Thursday, 4 March 2010

Traffic lights - new evidence that actually we're quite law abiding

I blogged on Tuesday about how most cyclists in London now ignore red lights, unless they're going into the path of oncoming traffic (in other words, the principle of waiting at reds has gone, it's all just about expediency). But today I went to the exact same set of lights at roughly the same time of morning - and lo and behold - I counted 6 cyclists (including me) all waiting patiently for the light to go green. And we all waited the full time. There was one cyclist who didn't bother to stop at all, but still - the majority did stop. So bang goes my theory. Which I'm glad has gone bang. No video evidence today as I hadn't charged my little camera.

One other incident I can't help recounting. I had stopped at a pretty busy intersection (it's the one on Old Street where the pub called the Hat and Feathers is). I was vaguely conscious of a kid on a scooter in front of me, and another one, slightly older on one of those "surf scooters". Then I saw a guy in a big truck leaning out of his window shouting at the boys' dad, berating him, I think, for letting his kids go across one of the most dangerous junctions in London. To be honest, I didn't see the full incident, but I think the kids had been allowed to go diagonally across the square, with traffic waiting impatiently on at least 4 big roads. I think the other thing was that the Dad didn't really seem to be paying much attention to his kids behind him as he sauntered across. And that's why the truck driver was so shocked.

I found it noteworthy because I don't think I've ever seen a truck driver berate someone else for not being safe enough - but I sort of admired him for taking a stand. And also, being a Dad myself, it did make me worry about how safety conscious parents are. And as a cyclist (see note above) I'm also horribly conscious of the fact that cyclists do sail through red lights, green men, anything - so frankly, your kid is not safe crossing the road anywhere in London without heavy parental supervision.

No comments: