Punching Out A Pedestrian In New York City – 1968

Pedestrians Have To Be Careful Then and Now

We’ve all heard of road rage, how about road-pedestrian rage?

Today the problem in New York City seems to be aggressive drivers nearly mowing down pedestrians who have the right of way. Sometimes it’s the opposite problem – pedestrians strolling into oncoming traffic when the traffic light is against them.  Typically because the pedestrian is so caught up in their personal device that they completely ignore their surroundings.

In 1968 the confrontations were much simpler.

End of Round One

New York: With tempers a bit short on this steamy morning in New York City  Nov. 12th thsi pedestrian at left finds himself in an unusual position – prone – at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. He got that way after taking exception to a chauffeur’s driving ability. The driver got out of his car, flattened the pedestrian and continued on his way. The storm continued unabated. Credit: UPI telephoto 11/12/68

I’d think that the guy who got punched out might have seen this photo in the newspaper the next day, but he didn’t tell everyone, “Hey , I made the papers, that’s me!”  Fortunately his face is completely obscured.

I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. It probably doesn’t because rather than just punch people out ,some drivers today will literally try and kill the person they’re  angry at. In general I’ve noticed bad weather does indeed lead to short tempers.

A couple of things to take note of: telephone booths on the corner, remember them? The news photographer was in the right place at the right time to witness and record what happened. But unlike today, no crowd gathers around to watch the confrontation and its aftermath. Everyone seems to be hurrying on their way, ignoring or not seeing the laid out pedestrian. Let’s say it was also the bad weather that contributed to a shortage of good samaritans willing to help.

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2 thoughts on “Punching Out A Pedestrian In New York City – 1968

  1. Tony Cox

    I guess road rage isn’t just a “new buzz word”! And it’s also interesting to see that everyone continued walking by him as though nothing happened… as it’s the same practice today.


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