Thursday, 10 October 2013

There was a "rear ender"

on the busy main road yesterday. This road leads up into the hills behind us. It carries a lot of traffic and it is not, contrary to the belief of some, a race track as well.
There are three sets of traffic lights and a further set of pedestrian lights all in close proximity to one another along this stretch. The pedestrian lights are there for a very good reason. They lead to the library on one side and an aged care complex on the other. The side street leads to two primary schools and a secondary school. The pedestrian lights are used a lot. Oh yes there are always idiots who do not use the lights but the majority of people getting on and off the buses and visiting the library, aged care complex and schools do use them.
Perhaps one hundred and fifty metres away there is the first set of lights. It is a T-junction and the lights lead to the shopping centre, the big gym and places like a branch of the Motor Vehicles Department. You can turn here and continue on past these things to the "old" part of the "village" (now mere suburbia),  another school, day care places etc.
Go straight ahead and there are two more sets of lights - or perhaps just one rather complex set of lights. Their phase is inconsistent and relates to whether pedestrians are using the push button facilities.
It is altogether a short but difficult stretch of road that requires both alertness and patience to negotiate.
And yes, the problem is that people are often not alert or patient enough. Minor "dings" are common. Pedestrians add to the problem by not using the designated crossing points - after all, why walk a few extra metres if you think you can get away with it?
I hate crossing roads. I don't cross roads unless I absolutely have to. I always use the lights and I always pedal. I will not cross a road on foot. I know I can't make it to the other side in time. People who know me will do a trip around the block and dump me at the destination before parking the car we are travelling in. I appreciate that more than most of them will ever realise.
I simply fail to understand people who do not use pedestrian lights.
Yesterday's rear-ender occurred because a pedestrian did not use the lights. Swerving to avoid the pedestrian the driver went into the rear of the other car.
The driver was a young "P" plater. The car was an "old bomb" but probably the pride of its owner.  The driver was not travelling at an excessive speed. The lights were in the driver's favour. The pedestrian had no business to be on the road at all. Had he been hit he would, at very least, have been badly injured.
The young driver's car was beyond repair. The other car, much newer and sturdier, was badly damaged. Both drivers were badly shaken but, fortunately, suffered only minor injuries.
. It has no doubt shaken the confidence of the probationer who will face all sorts of questions simply because he is a probationer. There was the mess and the inconvenience and the disruption to the traffic flow. There will be insurance claims, court time, police reports and legal and financial consequences for the drivers of the cars. 
The pedestrian must have been aware of what had happened. He must have been aware that he was the chief cause of the incident. He simply finished crossing the road and walked on.
I wonder how well he slept last night?


Helen Devries said...

Very well, I should imagine...congratulating itself on not being injured....

Thoughtless monkey.

Philip C James said...

Have to disagree on this occasion, Cat.

What if a cat had run across the road instead of a pedestrian? Would you argue the cat too had no business to be there. Car drivers have to exercise alertness, anticipation, risk assessment and drive 'defensively'.

I sometime wonder what our council is playing at in the city centre. There is a 20MPH ZONE in the very centre that is marked by small 20MPH sign with an even smaller PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY sign beneath it.

Fine in principle but confused messages are being sent... There are no repeater 20MPH signs within the zone (and some motorists may remember their Highway Code - that the speed limit defaults to 30 MPH where the road is marked with street lighting standards but no repeater signs defining a different limit).

I also wonder why, if PEDESTRIANS truly have PRIORITY do they still need to maintain and install existing and new PELICAN CROSSINGS (Pedestrian lights)? I should be able to step into the road and any car bearing down on me will stop; the driver maintaining a moderate maximum of 20 MPH and on high alert for pedestrians...)

I suspect this would not be advisable in front of FIRST's buses, taxis or the majority of drivers. There are still in Bath, only two kinds of pedestrians.

The Quick. And the Dead.

catdownunder said...

Philip, perhaps the law differs here? Both the law and the circumstances were clear in this case. It is illegal to cross where this idiot did. He was (a) crossing within three metres of the lights and (b) the pedestrian light was red. He should not have stepped off the footpath.