We are all, at some times, pedestrians. I drive a car, I ride a bicycle and I walk. Often all three in the same day.
When I'm in pedestrian mode however I'm mindful of those who aren't, particularly at zebra crossings. If there is only one car approaching, I'll wave it on. Why should this driver be inconvenienced by me when there is no other car in sight?
As a driver and a cyclist I've had to stop for pedestrians who don't even LOOK but simply walk onto the road, trusting blind faith in the ability of drivers to hit the skids. Or pedestrians who see you coming, with no vehicles in sight behind you and nothing approaching in the other direction, and smugly walk out, making you stop. And waste petrol starting off again in first gear. Frankly, I find that rude. Yes, pedestrian, it IS your right of way and those of us in or on vehicles have to stop, but show some consideration and common sense, please.
At Eastwood in Sydney's north there are signs at zebra crossings asking pedestrians to show consideration for motorists and wait to cross in groups. Sadly these signs are all too often ignored. Eastwood is a busy shopping precinct and motorists have to have eyes in the backs of their heads to safely negotiate it.
While I'm on a roll, my next beef is school zones. Because we motorists have to slow down to 40, teenagers at high schools seem to think we motorists are fair game when it comes to playing chicken. I've seen kids run across six lanes of traffic on Lane Cove Road because the cars are going slow enough to make it viable. This is within 300 metres of traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing by the way.
It's worse near my house. The local high school is on a two lane road and the kids mill across it like Brown's Cows at 3pm. There are pedestrian traffic lights and a zebra crossing within 300 metres of each other, with the lights almost at the school gates, but the kids cross anywhere they like. For motorists it's frustrating and frightening. If I hit one of these kids I'm in trouble and at fault despite the kids breaking the law by crossing the road within 100 metres of the traffic lights. Yes, I looked it up on the RTA website. I've written to the school principal but it hasn't made any difference to the students' behaviour.
Am I alone in my frustration at how people leave their brains behind when it comes to pedestrian activity? Let me know!
(coming up... A diatribe on how and why people lose all sense of spatial awareness in shopping centres...)