Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rights of way

Delightful little argument with the window cleaner. Discussing crossings and he mentioned that the Co-op entrance needed one. "Who's got right of way there?" he asked.
"The cars" I replied. "the pavement ends. Pedestrians have right of way on pavements"
We then diverted onto cyclists on pavements and crossing the road, then back to
"So there should be a crossing at the entrance of the co-op" he stated
"I agree, but as there isn't the cars have right of way"
"But what if you're talking and not looking and a car hits you"
"That's your fault"
"Fine" he says and storms off.

I mean seriously the pavement ends just as it does at the roadside what sort of response would anyone expect from something along the lines of 'Well I was just crossing the road and wasn't paying attention as I stepped out and got hit by a car; I blame the driver'


Orphi said...

It does seem that society considers everything to be the driver's responsibility. If you're driving without due care and attension, you get a fine or even a ban. If you're walking around without looking where you're going, you get nothing.

If some little kid steps out into the road and you don't stop, you go to prison for killing a kid. So technically pedestrians have right of way everywhere!

FlipC said...

Well it's the amount of damage you as a pedestrian can do. If I start routing around in a shopping bag while walking down the street, I might knock over something or bump into someone; but I'm unlikely to do any harm. Try that in a vehicle, on a bike or skates and it's a different matter.

But no pedestrians don't they just think they do because it's unlikely they'll ever be contradicted.

It's like watching people walk out into the road and stand in the middle of one lane while waiting for the other to clear. If you're driving down that lane they're standing in you're not obliged to wait passively. The pedestrian is in the wrong and should retreat to their original place on the pavement.

Of course you're not going to run them over (no matter how tempting it can be at times) and they're not going to move so they just stand there holding up traffic until they can complete their action.

As I've said before I don't stop on pedestrian crossings and I've lost count of the number of people waiting who take that as a signal that they can cross. Legally I'm doing the right thing, but socially I'm not. If they got run over by someone in the other lane am I at fault for stopping? No, but I'm sure it could be argued I am.