not slowed down long enough to see what it was all about.

I’ve been much more observant of my driving speed and behavior lately. My earlier post about my $124 fine for speeding has caused me to be aware and cautious. There are two crossing signs on that usual morning route. Both have activation buttons that flash with LCD lights when someone wants to cross. Very effective I think.

On the main street of our town there are cross walks and posts with flags on either side. Pedestrians grab a flag to wave down motorists when they want to cross. It’s a congested area with lots of folks on foot so it’s hard to not see them when they want to cross. But I wasn’t very conscious of my behavior as a driver until about six months ago someone yelled at me for not stopping. Now I find myself glancing to both sides as I approach those marked cross walks to be sure I’m not going to miss someone who wants to get to the other side.

Yesterday in our local paper I found out about the shrine. In the early morning when that road is typically very busy with commuters going to work, a man approached and activated the cross walk lights. He was walking his two service dogs that help him with his anxiety and depression. The driver in one direction stopped to allow him to cross. A driver in the other lane did not. The gentleman just barely jumped out of the way and avoided being hit but his dogs were not so lucky. The driver didn’t stop.

Sometimes we are so focused on our day, on our own issues and problems that we don’t watch out for each other. Maybe the driver had his or her mind on work or on getting to the bus on time, or a myriad of other possibilities. Focusing on the moment can not only keep us in the present but it can save lives.

So, I continue to think about my driving. I try to make notes about what I need to focus on after I reach my destination and leave my mind free to focus on my behavior when I’m on my way. I’m not always successful but I keep trying. Looking out for others has become much more meaningful now.

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About Jane Kuechle

Jane Kuechle is an independent consultant to nonprofit organizations and to individuals who want to make a difference. She assists nonprofit groups and organizations with their growth and development in the areas of board support, fundraising, communications, and online visibility. Jane also is available to help individuals create positive change through philanthropic investments. She researches opportunities to give financial and volunteer resources, and assists in evaluating the impact of charitable giving. In June of 2011 Jane became the Executive Director of the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

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