I ride a motorcycle to work a few days a week. One's perspective on the world is different when the only thing between you and the pavement is a leather jacket and a fiberglass helmet. One day last week I rode onto the freeway on-ramp using the car pool lane (which is legal in California). The metering lights were on; I could see the reds and greens from the other two lanes' metering lights for the single-occupancy vehicles. The red light in the car pool lane metering light was inoperative, but the green light worked. I rolled up, waited for the green and took off.
The next day I drove the car and had to use the single-occupancy lane immediately next to the carpool lane. The carpool red metering light was still inop. Much to my amazement and then creeping horro, a huge delivery truck came barreling down the carpool lane and blew through the light - as if it was not an inop red but was in fact not metering at all. Mind you, there were 5 or 6 cars in the single-occupancy lanes whose lights were working and being obeyed by the various cars in the lanes. So, obviously this guy was of limited intelligence; he was unable to decide that maybe he should assume the light is burned out and to stop and wait for his metering green light.
If this guy had been behind me the day before, I would have been a hood ornament. Not injured, dead. Period. I broke my own rule about cell phones it he car and immediately called the highway department to report it and tell them why i was upset about it. They had the bulb changed Monday (I reported it at 4:45 PM on a Friday, so I consider that a pretty good response).
This weekend I was driving on the interstate and witnessed a car spin out and bounce off the center divider It then bounced back into the traffic lane perpendicular to the lane itself. The chaos of the car spinning out of control, the dust and smoke from tires created a 0 meter visibility are for 20 meters or so around the car. The traffic was heavy to begin with, so there was no doubt an ensuing set of collisions due to this person's mishap. I was on the opposite side of the freeway, so I was not effected, but I was shook up because IF I had been on that side and involved with that guy when he went out of control I may not have been able to respond quickly enough. At the speeds we all normally drive on that freeway stretch, my reaction time would have eaten quite a bit of my available manuvering space.
I again broke my rule and dialed 911. I was put on hold for over 5 minutes before I hung up in disgust and no one from the California Highway patrol 911 office ever called me back. I have no doubt that other people were calling in the accident, but the fact that I was put on hold for more than a few seconds was galling, to say the least and for 5 minutes was inexcusable.