Sometimes when I’m driving home I feel like one of the vehicles involved unwittingly in a game of Frogger. I wonder if the cars in the classic arcade game were theoretically able to see the pedestrian frog?
There is one particular stretch of road just outside my office – at the bottom of Flinders Street – that is particularly bad. Flinders Street is dotted with gazetted pedestrian crossings – and yet they are widely ignored. Pedestrians cross without paying any heed to oncoming traffic.
What really gets me isn’t the jaywalking. It’s the pre-emptive pedestrians – the ones who start stepping onto the road as you approach in your car.
Defensive driving means assuming that every other road user is an idiot. I operate under that principle. Whenever I see a pedestrian start their perambulations I hesitate – like a rabbit in the headlights – only I’m driving. I’m the one posing the threat.
The thought of pedestrians blindly wandering in front of my pristine purple excel fills me with dread. A pedestrian would no doubt do more damage to my car than a kangaroo…
So, next time you start crossing the road as a car approaches – even if you are completely aware the car is approaching – stop, and think of the children.