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I Was a Poor Pedestrian…

But I turned into an OK Driving Instructor.

It may make me sound old but it seems the younger people of today have no road sense. They wonder out in front of cars staring at a mobile phone while texting a mate seemingly oblivious to the vehicle heading towards them. When the car stops they stare at it like it’s the drivers fault. I like to think I’ve always been a good pedestrian but this is not the case.

My first brush with death came when I was about 10 years old and was walking around in my snorkel parker. I couldn’t see left of right owing to the furry edged hood being zipped right up. I decided to just run out into the road and I was shocked by the sound of screeching tyres. The driver of the vehicle which nearly killed me got out and gave me a good shouting at. I’ve got to say it worked cos I was very careful from then on.

The police came round to do a presentation when I was in the cubs. The copper showed us exactly how long it took to stop a car which surprised me and I must say I didn’t quite believe it. We practised crossing the road in a reasonable way and at the end were all given a badge.

Fast forward to when I became a teenager and was forced to display manliness in front of my mates. We would challenge each other to see who could walk the closest to an oncoming car without actually being hit with the door mirror and being spun around. I don’t recommend doing this at all.

Watch out for crazy kids when you drive up to pedestrian crossings.

Back then the art of being a good pedestrian was promoted on the television all the time. Who can forget Darth Vader telling us all to use the Green Cross Code while dressed in green lycra? Classic entertainment. Before that there was the Tufty club featuring Tufty the road safety squirrel. Kids of today might find tufty a bit lame but back then he really got the message across.

I think we need a modern mainstream promotion about being a good pedestrian. Some of the people I see walking out in front of the car during driving lessons are easily old enough to know better. Youths walk out onto Zebra crossings with an arrogance that beggars belief. Not taking even one tiny glance to see what’s coming.

Attitudes that are ingrained at an early age tend to stick. By teaching children how to look after themselves and others as pedestrians it would help engender safe attitudes towards driving.

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