Monday, September 12, 2011

Cool Ped Stuff # 17: The Pedestrian Jar

The Pedestrian Jar - Teaser from pedestrian jar on Vimeo.

This official selection from this year's Toronto International Film Festival was made in response to a recent uptick in pedestrian fatalities in the Toronto, leading director Evan Morgan to wonder, "What can be done to create more awareness of the relations between pedestrians and cars?"

The film is intended to be the first of a series addressing varying perspectives on roadway safety, including the role that pedestrians and cyclists must play in keeping themselves safe in a dangerous setting.

As Mr. Morgan explains, "...whether or not drivers are able to recognize their unfortunate tendencies within the context of this narrative, it doesn't mean that the message will easily translate into practical experience. What I mean is that they'll still likely be overly preoccupied with 'making that right turn', and perhaps fail to acknowledge a pedestrian every now and again.

I think that the value of the movie's message is actually for the pedestrians themselves, who perhaps have learned to take drivers for granted - as though cars will immediately stop for them the second they step out onto the road.

We have to remember that these vehicles are not robots, but are being operated by human beings, who can easily space out or become distracted for any number of reasons. I think the movie's criticism of drivers is relevant in so far as it reminds us to be more vigilant when navigating our city on foot."

In other words, yet more evidence that our streets would be better if only cars WERE robots that drove themselves. But that's a different post...


  1. I think this quirky film is probably effective for both pedestrians and motorists. For whatever reason, I like it.

  2. Hey Katie! We enjoyed the trailer! Did you get to see the whole thing?
    -Juan and Sirinya

  3. "...criticism of drivers is relevant in so far as it reminds us to be more vigilant..." So true! Thirty years of driving for a living - and observing traffic unsafety, has shown me that human error, through inattention, or distraction, is by far, the greatest danger in traffic. It has cost the lives of many - including my youngest brother, who was on a bicycle - and will continue until we decide to make peace on the road.

    I believe that most people want World Peace. They are willing to assign themselves the task of bringing us closer to that goal by exercising kindness and thoughtfulness. Add patience, forgiveness and cooperation, and we can set the stage for "Road-Peace" which will be a step on the road to World Peace.

  4. @gridlocksmith -- So sorry to hear about your brother, I'm sure you must think about that every time you see a driver behaving badly. It's great to see that you are able to maintain a positive attitude and keep working towards Road Peace -- I love it!

  5. Thanks, Katie! I am working on a new website that I hope to have up in a few daze(sic) called (Leave out the hyphen, and you go to a GPS outfit.) It's main function will be to encourage folks who want World Peace to consider themselves to be peacemakers whenever in traffic.

    Meanwhile, I share thoughts on improving traffic safety, pics and poems at As an amateur web builder's first effort, it can use some constructive criticism. Please let me know your thoughts on it.

  6. Please let me know when your site is up, I'll add it to my list of advocacy groups. Best of luck with all your efforts!

    1. Katie,
      The site, will be undergoing improvements forever, so please visit and give feedback. I will be thrilled to hear from you! Also, my blog has a recent post that deals with distracted driving (especially, texting). It features new lyrics("Dexter Texter") to an old tune (Davy Crockett), and shares some cool links to some short PSA's that include Dr Phil, and "Dexter the Dead Texter" (not related to my Dexter).
      When it comes to traffic safety, I believe in the value of levity. When we laugh, we release much tension and then we think more clearly... my haiku:
      It is life and death;
      In matters so serious,
      One must always laugh.

  7. As a person that was hit by a car while legally crossing the street, I don't think there is enough attention paid to the 'poor smuck' that ends up under someone's car wheels and their insurance company (Allstate) tries to get out of paying the 'poor smuck' damages suffered economically, physically and emotionally after being hit by some idiot who doesn't actually know that the pedestrian has the right of way and who was distracted (probably on the phone or putting on lip stick in the mirror). I say drop your insurance co. if you have Allstate, also.