The zebra crossing isn’t a new thing on our streets – in fact, they have been around for over 60 years. A new study has shown that 80% of drivers and pedestrians don’t know how to use them, including who has a legal right of way and what drivers need to do when approaching a crossing.
Who stops when?
The study asked at what point does a vehicle need to stop at a zebra crossing to allow a pedestrian to cross? Of those spoken to, 81% answered incorrectly. The correct answer is that a car needs to come to a stop, to allow a person to cross, only when that pedestrian has already set foot on the zebra crossing.
It comes from Rule 195 of the Highway Code and shows that many people don’t realise how to use these familiar crossings. The survey spoke to 2,000 people across the country, and only 19% of them knew the correct answer. The majority – 46% in total – thought that a driver had to stop when a pedestrian was waiting to cross.
Learner drivers are required to come to a halt when they see someone about to use a pedestrian crossing. But this doesn’t apply to drivers who have passed their test – perhaps leading to the confusion.
Others had more extreme misconceptions of how to use the crossing, some of which have a strong potential to lead to accidents.
For example, 14% thought that a motorist had to wait when a pedestrian was walking towards a zebra crossing, not even waiting to cross. At the other end of the scale, 5% thought that pedestrians could only cross when the road is clear.
Another 4% said that cars only had to stop for a pedestrian when they were already halfway across the road on the crossing. Some 3% thought that pedestrians had no right of way at all and that drivers only had to stop out of courtesy. A further 8% of the people spoken to admitted they just didn’t know what the rules around the crossings were.
As well as the potential for accidents, the issues increase the chance of making a mistake that can cost drivers money. For example, 15% of motorists are risking receiving three points on their licence, and a fine of £100, for failing to stop when a pedestrian has already stepped onto the crossing.
It also helps to explain why there are some 20 collisions a day involving pedestrians on crossing around the UK – amounting to some 7,000 incidents a year. Other problems contributing to the issue include pedestrians being distracted by talking on their smartphones, listening to music or even checking social media as they walk.
Changing face of crossings
The rules around zebra crossings changed very little since they were first introduced back in the 1950s – when there were only around 2 million cars on the roads. Today, we have nearer to 32 million vehicles and many people think the crossings and their rules are due for an overhaul.
New technology was showcased last year to evolve the zebra crossing so that they catch the attention of pedestrians that are preoccupied with their smart devices. The crossing uses LED panels to change the road markings, to grab the attention of the pedestrian, and then switch to allow drivers to continue on their way.
Insurer Direct Line is also working on a series of ideas to make the crossings safer. Their survey showed that 37% of people had experienced a car failing to stop for them at a crossing in the last year. Another 19% said they had had a near miss on a crossing and 79% said more was needed in schools and colleges to teach children better road safety.
A combination of new technology and traditional education seems to be the favoured approach to cutting down on these 7,000 incidents a year and make people more aware of just how to use these black and white crossings.
Were you aware of the correct laws surrounding Zebra crossings? Have you had an accident like mentioned above? Let us know in the comments.
Unfortunately there are too many pedestrians out there that think they can just step onto a zebra crossing without looking expecting vehicles to stop when they have not read the road conditions or the speed of approaching traffic anyone with a little common sense would have the decency to stop look left and right before crossing a road, zebra crossing or not but unfortunately there is a cavalier attitude among many pedestrians who think that because rule 195 of the highway code states that a vehicle will stop and give way when a pedestrian sets a foot on to the zebra crossing they take it literally and that the rule is set in stone, i am sorry but if you are one of those people then you may soon be picking the pieces of black plastic bumper out of your teeth. People that use a zebra crossing with that Cavalier, careless, inconsiderate attitude towards the vehicles approaching the crossing BE WARNED it is for the safety of all concerned a little common sense goes a long way.
You are a very dangerous driver who should not be on the road.
Pedestrians can legally step onto a crossing without looking and expect vehicles to stop, the legal onus is entirely on the driver to be aware that a person may cross without warning and to be able to stop if they so much as stick a toe off the kerb. Any driver not doing so is guilty of a criminal offence and where this results in an accident is likely to find themselves in prison where you belong and the world will be better and safer place when you’re behind bars or wrapped around a lampost, having died as a result of your own bad driving
The law was made when few cars where using the roads and should be updated to make both the driver and pedestrian responsible for acting in a safe manner. Clearly, no driver can stop instantly, so pedestrians should be educated to take this into account. It just takes a bit of common sense from both parties, something sadly lacking in today’s world.
