Sunday, 22 April 2012

Walking - A Deadly Serious Issue

I've just been reading about the backlash over Addison Lee, a London taxi firm, and the response from its boss, John Griffin, in the Huff Post. And I have to say he's got a real point. But he doesn't go far enough.

Because what about pedestrians? Even more pedestrians are killed on our roads than cyclists, and yet we never hear anyone complaining about them.

I'm sure that, like me, you've all seen them - crossing the road, walking along the pavement; sprawled across your bonnet. Walking around in their shoes, with headphones on, with their T-shirts and their umbrellas if it's a bit rainy. You can see them eating apples or smoking or - even - on the mobiles to their mates while they are walking - which in my opinion comes under the heading of walking without due care and attention.

In the old days you would have to pass a walking proficiency test to be allowed out on the roads. But these days, children as young as twelve months are often proclaimed as being "already walking". Already walking? Some of them can barely make it round the living room without hanging onto the furniture, and even then they're likely to trip over the cat.

And yet, without 3rd party insurance, without passing any kind of test, without road tax to pay for the wear and tear their shoes are putting on the pavement - there they are, within a few years, walking around as if they owned the road. Running across pelican crossings, even when the red man is showing; cutting the corner off zebra crossings; sometimes even daring to walk down the road when there are cars parked on the pavement, where any fool can see they should simply turn round and go back the way they came and stay off the road.

And do you have any idea the damage a pedestrian can do to a car? I only winged one last year - didn't even do him any serious damage, although to be fair he was a bit of a lardy lad - and yet the collision smashed the glass in my wing mirror. Catch a pedestrian at a decent speed and you can be looking at a new windscreen.

In other places such as Milton Keynes, there are fantastic footpaths. But round here, quite often there are no pavements at all. And do pedestrians take that as a hint that they should stay in the house? No - they resolutely go for "walks in the country". Frankly, whose fault is it if they end up being catapulted into a hedge?

I am quite clear on this, and it's time the Government took note. No motorist will be safe until every pedestrian in the country has been fitted with a speed limiter, given a crash helmet and hi-viz, wrapped in a mattress, given a flag to hold and told either to stay on the pavement, or stay at home. Thanks for listening.


  1. Of course you'll admit walking and talking AT THE SAME TIME is pretty clever, for your average pedestrian...

  2. Of course you'll admit that WALKING AND TALKING AT THE SAME TIME is pretty clever for your average pedestrian...

  3. Well posting the same post twice isn't


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