East Dulwich (Mobile) Forum

To the exceptionally stupid woman......

Like a few threads that have gone before, I shall vent my spleen here.

To the woman that decided to run, yes run, out into/onto the zebra crossing, whilst pushing a buggy, at the bottom of Barry Road/Forest Hill Road and into Peckham Park,at about 11.15 this morning. I would like to let you know how lucky, yes that's LUCKY, you were, nay your child was, that it was myself you encountered. I was the driver of the black Jag that you looked at in such a disdainful manner when I pulled up quickly and sharply. You are very lucky that I abide by the speed limit of 20mph and that training in my past has taught me to take in the wider aspect of a street scene when driving. I anticipated you doing what you did. Another driver may not have been able to do so, and certainly the buggy would have been hit if the old limit of 30mph was in force. As for a vehicle speeding,at say 40 mph,then the consequences don't bear thinking about. You really should have got out of this habit by the time you were about six or seven years old.

Be considerate towards drivers, in general, but YOUR CHILD,in particular, in the future.(Hope it was your child and not another parent's!!). Nothing can possibly be so important as to take such a risk to save a few seconds.
Black Jag eh! Someone is doing alright!
I am always wary of pedestrians who are approaching zebra crossings. Drivers should always slow down on approaching them even if there is no one around. As a pedestrian I often am about to step out but can see that the car won't stop.

Running onto a zebra crossing when a car is approaching and not clearly able to stop is very risky. But likewise the car should always be able to stop?
A car doesn't officially have to stop at a zebra crossing, unless someone is already walking across it. However, it is common courtesy in my book for a driver to stop if they see someone waiting. The warning I would offer pedestrians, being one myself as well as a driver, is that you should never assume a driver has enough time to break if you suddenly approach and mount the crossing at speed. You're putting yourself at considerable risk, especially around here where stupid crazy drivers assume they can approach crossings at 40mph with music blaring and be able to stop in time.

Louisa.
You are obliged under the highway code to approach a zebra crossing with caution and be ready to stop or slow down and let pedestrians cross.

If there had been an accident on the crossing in the circumstances described in the OP, the driver of the car would have been at fault.
In theory the pedestrian should approach, stop, and then thank the driver when they stop.....then cross.

On Lordship Lane there is no excuse to go over 20 MPH.

As a cyclist, driver and pedestrian it seems that adonirum was going too fast. Scummish really.
Thanking the driver is very polite but might encourage some drivers to think they have the right not stop. They don't, they must give way to pedestrians.
Louisa Wrote:

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> A car doesn't officially have to stop at a zebra
> crossing, unless someone is already walking across
> it.

How does that work in practice, no car has to stop until you're on it, so you step out and hope the car stops?
Mick Mac Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> Louisa Wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > A car doesn't officially have to stop at a
> zebra
> > crossing, unless someone is already walking
> across
> > it.
>
> How does that work in practice, no car has to stop
> until you're on it, so you step out and hope the
> car stops?

Your right - I never thank drivers smiling smiley especially if I think they weren't showing any signs of slowing down until I actually stepped out.
Well it's common sense really, as a pedestrian you wait and if the car stops you walk out onto the crossing. I personally always thank drivers, purely because it's courteous, something distinctly lacking in this city of arrogance.

If you are already using the crossing the driver must obviously stop. The whole point of the zebra crossing is to promote friendly cohesion between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Louisa.
Louisa Wrote:

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> Well it's common sense really, as a pedestrian you
> wait and if the car stops you walk out onto the
> crossing.

