I am always hopeful that things will get better.
Thus is especially true in the realm of pedestrian safety, or to be more accurate, pedestrians taking some responsibility for their own safety.
The number of times per day that I witness pedestrians demonstrate an absolutely blase attitude while crossing a road engrossed on whatever content their phone is pumping through their headphones. Any thought for road safety? Not a jot, leave that to the drivers. After all, it is they that will be prosecuted if an incident occurs.
This may or may not be the case in all instances but what I am certain of is this:
Being hit by a car ALWAYS hurts the pedestrian more than the car driver.
To be fair to the contractors they have done a good job and finished in good time. As a regular road user it does seem that major schemes take for ever.
The traffic lights have been turned on for a few days and the complete system is now available to use. I have heard many opinions, many of which confirm that people do not seem to accept change readily.
I am in the minority that is very pleased with the new traffic scheme having approached it from every conceivable direction. With some minor advice in relation to the more logical scheme of the layout my pupils have shown no problems adapting.
There is more to transport in the community than motor vehicles and I have been very pleased to see the facilities incorporated for pedestrians and cyclists as well.
As usual I would urge caution whilst drivers become accustomed to the changes. There are too many on the roads who seem to think that a sudden burst of acceleration is all that is required when they notice that they are in the wrong lane. While this causes much consternation to other road users it is not the fault of the contractors.
All in all a big thumbs up from me.
Temperatures in the Nuneaton area were below freezing point last night and remain in low single figures as I write this.
Having been out on lessons this morning I have seen pedestrians who have chosen to walk along the road instead of the footpath. Please understand that this is something that you undertake entirely at your own risk and not a choice that I can endorse or encourage. Walking slower on the footpath has to be safer. However, should you find yourself in a position where you have no alternative to walking along the carriageway; or should you continue to choose to, then please follow the advice in the Highway Code and walk on the side of the road that allows you to face the oncoming traffic.
I am not trying to preach here. I saw a lady on Vernons Lane this morning scared by a near miss from a driver who was in control of their car but drove very close anyway, literally as if the pedestrian had not been there.
This behaviour should not happen but we have to face the fact that we know that it does and act appropriately.
I just popped a piece on the Twitter account which moved me to think a little, it’s amazing how that can happen, even on a Sunday.
The practical driving test for car drivers was changed at the back end of last year to bring it more inline with the needs of today’s drivers and I cannot argue with that.
We are looking forward to taking a peek at the first ever Nuneaton Food Festival in Nuneaton town centre today and this is what sparked my thought. The extra parking elements to the driving test were brought in because of the ever increasing number of insurance claims originating from use of car parks.
Lots of our fellow festival goers today will drive into town, as will I. The insurance industry has been banging on for decades about accidents in the last mile of travel due to complacency and I cannot help but suspect that drivers on car parks have been feeling a little too comfortable that their journey is over because they have entered the car park.
Your journey is not over until you have parked the car safely!
There is no licence or supervision required to be a pedestrian.
We have all been and to some extent still are pedestrians. Hopefully the readers of this blog are sensible enough when walking around but I am fairly certain that all of you will have seen others walking blindly around paying no heed at all to their own health and safety.
Why then when driving do pupils always need reminding to not rely on pedestrians to be sensible?
The answer of course is that they are human beings and while learning and implementing new techniques they will have a pretty narrow focus. Health and safety is the watchword of safe driving for life so I will always be encouraging my pupils not to just observe their side of the road ahead, indeed not just the entire carriageway, but the importance of observing the entire street scene.
From experience I can assure you that every month I see several instances whereby my pupils plan has to be modified because of the seemingly random actions of a pedestrian.
This is why we maintain a dynamic risk assessment at all times.
Stay safe people, be pedestrian aware.