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To think i wasn't in the wrong here? (traffic lights/crossing issue)

(100 Posts)
ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Thu 21-May-15 23:42:49

Outside my kids school (not directly, its about 500 metres down the road, but its the only one with lights/green man) there is a pedestrian crossing, lights and everything, just past it, literally about 4 car lengths away is a junction, so quite often, during school run time, the traffic will be jammed.

Now i know its illegal to park/stop on a crossing, so if i cant cross the crossing completely, i will stop before it, because people can still press the button and turn the lights red to use the crossing.

Today i was in that situation, but the light was still green, i just couldnt continue on due to the traffic, cars were still coming from the other way as normal because of a green light.

Now, a mom and her kids approached the crossing, just as the traffic cleared, and as i went to move off (still green light) they decided, without pressing the button or waiting for the red light, or even seeing if i was going to let them over, to step onto the crossing and i beeped at them to warn them i was actually moving, and the mom yelled at me.

I dont feel i did anything wrong. It was my green light there was no green man or beep to tell them to cross, the crossing was only clear because its illegal to stop ON the crossing, and there was still traffic approaching from the other way.

I wouldn't nod someone to cross in that situation as i cant predict, at only 4 cars lengths, that someone isn't going to suddenly turn into the junction at full speed with a green light and potentially run someone over.

AIBU to think she was taking a risk and shouldn't have been teaching her kids its ok to step out infront of a car on a crossing when its not a red light and there is no 'green man' to tell them to cross?

BitOfFun Thu 21-May-15 23:47:16

It was silly of the other woman to cross in that situation, but if she had stepped out before you moved off, then she had the right of way as a pedestrian, I think.

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Thu 21-May-15 23:51:32

Oh, I agree, but I was already moving, if she had stepped out before I had begun to pull off and over the crossing i would have let her go and not beeped, for all I'd have had my heart in my mouth over the traffic on the other side!

BitOfFun Thu 21-May-15 23:54:47

She does sound daft, especially with a child with her that she's presumably teaching road safety to.

Was there a pedestrian island in the middle of the crossing, or was she crossing in a single run, IYSWIM?

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Fri 22-May-15 00:00:35

Single run.

I did have a nose at the highway code, it does say that pedestrians should always wait for the red light because of traffic still being free flowing, but there is nothing in the cars rule section about the situation that only talks about when people are still on the crossing when the light changes from red to green.

fredfredgeorgejnr Fri 22-May-15 00:09:25

As soon as any pedestrian is in the road, you have to give way to them, and that includes stopping if you're moving. They were foolish, but you were very in the wrong to not expect it - it's a common hazard for people to cross at traffic lights, and not to beep your horn rather than simply stopping, the fact you were moving was not relevant.


BitOfFun Fri 22-May-15 00:18:45

I suspect Fred is correct. The pedestrian was still setting a dreadful example though: surely you take extra care to wait for the Green Man when you've got your kids with you?

Charis1 Fri 22-May-15 00:40:38

It absolutly drives me mad when cars slow down or stop without actually intending to give way to a pedestrian, as you seem to have done. It is incredibly thoughtless. It not only holds pedestrians up for a long period of time, but makes it very unclear whether it is safe to cross or not.

I've been in situations where it is TOTALLY impossible to get across the road, even in light traffic, because every single car slows right down in such a place, and takes forever to pass.

If you are going to slow down, then for goodness sake stop completely, or stay stopped, as in this post, and GIVE WAY to the pedestrian, rather than just messing them around.

Kytti Fri 22-May-15 00:55:54

Perhaps you should have not parked so close to the crossing, it may have been unclear.

Better still, walk to school like she does and help reduce all the cars on the roads around schools.

BitOfFun Fri 22-May-15 01:00:10

The OP wasn't parked, tbf, Kytti.

And lots of parents drive to school on their way to work. As it is, I'm not sure the OP was even going to the school, just passing it.

knittingdad Fri 22-May-15 01:07:46

I think you were fine to beep them, as you were moving and if they stepped out in front of you one assumes they weren't aware you were moving and the beep informs them of this [incidentally I know most people react to a beep as though it is being used to tell them off, but its purpose is to gain attention, so your use in this context is entirely correct, even if perhaps taken the wrong way].

On my cycle to work I cross a road that has heavy traffic and it drives me nuts when drivers end up blocking the crossing, even though they can see they won't be able to cross it completely, so thanks for keeping the crossing clear in heavy traffic.

