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Why did the tourist cross the road...

(24 Posts)
Goldenbug Sat 11-Aug-18 11:41:25 waiting 2 hours for the green man to appear when there were no cars about?

So, I was in Edinburgh for a few days of the festival. There were many, many times when the the above situation occurred. I can't be certain they were all tourists, and I'm not trying to poke fun at other cultures, but I would like to know about crossing etiquette in other countries.

Were they tourists who thought they should follow the rules exactly? Were they unsure of how to 'read' the traffic so didn't want to take a risk? Or are we the only country with the attitude of "If you reckon you can reach the other side, go for it!"?

tipuptruck Sat 11-Aug-18 11:45:34

In many countries it is illegal to cross when the man isn't green. Not the case here, but some visitors wouldn't know that.

wafflyversatile Sat 11-Aug-18 11:47:02

Maybe jaywalking is a thing where they're from.

I'm more likely to wait if I'm unfamiliar with a crossing.

Most other countries drive on the right.

emwithme Sat 11-Aug-18 11:47:51

I will gladly swap you tourists who wait for the green man on an empty road for ones that just step off the pavement in front of you while eating fish and chips or an ice cream and then get all affronted that you dare to be driving down the road!

Weallfeelbetterinthedark Sat 11-Aug-18 11:53:27

In Germany you get fined 50 Euros (iirc) when you are caught ignoring the red man. Even when there are no cars in sight. At 2 AM.

ScreamingValenta Sat 11-Aug-18 11:57:35

Yes, jaywalking is illegal in many countries. Even if they know it isn't illegal in the UK, they'll be conditioned to wait for the green man.

Weallfeelbetterinthedark Sat 11-Aug-18 11:57:50

Oops, it's 5 Euros. Still...
And you get told off by angry German policemen in front of the other pedestrians.

Johnnycomelately1 Sat 11-Aug-18 11:58:14

In HK it's illegal to cross the road within 50 metres of a crosswalk if the red man is showing. It always takes me a few days of being back in the Uk to readjust to just run between the cars grin

Fredathetortoise Sat 11-Aug-18 12:03:10

i thought this was going to be an Abbey Road Crossing thread ...

PalePinkSwan Sat 11-Aug-18 12:06:15

Yes jaywalking is a crime in many countries.

CigarsofthePharoahs Sat 11-Aug-18 12:18:26

Would you like the nut jobs near where I live? There are so many of them that don't wait for the green man on a crossing that's just off a major roundabout. It's not very visible just before the turning and the cars pile down at 40mph.
Not me, I know too many people just wander across and you don't see them till you're practically on top of them. Loonies.

Apileofballyhoo Sat 11-Aug-18 12:21:04

I got stopped in Dublin, many years ago, by tourists who asked me if they were supposed to cross on green or red. They genuinely couldn't figure it out. I believe we do have anti jaywalking laws now.

LadyMonicaBaddingham Sat 11-Aug-18 12:22:43

Two HOURS?! Were the crossing lights broken or are you exaggerating a little?

Ifailed Sat 11-Aug-18 12:27:03

I noticed this in Berlin, even in the middle of the night (3am), on an empty street. It worked to my advantage as I felt sure someone was following me so I crossed the road, not even at an official crossing, so no doubt broke two laws.

Applesandoranges1 Sat 11-Aug-18 12:40:44

I had the opposite problem when driving in Edinburgh the other day. Green light for the traffic and steams of people crossing when clearly the traffic was about to go.. one family with 2 small kids and a pram wandered across while the bus was moving. Crazy.

flissypix Sat 11-Aug-18 12:56:16

I just got back from the Fringe and I was one of those annoying people. I was unfamiliar with the roads, some lights you can turn right on red/filtered lights. I also had a few cocktails(each day) so it made sense to wait for the green man along with everyone else. I actually saw very few people crossing without waiting unlike most other places. I did find myself doing it at 2am on a very quiet street outside of the city but I guess I had gotten into the habit and I wasn’t rushing just wandering back to our apartment chatting with my friend.

ratspeaker Sat 11-Aug-18 12:58:17

When in Japan I noticed everyone waited on the green man.

But I don't recognise the Edinburgh you are describing!
I've had to drive near the centre of town in the last week. Tourists seem to think having a camera makes them immune to traffic , many seem to forget we drive on the left and many just seem to wander into the road willy nilly.
And NO I don't want a flyer for your one man Othello done in reverse in Latin *, thank you very much. NO dont push it through the car window!

* other variations on this theme available

And dont get me started on the numpties rubbing poor Greyfriars Bobby's nose.

TanteRose Sat 11-Aug-18 12:59:32

It's not illegal in Japan but I've been told off by a passing police car who announced over its loudspeaker NOT to cross before the green man appears.

And when I'm back in the U.K. I always wait, because I'm unfamiliar with traffic over there

TanteRose Sat 11-Aug-18 13:00:19

Ha cross post ratspeaker

starzig Sat 11-Aug-18 13:13:37

The town I am from, you just walk across the road regardless of cars. Got such a row from my German friend when I done it in Germany. Illegal apparently lol.

Iwantacampervan Sat 11-Aug-18 13:36:06

emwithme where my parents live there are coach loads of tourists like yours. They don't seem to understand that cars, buses and lorries will be driving along the only road through the small town and will not use the various designated crossing points.

Goldenbug Sat 11-Aug-18 13:51:26

I started waiting for ages myself because everybody else was. There must be some kind of critical mass of people waiting that leads to everybody joining them.

It might partly be a town/country thing too. If you're used to deserted little country lanes you get accustomed to walking in the road rather than paths.

Raven88 Sat 11-Aug-18 13:58:08

How long did the tourist actually wait? I get really nervous when crossing roads so I always wait for the lights especially when I'm in Edinburgh because I've seen a lot of people nearly get hit.

Goldenbug Sat 11-Aug-18 14:03:07

I may have exaggerated a teeny tiny little bit, but it was still as much as 2 or 3 minutes waiting at a crossing on a totally empty road.

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