I'd say that's not really how it's supposed to work. Pedestrians have right of way, therefore the car should always be ready to stop, you don't have to wait for it to stop, apart from the fact that due to some inconsiderate motorists it's some times wise to do so.
Yeah of course if there was an accident on a zebra crossing, I'd expect the law would fall on the side of the pedestrian every time. But that's not really the point. There are bad drivers out there, so be careful, and look after yourself and your kids.
I think that it's bad form for pedestrians who walk alongside a zebra crossing and then suddenly start crossing without even a pause or indication that they are intending to use the crossing. I see this quite a lot.
It is just unsafe and inviting trouble.
Having right of way doesn't remove basic courtesy (and the safety that is commensurate with it), pedestrians showing no intention of crossing means drivers may slow down to be cautious but obviously won't stop.
Even at 20mph or less, accidents can happen in this way - including the driver correctly stopping but car behind not realising the pedestrian was intending to cross and ging into back of lead car (seen this).
KidKruger Wrote:

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> Even at 20mph or less, accidents can happen in
> this way - including the driver correctly stopping
> but car behind not realising the pedestrian was
> intending to cross and ging into back of lead car
> (seen this).

If they can't stop then they're driving badly - only a fool breaks the two second rule etc.
No argument about that but once the pedestrian has a broken femur, pointing fingers of blame doesn't really help.
Is my point.
This can be avoided in many cases by pedestrians not suddenly jumping onto the crossing 'just because they can'.
I'm sure most drivers are always ready to stop but some make assumptions based on what they think is (not) going to happen.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was june 14, 02:17pm by KidKruger.

But why force a driver to slam on the brakes with almost no notice? Yes the driver should be able to stop in time, but why would you risk your own safety like that?

Makes absolutely no sense at all, and I'm amazed some people apparently believe there's a case to be argued.

[By the way, the two second rule concerns driving behind another vehicle, and is not applicable to pedestrian crossings]
Jeremy Wrote:

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> But why force a driver to slam on the brakes with
> almost no notice? Yes the driver should be able to
> stop in time, but why would you risk your own
> safety like that?
>
> Makes absolutely no sense at all, and I'm amazed
> some people apparently believe there's a case to
> be argued.
>
>

I think we're at cross purposes Jeremy (and I agree that it's foolish to step out assuming a driver will stop): KK was talking about a second car running into the back of the car which has stopped for the pedestrian - that was what I was referring to when I mentioned the two second rule, that the second car shouldn't be following so close that this scenario would arise.
Jeremy Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------
> But why force a driver to slam on the brakes with
> almost no notice? Yes the driver should be able to
> stop in time, but why would you risk your own
> safety like that?
>
> Makes absolutely no sense at all, and I'm amazed
> some people apparently believe there's a case to
> be argued.
>
>

Well said. Let's leave it at that. It's a nice day.
Oh right I see what you were getting at.

Yeah I think it's fair to say that if a driver can't execute an emergency stop in time to avoid shunting another vehicle on a 20mph road (or even a 30mph road) then he's driving badly. But there are plenty of bad drivers out there...
Yes, there are many exceptionally stupid women around, like the ones who decant shopping and kids in the middle of the road instead of on the pavement, I nearly got one the other day!!! It would have been MY FAULT wouldn't it?
Stupidity abounds, mainly because people really don't think it can happen to them. A man had his baby in front-sling, standing over the yellow line on the Central line earlier today, saying "choo-choo, here it comes". I looked at him old-fashionedly, but he was caught up dandling his child just feet from an electrified line as a train was about to arrive. Other parents insist on getting off the bus, straining their necks and then rushing over the (busy) road when the crossing is just 20" walk away.
I've had something not dissimilar happen. Pedestrian at full tilt walking tight to the kerb, who then at full march, head down (without looking) does a 45 degree quick turn onto the crossing.

I'm a driver and a pedestrian, but to 'set-up' a driver with such an obviously dangerous manoeuvre is deliberately trying to challenge the mutual respect of the rules of the road, along with risking life and limb. I wonder if some people get off on the 'pedestrian right of way' power trip thing.

Ergo bikes, cars, running, buggies...etc.
I love the completely unnecessary 'black jag' detail. Someone is very proud 😂
Like others have said, you should be ready to stop at a zebra crossing and looking out for pedestrians about to cross.
Would an exceptionally stupid woman know what a black jag looked like or even a black cortina?
Would anyone care?
Interesting contributions over the last few days.

Seabag, this was actually a 90 degree quick turn, quite ridiculous behaviour per se, but with a buggy beyond all comprehension.

rahrahrah & AM, see what you both mean, not really intended as unnecessary detail just fact, but I will concede it could have just read "the black vehicle"

As has been pointed out by other contributors, what if a speeding moron had been there. What if it was a lorry or the 63 bus?

Gloves, how does it seem I was going to fast? I pulled up within the distance between my vehicle and a hazard, that is to say, the crossing. (I only go fast on the M11, about 110mph, and never go above the speed limit in/ on a restricted carriageway) Scummish....how very Urban Dictionary!!!!!!!!

Jeremy, just to clarify, I didn't have to slam the brakes on (although I'm not entirely sure that was directed at me)as I had anticipated the situation and, as stated, pulled up sharply. No major screeching of tyres or anything like that.
adonirum Wrote:

Another driver may not have been
> able to do so, and certainly the buggy would have
> been hit if the old limit of 30mph was in force.

Not sure about that.
Drivers should approach crossings with caution, regardless of the speed limit. A 30mph limit doesn't mean that everyonw will be always driving at 30mph, especially at crossings.
I say this as a motorcyclist who commutes in London daily, and is therefore used to seeing plenty of suicidal behaviour by all kinds of road users, including pedestrians. My philosophy is that there will always be some idiot who wants to use my motorcycle to darwinianly improve the species by committing suicide, and that, however unfortunate, it is my job to prevent it.

A 30mph is in force in most of Westminster. Can you say with absolute certainty that the higher speed limit results in more accidents in Westminster compared to, say, Southwark or Lamebth? I can't - because AFAIK there is not much data available. The DfT had commissioned a 3-year study to look into the matter, because initial results from 20mph trials were inconclusive; I therefore find it extremely suspicious that so many councils rushed to implement 20mph limits without waiting the results of the nationwide study.

I can, in fact, think of two reasons why 20mph may be less safe:
1) They give pedestrians an incentive to cross where they shouldn't. In my daily commute by motorcycle, I certainly see more people crossing (in an almost suicidal fashion) where they shouldn't in 20mph zones. Park Lane going north is 40mph and in the very heart of central London, yet do we want to bet that fewer pedestrians cross at red lights there?
2) Drivers or riders may spend more time checking their speedometer (especially if analog) than actually looking at the road.

Note that 20mph limits are also in force in zones like Dog Kennel Hill (think downhill from Dog Kennel Hill school to the train station), where there are barriers preventing people and, notably, children, from crossing where they shouldn't.
The only barriers on DKH are a few yards either side of the traffic lights, the rest (90%) of the road is unbarriered, and people do cross - in fact recently Mrs.H bumped into a kid there who ran across the front of our car, coming from behind out of her blindspot - think he'd seen the bus lane light was red and so thought we were stopping. Very luckily he was unharmed, partly due to a superb bit of reaction braking from Mrs.H, who's an excellent driver, but also due to the fact that she was adhering to the 20 limit. The silly lad went down under our bumper (heartstopping moment) but the wheels didn't touch him. If she'd been doing 30 she would have gone straight over and doubtless killed him.

Why would someone have to check their speedometer more often to see if they're staying under 20 in a 20 zone than they'd have to to see if they were staying under 30 in a 30 zone?
rendelharris Wrote:

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> The only barriers on DKH are a few yards either
> side of the traffic lights, the rest (90%) of the
> road is unbarriered, and people do cross

So you agree with me that speed limits which are too low incentivise people to cross where they shouldn't?
Mmm, I wonder why no one crosses at random in the 40mph strecth of Park Lane? Maybe because even idiots realise it would mean instant death? Want to bet that, if we made that stretch 20mph, MORE people would cross dangerously and there will be more collisions?

