Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not Quite so Pedestrian

This is the first, and potentially last, in a series about the ways of Australia. This is so that visitors to this interesting country can be prepared...

In some places in Australia there are a different kind of pedestrian crossing. These are crossings where pedestrians give way to vehicles. That's right. You stand at the side of the pedestrian crossing and wait there until there are no cars, and then you can cross.

Now the first thing you might wonder is, "well how is that different to any other stretch of road? What makes it a pedestrian crossing?".

Well first of all the road is raised slightly. This is primarily to catch out newcomers, hence this post. The crossing are signposted of course, with the rules stating you should wait, but most people already know how a crossing works.

So they will stand at the side and expect the cars to slow and let them cross. The great thing about this system is that the cars do slow, but because there is a raised patch of road. This suggests to the unwary that the car intends to stop, and so they step out. And get run down.

It is even better when you are a driver new to a town where these crossings are. Because you will already know that pedestrians get right of way on a pedestrian crossing - hence the name. So you will approach, see people are getting ready to cross, and slow down to stop.

Of course, those people standing there will now believe that you are simply lying in wait. That your intention is to encourage them to cross so that you get pile into them. So you end up with a kind of Mexican stand off until someone gives in.

It is inspirational.

No comments: