Today’s Monday Motoring is about the road user that all of us will become before we learn to drive a car, ride a bike or touch any vehicle bar a pushchair. A pedestrian.
But how many of us are aware that the Highway Code has a section for Pedestrians and that Rules 1 to 35 apply to them? In amongst those rules are four which you should abide by, by law.
However, the rules which aren’t law are just as important. One of which is being seen by other road users. At this time of year, with darkness falling earlier, this is more important than ever. Particularly when it comes to the end of the school day and the most vulnerable of road users – children. You may be able to see the car drivers clearly but can they see you? The photograph shows just how important reflective clothing is and can really help you. Even in poor daylight, its important to wear or carry something light in colour. If you are stuck for a Christmas present and can’t afford much, then a simple reflective band would be a great idea and could save someone’s life!
Something that is very relevant to pedestrians, but doesn’t seem to be as publicly highlighted as it used to, is the Green Cross Code. This advice is for all pedestrians and is probably one of the longest rules of the Highway Code:
The Green Cross Code. The advice given below on crossing the road is for all pedestrians. Children should be taught the Code and should not be allowed out alone until they can understand and use it properly. The age when they can do this is different for each child. Many children cannot judge how fast vehicles are going or how far away they are. Children learn by example, so parents and carers should always use the Code in full when out with their children. They are responsible for deciding at what age children can use it safely by themselves.
A. First find a safe place to cross B. Stop just before you get to the kerb C. Look all around for traffic and listen D. If traffic is coming, let it pass E. When it is safe, go straight across the road – do not run
For full details click here
It is easy as a pedestrian to become a complacent road user, especially when you don’t or can’t use a vehicle. Many of my students suddenly become aware of their actions as pedestrians and how they might affect others. Crossing a road junction without looking over your right shoulder, taking risks by running across the road or simply walking with the attitude ‘it’s ok, that car won’t run me over’ all give you a different perspective when you start to sit behind the wheel of a car. It’s very scary to have a pedestrian walk out in front of you!
I can remember a couple of months back driving round Reading in Berkshire with one of my students, when a guy waiting at a bus stop decided to wonder out into the road in front of us and stand in front of our car as we were approaching. Confused, my poor student stopped and stalled – understandably. It was a warm day so we were driving with our windows open. I asked him what he was doing. He shouted back ‘it’s ok, she needs practice, don’t she?!’ I firmly believe that that young man did not possess a driving licence because I’m sure, if he had, he certainly wouldn’t have acted that way. If he does have a driving licence, then people like that don’t deserve one!
So please, if you are a pedestrian (and lets face it, who isn’t?!), take a look at the Highway Code. Its free on line here or costs a measly £2.50 or less! Help other road users to help you.
Next week: Following on from Pedestrians, it’s all about the different types of Pedestrian Crossings – and I let you into the secret of why they are named after birds!
If you live in the Berkshire/Surrey/Hampshire area and looking for a a Driving Instructor then try me! My website is http://www.madeeasydriving.co.uk
Don’t forget Road Safety Week in association with Brake the road safety charity is 19th until 25th November 2012.