Road Safety note for parents and carers

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Road Safety note for parents and carers

Postby Pitterpat » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:12 pm

I rather doubt that the middle-aged man who has just followed me down the road to my house to berate me will read this, but for anyone else who thinks they have right of way when stepping into the path of a moving vehicle, this may educate you:

The small main road at the end of my residential road is littered with nurseries and primary schools some of which, despite being a Saturday morning, are still attended by children and parents.  A man with a child in an upright buggy was marching down the pavement to my left, heading in the same direction as I.  My vehicle was, as always, travelling at 10mph down the full length of the 20mph road, slowing down further prior to turning into the street where I live.  I began the manoeuvre to turn and he, continuing his trajectory along the pavement, stepped straight out in front of my moving vehicle having neither slowed down his pace nor looked left and right to see if it was safe.  I had to brake to avoid hitting the child in the pushchair, yet he continued to walk across the road without a backward glance.  A polite but firm admonishment was called out of my car window.

He then decided to stride down the street to speak to me.

We had a conversation on the pavement a few moments later when we walked towards each other and he seemed to believe that he had the right of way, despite not looking up or pausing at the kerb prior to crossing, pushing the buggy out in front of him straight into my path.

I won't go into the petty-minded comebacks that he doled out.  Ultimately they were churlish,  irrelevant and the ubiquitous style of retorts employed by people who are in the wrong but have neither the manners nor the grace to apologise

So, just in case there is any doubt remaining:

For the record: Rule 170 of the Highway Code advises that if a pedestrian has already started to cross the side road into which you’re turning from a main road, you must give way to them.

However, if a pedestrian simply strides straight off a pavement at the corner of a junction, in front of a vehicle after the vehicle has made the swoop to turn into the road, this is dangerous and extremely stupid.  To do it whilst in charge of a child in a pushchair, blindly pushing the child directly in front of the moving vehicle is irresponsible in the extreme.

I am 60 years old and have driven since the age of 17.  I have a spotless driving history.  I drive neither fast nor recklessly.  As children, we were always taught by our parents to stop at the kerb, look left, look right and look left again.  If nothing is coming, then quickly cross the road continuing to look both left and right as you do so.

Stepping out without looking up, glancing away from your mobile phone while shuffling along looking down at the pavement or just away with the fairies on your headphones is just plain stupidity.

Nowadays the roads around my home are awash with small children flying along on scooters or bikes, teenage schoolchildren walking with their backs to me and stepping blindly off the pavement to avoid crowds of their peers coming in the opposite direction, or simply wandering across the road with  their headphones blaring while completely unaware of the approaching cars.

How long will it be before one of these little people end up under the wheels of a car just like mine?  Not long I fancy.  Perhaps then these entitled and aggressive parents with buggies will sit up and pay attention to road safety. 

I suspect will be long gone before that happens.

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Re: Road Safety note for parents and carers

Postby DietCokefan » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:21 pm

I had a similar situation, probably 10 years ago, but I was the pushchair-pusher.  It still makes me cross to think about it.  In your situation, as you describe it, my opinion is you were both wrong.  You saw the pedestrian who was clearly intending to cross the road and you did not slow down and wait, and equally the pedestrian (who was probably aware of your vehicle,) went ahead to cross the road without due care and attention.  Both of you should have stopped and looked, and neither of you had full right of way.
In my case the female driver shouted out of her car that she had seen me and had to slow down.  The irony of this only struck me later when I thought "yes, you saw me, and yes you had to slow down".  My situation was slightly different in that I was definitely well ahead of the vehicle and had commenced crossing prior to the vehicle reaching the left-turning.  The driver clearly felt it was her right of way to turn left into a smaller road without having to worry about pedestrians.
As you have exhibited in your post, vehicle-users do generally seem to feel they have the right of way, and practically-speaking usually get it as they are more likely to cause damage to a pedestrian than the other way around. 
Perhaps also note the first bullet of item 170 in the Highway Code which reads:
"Take extra care at junctions. You should
  • [font]watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, powered wheelchairs/mobility scooters and pedestrians as they are not always easy to see. Be aware that they may not have seen or heard you if you are approaching from behind"...[/font]
Meaning it's everyone's responsibility to be aware of potential hazards, regardless of who has the right of way.
Happy driving!
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