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4:14pm on Wednesday, 12th May, 2010:

Close Call


I nearly got someone killed today.

I was driving to work, and was in the right-hand lane of a queue of traffic waiting for a roundabout. There was a large truck in front of me. The truck moved, and I followed. Between me and the truck was a lights-controlled pedestrian crossing. I could have gone right up behind the truck, but if I'd done so and the lights had changed, I would have been blocking the crossing. I therefore stopped short of the crossing, like you're supposed to do.

A girl on a bike was waiting to cross the crossing. She saw me stop. She thought I'd stopped because the lights were on red, not because I was trying not to block the crossing in the event that they did turn red. She started to ride across the crossing.

Space in the left-hand lane ahead of me cleared. The car to my left advanced to go into the space, slamming the brakes on just in time to avoid the girl who was about to ride into its path. She also jammed her brakes on, but if the car hadn't spotted her she'd have been a gonner. She looked at the lights to check they were on red, and was amazed to see they were on green. She sheepishly went back to where she started and waited for them to change for her.

This is why you're not supposed to ride bikes across pedestrian crossings.

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).