Motorists: a pop quiz

Anybody know what those funny black-and-white stripes across the road mean? With the flashing orange ball on a stick? No? Nobody? Ah – you sir, in the chopped and lowered pimped black Mercedes with the tinted windows – yes, that’s right, it means you bring your vehicle to a halt and sit there with your suspension throbbing gently in time to your bass speakers while the pedestrian crosses all the way across the road before starting up again. And you, sir, in the taxi, yes that’s right, you stop as the pedestrian looks like they want to cross the road, not after they’ve taken their life in your hands and stepped out in front of you.

The rest of you have failed. You, young lad in the red Astra doing sixty in a built up area, it does not mean dropping a gear from fifth to fourth and swerving past the pedestrian on the inside with a screech of tyres. You, sir – elderly gent in the blue Rolls Royce, it does not mean driving over it at a steady 20 mph looking neither to right nor left, nor in your rear view mirror at the two fingers the pedestrian has just given you from the safety of the pavement. And you, madam, in the SUV with the three squabbling brats, it does not mean taking your eyes off the quarrel the back seat only just in time to avoid slamming into the rear of the car that has stopped for the pedestrian, the pedestrian you would have seen had you been looking at the road in the direction you were going.

Please leave your car keys at the door as you go out. You will be issued with a pair of comfortable walking shoes, an A to Z and a generous life insurance policy.

If you try using a zebra crossing as they ought to be used, you will be needing it.


6 responses to “Motorists: a pop quiz

  1. I try my best to be a considerate and safe driver. As a pedestrian I always keep my eyes open and wits about me. When driving what scares me more than anything are kamikaze jaywalkers. And best not mention wayward cyclists, silly skate-boarders and formula one invalid carriage drivers.

  2. Well I’m glad someone’s being careful. You clearly don’t spend too much time on the streets of Hackney…

  3. I spend as little time as possible on the streets anywhere. As for Hackney…I don’t do the East End ! ,(no offence).

  4. Zebra Crossings are not used here. An experimental one was abandoned after a dead Zebra, from a travelling circus was found on it early one morning. Anyhow our traffic flow -3 cars a week-does not justfy such mindless extravagence.

  5. I believe that technically the pedestrian only has right of way once they are on the crossing.
    Also try giving way at a Zebra crossing in Paris, they won’t cross in front of you. The pedestrian appears to assume it is a trap and that you are waiting for them to step into the road before dropping the clutch and bouncing them off the bonnet.

  6. Chris – technically you’re right but drivers should at least approach the zebra as though they are prepared to stop (not accelerating towards it would be nice). I’m assertive enough to step out in front of a car (and agile enough to get back onto the pavement if I have to) but not everyone is that lucky/brave/foolish…

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