Death and all his friends

18 11 2013

So we live in a pretty nice crescent – totally residential, and with parks both inside and outside the crescent. There is a crossing to allow easy pedestrian access from the inner park to the outer one, crossing what should be a sedate residential street. The crossing is well marked with good visibility and signing, leaving nobody in any doubt to its presence… especially if you are local, as indeed 99% of car drivers taking the route would be. Unfortunately though, it is used as a bit of a “cut-through” as I have come to learn “short cuts” are known in these parts. This means that a large percentage of even local drivers speed around the crescent safe in the knowledge that the road network exists for their usage alone. I have observed that this is especially true as the driver matures and gains those oaky undertones. You know – the ones that help mask the incontinence and heavy smoking.

So today I took the dog for a walk and made use of said crossing. A man in his late 60′s screeched to a halt (at least that part of my story is positive) mere inches away from me as I made the crossing.

“What the hell are you doing crossing right now?” he yelled through his open window – apparently in all seriousness. Plainly my appearance on this crossing – clearly marked and signed, you’ll recall – was not anticipated.

I made the universally understood, puzzled “WTF?” expression, outstretched my arms to illustrate the clearly marked crossing I was on, and said “It’s a pedestrian crossing!” Suddenly unsure whether this possibly English term would be fully understood, I added “, you dork!” to illustrate I was not totally culturally insensitive.

“Well get a move on and get out of the way!” he yelled.

Suddenly struck with indecision as to whether to continue or turn back, I turned to face his people-carrier, stroked my chin, looked to the sky and said “I’m not so sure any more…”

At this point he made a wide turn to pass me on the other side of the road, at which point “Wanker!” seemed the only appropriate adieu on my part…

I was hit by a car on a light-controlled crossing (PELICAN they were called in those days) when I was about 15. Taken for an unplanned ride on a car bonnet for about 50m. Luckily I suffered no physical injuries. It has however made me particularly gnarly to deal with if you don’t respect the pedestrian crossings that I use in later life. I have yet to go as far as an old work colleague who actually stoved in a car bonnet when someone barely missed them at a crossing.

But it’s always an option…


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8 responses

19 11 2013
lanceleuven

“I was hit by a car on a light-controlled crossing (PELICAN they were called in those days) when I was about 15. Taken for an unplanned ride on a car bonnet for about 50m.”

Holy crap. I can see why you might be a little antsy about such crossings today!

It reminds me of a video I want saw of an impatient guy in a sports car honking at an elderly lady as she crossed a pedestrain crossing. In annoyance she hit the bonnet of his car with her bag. In a delightful moment of serendipity it caused the air bag to go off in his face. Sometimes life is evry sweet indeed. :-)

19 11 2013
Quieter Elephant

Yup – this guy definitely thought the road was for his personal use, and how DARE I choose that moment to cross and slow him down. Thanks for the tip – I’ll take my handbag next time… :D

19 11 2013
lanceleuven

You mean you didn’t have the handbag with you this time? ;-)

19 11 2013
Quieter Elephant

No… I lent it to Jack Worthing. :)

19 11 2013
sheriji

Careful about that though — especially at night. The driver might not see you, even if you do have the right of way. Just wrote about someone being killed in a crosswalk at night as I sat 2 lanes over.

http://ahmjustsayin.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/youre-there-and-then-youre-not/

19 11 2013
Quieter Elephant

I see many near misses close to my house. Teenage kids who walk across intersections without even a glance to the cars around – not even breaking their stride as they cross the road at unmarked residential intersections. Sure they’ve got right of way. Nice comfort for their parents when they’re dead though.
Having said that – there’s a certain defiance to crossing a road on a well marked, well lit crossing, in front of a driver who you know isn’t paying attention. Some kind of death wish lurking below my unremarkable exterior? At least I know they’re there…

20 11 2013
sheriji

Small comfort when you consider the damage you might do to their car vs. the damage their car might do to you.

20 11 2013
Quieter Elephant

As I say – some kind of death-wish.

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