Seriously? You honestly believe that a pedestrian can step out without looking? READ RULES 18 AND 19.
At all crossings. When using any type of crossing you should always check that the traffic has stopped before you start to cross or push a pram onto a crossing.
Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles will need more time when the road is slippery. Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing. Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing.”
You should give your brain an enema before spouting such bullplop & passing it off as law.
Rob you need to learn the highway code. Rules for pedestrians (19) makes it very clear that pedestrians are required to stop at the crossing and look both ways. Health and safety works both ways.
Most drivers round here just ignore Zebra crossings anyway, particularly the police.
Cars are travelling too fast to just step onto the crossing with careless abandon. Similarly, if I am driving I will try to look out for pedestrians waiting to cross and slow down in time. It’s all about awareness from both sides.
The correct use of a Zebra Crossing was drummed into us at school in the 60’s. It appears this needs to reintroduced back into schools as even parents can’t be relied upon to teach today’s kids.
I was aware of the law, but I’m also aware that most pedestrians are not.
Anyone who can’t take their nose out of a smart device to cross the road, honestly deserves to sit on the bonnet of someones car, I wouldn’t want them to be injured, just to learn some common sense. Drivers can be distracted too by other traffic on busy roads.
If you’re distracted, by other traffic or anything else, you should slow down. Drive to the conditions not to the speed limit, etc
What happened to pedestrians looking right,left and right again. Now it’s walking straight out often with mobile in hand.
there is no obligation for a pedestrian to do that at a zebra crossing, that is only for crossing the road elsewhere, at a zebra crossing the onus is entirely on the driver to stop and to be prepared to stop if necessary
Rule 18 – “At all crossings. When using any type of crossing you should
> always check that the traffic has stopped before you start to cross or push a pram onto a crossing.”
As well as rule 19 “Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles will need more time when the road is slippery. Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing. Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing. Keep looking both ways, and listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen you and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has stopped.”
Seems the green cross coded still applies and there most certainly IS an obligation for the pedestrian to look after themselves.
Not much use being right when you are dead. Just be sensible and stay safe. Also, does a bicycle being ridden across count as a pedestrian if the rider does not put a foot on the crossing ?
I am in my 70s. I was taught as a child that I had to put one foot on the crossing to tell drivers that I was going to cross and they then had to stop for me. I still use this to decide who has the strict right of way. However, as a defensive driver I would stop if anyone clearly seemed to me about to cross and also as a courtesy to anyone who was waiting. Special care needs also to be exercised with young children.
As do I; also in my seventies.
Also wave thanks when walking across them , myself.
I totally agree. I am guessing that attitudes are different depending whether it is rural or city. I live in London where it is very busy. I was also taught at school about the foot on the crossing and I am in my late 50’s. Also these days, unfortunately, people seem to think that just crossing without looking is fine as they have the right. This has been getting worse and worse as the years have gone by. In my day the Green Cross code was taught at school and there were plenty of adverts on TV too. These lessons/adverts should come back as it is pretty obvious that people are not aware or too arrogant to process the rules. So it has to be enforced in school and by the medium that most people use these days, rectangular screens. I don’t accept that technology at the zebra crossing has a part to play here. I have a smartphone and I use headphones too and yet I still seem to be able to navigate that Black and White strip without any problems whatsoever. So if I can do it at my age then I don’t see how somebody 30-40 years younger then me can’t do it either. I have also been driving for 39 years and even though I know the rule I will still stop if somebody is on the kerb. Where the foot on the crossing can’t work is when a person is pushing a buggy etc. then the driver has to use common sense and stop regardless. So maybe the rule should be slightly changed to say if somebody is right on the kerb then legally the driver should stop.
Worth thinking that, with so many users not knowing the right way to use a zebra crossing, there is a high chance that pedestrians will also make mistakes!
Four out of five sub-editors don’t know the difference between the verb to license, and the noun a licence.
