When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Jeeps

The Jeep killed him. Of course, it might not have done that if he hadn’t been walking in the left lane of a divided low-speed highway (i.e. one with periodic red lights and curb cuts to businesses in the right lane).

Why did he do that? It’s not like anyone can ask him, ’cause he’s dead.

Dale Churchill walked into the left lane of U.S. 1 on Monday as motorist Wilson Kowaleski, 30, was heading north in a 2005 Jeep Wrangler at 8:23 p.m., according to Sgt. Kim Montes, FHP spokeswoman.

When Kowaleski reached the end of the Tomoka River Bridge just south of Coquina Avenue, Churchill was struck by Kowaleski’s Jeep, the FHP said.

via Pedestrian killed in Ormond Beach ID’d as New Hampshire man.

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

On a road like that, in a place like Ormond Beach, Florida (near Daytona toward the north of the state’s east coast), drivers aren’t expecting pedestrians in the travel lanes.

Even if, somehow, poor Churchill had the right of way, one should always consider the risks of being hit by a car in the light of the consequences. Even if the driver was nine kinds of guilty of nine kinds of violations, he walks away with a shaking up, and the pedestrian is removed with a sheet over his non-operational head. So you need to walk defensively on high-speed avenues of approach.

Don’t put yourself in Churchill’s position, unless you’re wearing a car yourself. Who is ready to die like an armadillo at age 55? (You kids who think your life will be over by then, expect to change your mind).

17 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Jeeps

  1. John M.

    “Why did he do that?”

    Easy: How else was he supposed to get to Lafayette Road from Ormond Beach FL?

    -John M.

  2. rocketguy

    When I was going to college, people would walk right into traffic saying, “Don’t worry – pedestrians have the right of way.” I would ask them if it was OK to put that on their tombstone.

  3. Kirk

    Commentary on the “pedestrian hit by car” thing… Most military posts have a policy where pedestrians have right-of-way, period. The idiots step out into the roadway, you’re the one at fault if you hit them, no matter where, no matter when, no matter what–You’re supposed to stop.

    My take on that was that that policy was basically training people to ignore the motor vehicle traffic, and do stupid shit when on foot. “Oh, they’ll stop…” as idiot steps out in front of truck.

    Here’s my take: All that’s doing is setting up a set of false expectations, and an entirely unrealistic view of what is going on, with regards to the drivers of these vehicles. It’s like in the motor pool; idiot troop walks out from in between trucks into path of moving vehicle “Oh, I have right-of-way… Pedestrian, ya know?”.

    OK, sure… You have the right-of-way. Good thing to put on the f**king tombstone, after we disentangle your remains from in between the duallies on the five-ton.

    Me, I’d tell the drivers “Hey, iff’n the idjits are out on the traveled way of the road, and not abiding by the rules of the road…? Fifty points for you. Run ’em over; we need smarter people in the Army”, and if you’re going to put yourself into a situation where you’re contesting right-of-way with a damn 5-ton truck on a roadway…? Yeah. I really don’t think you’re a value-adding proposition to the force.

    Plus that, it conditions the idiot troops we occasionally get to think that those rules apply everywhere, including off-post. I had to go visit one of my not-so-brights, once, in the hospital–They’d stepped out into traffic off-post, forgetting where they were, and got run the f**k over for their trouble. My sympathies were limited, but I do feel like the atmosphere created by too-tolerant of stupidity people on post contributed to the situation.

    1. TRX

      The local air base provides a steady source of income for the local emergency room as new troops move in, venture off base, and get creamed by traffic.

      No, this isn’t Back Home. In Arkansas, pedestrians and bicycles are “not allowed to impede traffic.” Which means if you step out into any part of the road that doesn’t have crosswalk markings, you’re likely to regret it.

      The pedestrians seem to learn fast, but sometimes the bicyclists need multiple encounters before they understand that they don’t have right of way here.

      You’d think the base would have some kind of orientation for when troops move to a new base. Or maybe they do, and they either ignore it or stubbornly try to do as they’ve always done.

