Round 2: Why Do People...?
Dear Miss M,
Seeing that many of the tourists you would be referring to would actually be Japanese and due to my living experience in Japan, where wandering aimlessly over the road regardless of anything, including such extreme events as death, is an inborn (or is that inbred?) vice, and all kinds from salarymen to geisha to young fashionistas scoot about town as often as they use chopsticks, I feel I am well qualified to answer your query.
The Traffic Dodging thing could come down to a couple of points. In Japan, the law dictates that if there is some sort of accident involving any transport of any kind and/or pedestrians, the 'smaller' component of the accident is always in the right. So if a drunk person randomly wobbles out onto a 100km/hr section of road and into the path of an oncoming Mack Truck, said Mack Truck is automatically at fault. If a person on a scooter cannot control their scooter and as a result falls off, only to be run over by a small car seconds later, said small car is at fault (this really happened to a student of mine driving behind an elderly scooter driver who was probably to frail to adequately handle the scooter!). So relating back to your query, wandering aimlessly over the road is always going to be a win-win situation for the pedestrian here in Japan at least. Either you make it to the other side of the road in one piece - or you don't but as a result you (or your family depending on how many pieces you are in) will be a shitload richer. Therefore they don't really care.
And this is when ignorance and stupidity come into play, where tourists from particular countries that I don't care to list, simply assume things are the same in other countries - whether this is to do with the law (as above) or just being so damn idiotic not to realise that things are different outside of their own piece of world. You say to-may-to. I say tomato - and that driving occurs on the left side of the road as opposed to the right. We all know assumption is the mother of all fuckups, and in this case could leave one for dead.
As for the scooters, I think the problem is people view them as a cute accessory much like a mobile tag or a handbagged Chihuahua, and nothing bad happens to cute, right? That is until they wind up wedged bitween the bitumen and the underbelly of a anything bigger than a go-kart, with no skin and no hope, after attempting to floor 'cute' round a U-turn that landed them in oncoming traffic.
I am happy to answer any Why Do People....? queries you may have, just drop 'em in the comments.
Labels: Why Do People...?