Friday, 2 October 2009

Crossing over

I have a road-based dilemma that I face almost every day. Near where I work, there's a junction with a slightly unusual light-change sequence that stops the traffic on one side of the road, while letting the traffic on the other move freely. The upshot of this is that the cars will be standing at a red light, next to a pedestrian crossing with a red man showing - very frustrating for the busy commuter or office worker who needs to be somewhere. Therefore, those of us who know the system can pick our time, based on the traffic on the side of the road that is still moving, and cross safely even without the help of a green man.

The problem, with this otherwise excellent strategy for road-crossing is that people with less knowledge of the road will often blindly follow our lead without looking for cars. In the last few days this has nearly led to accidents twice, as I crossed safely and without incident, but people who assumed that there was no need to check were nearly hit.

So, the dilemma: Do I have a responsibility to wait at the side of the road for the green man, if there is the possibility that other people blindly and blithely following me might be hurt, or should I trust that these people are adults, and should be able to use the roads themselves without needing my attention and supervision? If I walk into the road and someone else gets hit by a car because they followed me without looking, am I partly responsible?

What do y'all think?

For the moment I'm avoiding the issue by crossing at a much more dangerous place further up the road, where there's less chance people will follow me...

Blogathon score: 2


James said...

Nope, unless of course a small dickensian child has come up to you tugged on your sleeve and said "Hey mister, you look real important, I'm going to follow you wherever you go", in which case maybe.

If you're worried about it I would suggest looking around furtively and briskly trotting accross the road to both imply you think it's safe but also that it might not be much longer and people thinking of following you should be careful.

Andy J. Wotherspoon said...

You are in no way responsible, if someone crosses a road without looking they deserve to be hit, and if someone drives at someone without stopping they deserve to hit someone.

Your keen knowledge of the road layout should allow you safe passage across the road without having to worry about the idiots who's sheep like existence will no doubt afford them a shorter lived one. If they can't think for themselves they shouldn't have a brain inside their skull (which is a possibility... to grim?)