Most of us tend to forget just how dangerous daily traffic can be. I am alive and able to write this because I waited an extra 3 seconds after the traffic light changed.
Friday night, my wife and I were heading home. We live in the outskirts of Kaneohe. I had taken Likelike to the Windward side and had made the right hand exit to get onto Kahekili Hwy. When I came around the turn at the intersection of Likelike and Kahekili, the light was red. I stopped and as fate would have it, happened to be the first car in the left lane. After a moment, I noticed the light was red for the Likelike traffic that was heading into Kaneohe. The state has put a 3 to 4 second delay on this light so I didn’t have an immediate green light, which is fine with me. My light turned green but I didn’t immediately start out. As I was trained during my short racing career and my later flight training, always look before you turn, or in this case, enter the intersection.
I looked left and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I almost started out, but that small voice in the back of my head said to wait. I looked to the left again and still saw nothing. The voice said wait again. The car to my right started moving. I still heard that voice say WAIT! In the blink of an eye, a white Toyota sedan came running into the intersection against the light in excess of 70 mph. I immediately laid on the horn and the car to my right stopped. The red light runner missed this car by less that a foot. Never attempted to swerve or slow down. Drunk? Must have been. It happened so quickly that all I could see was the make of the car. I couldn’t get a plate number or any type of driver ID.
I am alive to write this because I waited an extra 3 seconds. Had I not waited, this car would have hit me right in the driver’s door at 70 mph. I would not have stood a chance and most likely my wife would have been killed as well. Our doggies would have been orphans and we would have become yet another statistic.
So a word to the wise – don’t be in a hurry to jump that green light, especially on intersections like Kahekili and Likelike. It is very difficult to see any cars coming down the hill on Likelike when you are behind that concrete barrier on Kahekili.
When driving, be afraid, be very afraid – you’ll drive safer and have a better chance of arriving safely.
”’David Wethington is a resident of Kaneohe.”’