      PS: prancing into toilet facilities posted for the other sex may be fine Back Home, but it’s likely to result in sex offender charges here.

  4. Cap'n Mike

    Stepping into traffic is betting your life that the driver approaching you is not drunk, stoned or buried in their phone.
    I don’t like those odds.

  5. Tennessee Budd

    I’ve heard “pedestrians have the right-of-way” and all that. I ride motorcycles ( for clarification, I only ride one at a time). It doesn’t matter if I’m right or wrong: greater mass wins. Kind of a law of physics.

  6. Loren

    Once when driving on Sheikh Zayed Highway in Dubai I watched as a Paki in sandals trotted across the road as I approached. 16 (or so) lanes worth of solid morning rush, all going 140kph. Never thought he’d make it to my left hand lane but he did. Locked up the brakes as he just made it in front of me. No idea how or if he got across the traffic going the other way.
    Just as well as in the UAE “blue eyes” are always at fault. As in “if you weren’t in the country you would not have been involved”. A friend got that after his parked car got rammed by a citizen. Best bet is if there’s any issue, get to the airport and out. Don’t even bother to pack, just go.

  7. John Distai

    I had a previous career in Safety. I had a colleague who would counsel me on business communications. He’d say “Let me borrow this phrase from the National Safety Council – You can be right, or you can be dead right. You never want to be dead right.”

    I’m glad I typed that, as I need to remind myself of that at my current employer.

  8. bloke_from_ohio

    “Whether the pitcher hits the stone or the stone hits the pitcher, it’s going to be bad for the pitcher”
    – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605

  9. Simon

    Kirk, we have the same lunacy here in Austria. Some bright spark made a law that we are not permitted to run over children (as if we were all waiting slathering at the chops outside of the primary schools with the clutch pressed to get a quick start to run a few over. If it was less stupid it would be insulting.). So, in the big cities the children are now convinced that they can just cross the road in traffic and everybody will stop. Paradoxically it works when the traffic is really bad, because nobody is moving anyway, but when there is less traffic then it gets dangerous. And naturally children have the most experience in judging relative speeds and distances to know if the laws of physics agree with the local law and allow the car to stop in time.

    Sorry for the rant – a pet peeve of mine.

    1. Kirk

      Oh, I hear you, and agree.

      When you go to make law, policy, or regulation, one must take care that the intent matches the eventual effect. Nobody sets out to make a rule such that it encourages foolish behavior, but it often is the case when idiots write such things.

      Honestly, you want to encourage traffic safety for pedestrians, you’re starting at the wrong end of things to go after the vehicle and the operator. If said vehicle and operator are on the travelled way of the road, realistically speaking, the thing to do is basically tell them that it’s open season on pedestrians, and that if they are not following the rules of the road by using traffic signals and crosswalks…? 50 points.

      This would encourage pedestrians to comply with reality, in that mass needs to be respected. Painful, yes, but when you start encouraging dumbasses by telling them they have the right and expectation that traffic will stop whenever they step off the curb, you are basically training them to ignore the laws of physics. Not an optimal solution.

      Base I was stationed at had a rash of “issues” with traffic safety. Commander implemented a “pedestrian friendly” policy, and as I predicted, we had morons walking out in front of 5-ton trucks doing 35mph and expecting them to just stop on a dime. Traffic slowed down to about 15mph everywhere you’d expect pedestrians, and of course, that jammed everything good and proper. It also conditioned people to start doing really stupid things as a matter of course.

      Me? I’m an asshole: My policy would have amounted to putting a bounty on the pedestrians, and paid the drivers to hit them, so long as the drivers and vehicles were where they were supposed to be, doing what they were suppposed to, and following traffic law…

  10. Dindo

    My Papa told me, “Son, Never walk out in front of a motor vehicle with a female driver. She may mistake you for an old boyfriend.”
    Kept me out of the emergency room for 50 years. Good advice.

  11. Simon

    It has been the case in Austria for at least 15 years. These things are generally a big city feature – they don’t work in country Areas.

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