> recently Mrs.H bumped into a kid there who ran
> across the front of our car, coming from behind
> out of her blindspot - think he'd seen the bus
> lane light was red

You mean opposite the Domino pizzeria? Ie a bus on her left was blocking your wife's view of the sidewalk to her left? This is something I come across multiple times a day in my commute; eg when overtaking a bus that just pulled over, I always go very very slowly, **regardless of the speed limits**, because I expect idiot pedestrians to cross where they shouldn't.

> and so thought we were
> stopping. Very luckily he was unharmed, partly
> due to a superb bit of reaction braking from
> Mrs.H, who's an excellent driver, but also due to
> the fact that she was adhering to the 20 limit.
> The silly lad went down under our bumper
> (heartstopping moment) but the wheels didn't touch
> him. If she'd been doing 30 she would have gone
> straight over and doubtless killed him.

I don't debate that being hit at 20mph is better than being hit at 30 - that's self evident.
Guess what, being hit at 10mph is even better than being hit at 20mph, yet this doesn't mean speed limits should be 10mph. It's always a balance among many aspects.

My point is that the 20mph campaign failed to substantiate the benefits of lower speed limits, and rushing them through without waiting for the multi-year, nationwide study by the DfT makes me very, very suspicious.



> Why would someone have to check their speedometer
> more often to see if they're staying under 20 in a
> 20 zone than they'd have to to see if they were
> staying under 30 in a 30 zone?

I have a motorcycle with an analog speedometer. If the limit is 30, a quick glance is typically all I need to determine, with reasonable accuracy, if I am within the speed limit, plus or minus a minimum tolerance. I may not know with absolute certainty if I am at 27 or at 33, but I can be confident enough I am within the limits.

If the limit is 20, a quick glance at my analog speedometer is NOT enough to determine the same.
Note that speeding penalties were made harsher in April this year. AFAIK it is customary to allow for a tolerance of 10% + 2 mph, but it's a custom, not a law. 20mph +10% + 2 mph = 24 mph. A quick glance at my speedometer is not enough to determine, with absolute certainty, if I am at less than 24mph. The dial may well be close enough to 20 one second and one move all too close to 24 the next. Also, for all I know some speed cameras or policemen with speedguns may well fine me for going at 22mph - after all, the law doesn't mention any minimum tolerance. So, to recap, for all these reasons a quick glance is not enough for me to determine if I am within these lower limits - I typically need to spend more time looking at the speedometer, which is not safe!

Of course I could ride even slower, so as to be absolutely sure that, yes, I am within the limits. However, even ignoring the additional time this would take me, other motorists would get mad, would try to overtake even when dangerous, not to mention I would probably pollute more, I'd have to slip the clutch all the time, the engine would be less efficient, etc.
Well, it's for that precise reason that I fitted a wireless digital cycle speedometer to my last motorcycle - set it up right and they're very very accurate, only cost you a tenner or so.

With reference to Park Lane, come on, you're clearly a clever chap, you know that's nonsense - the reason pedestrians don't try to cross Park Lane other than at the lights is because it's impossible to do so, it's a four lane highway that is nearly always rammed with traffic. The argument that speed limits should be kept high to discourage pedestrians from not crossing anywhere but at lights or zebras is clearly nonsensical and also demonstrates the "we own the road" attitude of motorists: it's perfectly legal for pedestrians to cross the road wherever they choose. Of course some of them do so stupidly - just as some motorists drive stupidly - so what do you want? All main roads fully barriered with crossing only permitted at lights so you can do 40MPH?

With reference to the incident I mentioned, no there wasn't a bus there at all, we were heading towards Lordship Lane, the kid ran from the corner of Quorn Road, diagonally across the empty bus lane, appearing at my left shoulder (in the passenger seat) and running across in front of us on the diagonal. As I said, he was obviously looking at the red light in the bus lane and thinking it meant we would stop.

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