The car racing the lightat Observatory and East Medical Center Drive didn’t even slow as the signal turned yellow, then red. The walk signal lit up, and a woman waiting to cross East Medical Center stepped into the street just as the speeding vehicle turned toward her.
A bus driver saw what was about to happen and sounded his horn. The car slammed on its brakes, and the woman jumped aside. Her hands hit the hood, and it looked like the car bumped her hip, but she recovered and kept walking. The car sped off down the hill.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every day 345 American pedestrians and cyclists are injured or killed by a motor vehicle. No one keeps track of the close calls, but according to the vigilant bus driver–who asked not to be named–they happen with worrisome frequency. “It might not be the exact same scenario, but I see these near misses–where someone could have easily been killed–more often than I would like to,” he said afterward. “I see this kind of thing on a weekly basis.”