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Class war, The schizophrenic relationship between driver and pedestrian.

These are the government’s road safety guidelines for setting a good example to your children:

You can set a good example by:

  • explaining road safety and getting them to talk about it
  • using the Green Cross Code
  • encouraging your child to notice and discuss what they see around them on the road
  • always crossing roads at the safest place, preferably a pedestrian crossing
  • never using a mobile phone or listening to music while crossing the road
  • never taking risks as your child will copy you
  • wearing bright, fluorescent or reflective clothing when you’re out and about so drivers can see you
  • practising judging speed and distance with them
  • helping them to work out the safest routes for journeys they make

Whilst these are all sensible suggestions for how your behaviour as a pedestrian can have positive influence on your children, it’s revealing that there are no guidelines here for how you should behave as a driver.  It’s almost as if we don’t see the connection between the responsible parents, bringing up their children to be aware of the risk posed by motor vehicles, and the drivers of these vehicles.  They are the same people.  We humans exhibit strange, almost schizophrenic behaviour around the relationships of these two roles.  As drivers we resent the carless pedestrians who run in front of our cars, especially when they are dragging their children with them.
‘How irresponsible can you get?  I could have hit them!  Imagine the impact that would have had on my life!
As pedestrians we wait by the roadside as driver after driver, no wait, we don’t even see the driver!  As car after car passes by ignoring our need to get across the road.
‘Could one of these cars delay their journey by just 30 seconds so that we can get on with ours?  How thoughtless can you get?  Sitting in their comfortable and heated while we get soaked?’
It’s a class war where the majority of members of society move freely between classes on a daily basis, and yet still manage to resent the opposite class of the one they happen to be in at the time.

So the next time a car stops to let you cross the road, smile and wave at the driver.  The next time you are in a queue of traffic and see someone who could cross if you would just slow down, then slow down.  Because that’s you driving and that’s you waiting.

Road safety guidlnes taken from www.direct.gov.uk

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