TheSkiingGardener Fri 22-May-15 06:14:06

I think you did exactly the right thing. She should not have crossed as there was a clear danger in doing so.

ProudAS Fri 22-May-15 06:28:49

Pedestrians legally have right of way but making motorists do emergency stops is a bad idea.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 22-May-15 06:43:23

They were wrong and I saw a pedestrian run over and killed in nearly the exact same circumstances. One lane of traffic was stationary so he crossed between the stationary cars (was at a crossing but red man). Other lane was clear and a car killed him.

19lottie82 Fri 22-May-15 07:10:37

I think you were right. What kind of moron leads her children across a pedestrian crossing when the red man is showing?

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Fri 22-May-15 08:04:24

Charis, I had to stop as its ILLEGAL to stop on or obstruct a pedestrian crossing and I couldn't clear it because of the traffic being at a standstill the other side of it.
As for driving to school, Ds is disabled so I don't have much choice in the matter, I also don't park outside the school. My brother lives opposite and I use his driveway!

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Fri 22-May-15 08:20:15

had another look through the highway code this morning. Rule 192. /in queuing traffic, you should keep the crossing clear.
21. At traffic lights. There may be special signals for pedestrians. You should only start to cross the road when the green figure shows.

24. When the road is congested, traffic on your side of the road may be forced to stop even though their lights are green. Traffic may still be moving on the other side of the road, so press the button and wait for the signal to cross.
14: Never cross the road in front of, or behind, any vehicle with its engine running,

Gabilan Fri 22-May-15 08:43:25

" It was my green light there was no green man or beep to tell them to cross, the crossing was only clear because its illegal to stop ON the crossing, and there was still traffic approaching from the other way. "

Well given the way people drive, she was being a bit unwise teaching a child to cross in those circumstances BUT why not just let her across? Technically pedestrians have right of way over cars on any public highway. This is not something I'd advice testing but nonetheless, there is no jaywalking offence in the UK. You might want to read this on the US situation.

Personally I just think it's nicer and kinder to let someone across. I think on some level you're wondering that too, it's why you're digging around for rules to back you up.

silverglitterpisser Fri 22-May-15 08:57:26

Ywnbu, she should never have crossed her child in those circs.

MagelanicClouds Fri 22-May-15 09:02:09

Why didn't she just press the button? If I was the pedestrian at the crossing I'd have pressed the button and waited. One lane of traffic might be temporarily stopped, but who knows what the other will do if its a green light?
Don't just assume the cars have seen you.
Press the damn button! That's what it's there for!

I think you've answered your own question there ASourcerer.

AlisonBlunderland Fri 22-May-15 09:02:51

Trouble is, if the Op had let them cross when the light was against them, the pedestrians would have got stuck in middle of road (no central refuge) whilst the traffic on opposite side of the road continued to move as it was not being held up.
The mother was teaching her children very unsafe habits

TranquilityofSolitude Fri 22-May-15 09:03:05

Surely if traffic is flowing on the other side it could be dangerous to stop and let people cross as it implies it is safe to do so. I suspect she just yelled because she was shocked, though.

DoraGora Fri 22-May-15 09:06:08

Our school has exactly the same scenario. I'm sure many do. The school has made countless appeals to the district council to properly provision the road with traffic calming measures and adequate crossings, in addition to the distant one. The council has been dragging its feet for years and has done nothing. It doesn't even provide a lollypop man. It does bugger all, in fact. Wise parents park up to 1/4 of a mile away and walk on the side which approaches the pelican crossing. Unwise ones park much closer, but have to run the gauntlet of traffic. There is the very occasional arsehole who drives straight at families standing in the road. I'm still trying to figure out what kind of missile system I should furnish myself with for the next instance of this that I see. I would quite happily to physical battle with such utter pukeweasles. I think council members should be brought to the spot and have their heads banged on the tarmac until they come up with a proper solution. I'm volunteering to do this to our council leader.

Collaborate Fri 22-May-15 09:18:43

OP - YANBU. If you can't use your horn for that, we should remove them from all cars.

DoraGora Fri 22-May-15 09:19:01

PS responsibilities of the County Council in respect of the above rant, where appropriate. I realise that our district council is too busy emptying litter bins to be troubled by most of this.

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