Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just common sense

Can't I go one day without seeing something that makes me lose faith in the human race? As I mentioned yesterday we had some snow, as it was cold it stuck around. When I left last night my car had a light covering. I switched on the engine and ran the heater while I stuck my gloves on and went to remove some of the snow from the side mirrors. I found out it had stuck almost ice-like.

I could have got it off with my hands but instead I headed to the boot and took out the scraper; cleared those, the back screen, the front screen and ran it over the side windows too. Then put it away and drove off.

Can you guess the number of cars I saw on the road with rear windows covered in snow as well as their side mirrors? So no ability to see what's behind you or what's at your side which in Stourport with its duel-lane one-way system is a real problem.

I mean at the very least try to take some of the covering off don't just leave it.

Anyway just as the cherry on the cake in Mitton Street we had the flatbed parked outside the shop so all traffic had to switch to the left lane. What was behind the vehicle - someone trying to cross the road. Yep standing at some small distance behind it, in the middle of the lane, with a mobile phone clamped to their ear.

So cars pulling left to overtake the vehicle then pulling back in found someone standing in the road - clever.


Orphi said...

Well, I guess it's cold outside, and there is a tendancy to just want to drive the car so that it warms up and melts the ice and snow off. Trouble is, while this will eventually happen, the very start of most journeys is the most hazardous part to begin with. Typically it involves threading your way around small housing estates where other road users think the rules of the road are no longer applicable.

Now some people accuse me of walking around in my own little dream world, oblivious to what's around me, but at least I have the sense to look where I'm going while crossing a road! Of course, for some reason, some people seem to geniunely believe that they are more important than everybody else, and that they have the God-given right to do whatever is most convinient to them, and everybody else has to fit around that.

I'm not sure where that attitude comes from. It's possibly not helped by the fact that, according to the highway code, pedestrian safety is 100% the responsibility of drivers, not predestrians. If you're driving down some dark road and somebody waits for your car to arrive and then purposely jumps in front of you and dies, you go to jail, even though it's provably impossible for you to have avoided this idiot.

Hence, people wander into the middle of roads with little or no thought. It's the driver's responsibility to not hit me, so why should I bother looking where I'm going?

FlipC said...

I recall reading something recently that suggested that the slew of new gadgets that enable us to do what we want where we want is making us more impatient.

As for a dream world, so long as you're paying attention to the important things i.e. things that could hurt you where's the problem in missing things that other people deem important i.e. themselves :-)

The guy in the road got me wondering and a quick search pulls up a snippet from Rutgers University in the US "He and his co-authors recommend that governments consider more aggressive policies to reduce cell phone use by both drivers and pedestrians, to reduce the number of fatalities."

I'm still not sure if it's pure selfishness or their mind simply isn't 'there'; I mean hell we all operate on automatic pilot most of the time, but you should switch to manual when something changes.

Orphi said...

…and then there's the “let the problem solve itself” policy. >:-)

FlipC said...

Though the Darwinian method can take others with them, what was the joke - let's remove all the warning signs and let nature take care of things?

Dan H said...

Given that the outcome of being hit and killed by a car is death for the pedestrian, assigning the blame afterwards doesn't really change pedestrian behaviour. But it does significantly change motorist behaviour.

The fact remains that if you want to pilot a few tonnes of steel around public places at high speed, you have a duty to ensure that you're not going to hurt vulnerable pedestrians, even if they are acting as if there were no cars on the road at all.

FlipC said...

I agree you have to be careful, but responsibility is a two-way street. If you want to go out and negotiate roads in which a few tonnes of steel travel you should be careful too.

That means making sure you can be seen by the traffic if you are trying to cross and where possible using the purposefully placed crossing points.