He who Hesitates is Squashed

You would think, wouldn’t you, that when approaching a major junction whose traffic lights are out, drivers would want to exercise a degree of caution. You would be wrong. The lights have been out for the last couple of days at Kew Bridge and if today was anything to go by, the reaction of most drivers is to accelerate towards any gap in the traffic, giving no quarter to anything coming the other way. Traffic, amazingly, seemed to be flowing, more or less – basically each stream of traffic would bully its way onto the box junction until it had gridlocked itself to a standstill, giving the other streams a chance to have a turn. Pedestrians just had to squeeze through the gaps between the bumpers, shut their eyes and hope they got across before the traffic moved again. Normally I rely on the fact that most car drivers won’t knock down a pedestrian from a standing start. Tonight, I wasn’t so sure.

You would also think, or at least I would, that given a major traffic light failure on a busy London Red Route, they would have somebody out there, directing the traffic. You would be wrong there too. There wasn’t a sign of anyone making any attempt to control the chaos. It just doesn’t seem to happen any more. Perhaps they’ve forgotten how to do the hand signals. Or perhaps somebody somewhere has discovered that letting the car drivers fight it out amongst themselves is the most efficient way.


5 responses to “He who Hesitates is Squashed

  1. It’s bad enough at ordinary traffic when they’re not working. I’m also surprised that they’ve been out of action for a couple of days being, as you say, on a busy route like that.

    It seems that a lot of drivers adopt a kamikaze outlook in such a situation, which is mindboggling really.

  2. I think it’s because any attempt to be cautious (let alone polite) leads to being taken advantatge of ruthlessly by the other drivers…

  3. It might also be because now that it’s dark at home time, drivers can’t make eye-contact with each other any more to indicate where they want to go or to allow someone to go in ahead of them, so they just go for it.

  4. Pingback: Hello and Welcome… « Disgruntled Commuter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s