Far too often, I have seen people step out onto a crossing expecting the traffic to stop – as if by magic! Yes, we should educate our children in schools and Universities, but the general public need to be educated too… Would love to see a short ‘Public Information Film’ at Prime Time to demonstrate this and other important road-use issues… Such as how to drive and behave in adverse weather conditions… Both as a driver and a pedestrian…
also pedestrians should give vehicles the time to stop not just step out as if it is a continuation of the footpath
It is the primary responsibility of both pedestrians and motorists not to have an accident, whether it is written in the rules or not. A bit of patience and a little understanding is the key.
Come to Birmingham, our residents have funny laws concerning crossings. If you are a pedestrian, you walk straight up to the crossing, never stop or slow down, but walk at usual speed straight across and keep eyes forward and trust in the Lord, or eyes down staring at mobile phone, but on all accounts, never stop. For drivers, this is a new game of skittles, you keep driving at usual maniac speed, and when you observe someone approaching the crossing, speed up so as not to stop. If going slowly, pretend you have not seen them. Its a wonder our casualty rate is not in the hundreds every week, and parents with buggies are the worst, they just thrust the pram out into the road and hope the driver screeches to a stop.
It’s scary but I have seen this in both Birmingham and Coventry! It’s like they’re using the baby as a protection to safeguard themselves to cross… strange!!
I was always of the opinion that a pedestrian HAD to stop on the edge of a crossing first to give a driver chance to stop. If a pedestrian steps on to the crossing without stopping then the driver cannot be held responsible. It has to both two ways.
Well now you know your opinion is wrong. They don’t have to stop. Drivers do. The pedestrian has right of way.
WRONG read the highway code, rules 18 and 19 specifically deal with zebra crossings
At all crossings. When using any type of crossing you should
always check that the traffic has stopped before you start to cross or push a pram onto a crossing
always cross between the studs or over the zebra markings. Do not cross at the side of the crossing or on the zig-zag lines, as it can be dangerous.
You MUST NOT loiter on any type of crossing.
Laws ZPPPCRGD reg 19 & RTRA sect 25(5)
Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles will need more time when the road is slippery. Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing. Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing. Keep looking both ways, and listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen you and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has stopped.
– so now you know, YOUR opinion is wrong.
This country is getting worse….
Here is a case of the Highway Code being a perfect ass. Compare rule 195 for motorists with rule 19 for pedestrians. 195 – A vehicle driver does not have to stop even if someone is waiting to cross. 19 – A pedestrian should not step onto the crossing until traffic has stopped – quote ‘Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing’. So in theory the pedestrian could be waiting all day! If a driver stops out of courtesy to let pedestrians not originally on the crossing to cross, and gets shunted by a vehicle behind, does the second driver have a defence in that the first driver should not have stopped? Time for a rethink on these two rules!
You have no idea if a pedestrian intends to cross or not, so the common sense approach has always been the law in England, which is, you have to stop if the pedestrian is on the crossing, we don’t need that ruling to change, there are far too many crossing points in out towns already, we need to keep the traffic moving
Why have you not commented on how a driver should respond when approaching a split crossing where there is an island in the middle of the crossing . Most drivers and pedestrians have no idea of the law
There needs to be some further eduction for drivers about not parking on the zig-zags at crossings. More and more drivers seems to be stopping and parking on the markings.
If a motorist hits a pedestrian on a zebra crossing, even if the pedestrian ran on to it, the motorist is to blame. So do be careful…
Hence the need for a dash cam!
Even if you can replay the event on a dash cam – you still have to stop for a pedestrian the moment they are on the crossing EVEN IF they ran on to it without looking.
THE MOMENT THEY ARE ON THE CROSSING THEY HAVE RIGHT OF WAY. Therefore – Drivers must prepare to stop in case a person intends to cross.
A dash cam doesn’t give you right of way! And it won’t safeguard you if you hit a person on a crossing, even if they ran out suddenly.
I was aware of the stepping onto the crossing rule. While visiting London a while back, I stood in the road section of a zebra crossing with BOTH feet while some ten cars drove past me. Moreover, number 6 or 7 was a Police patrol car, which was not on an emergency!
I will put my foot on the crossing but most drivers don’t even bother to stop. Drivers are impatient today and think they have a right to do what they want. It’s the same at lights Amber doesn’t mean speed up and run the red light which a lot think it does
You cannot put your foot onto the crossing and expect drivers to stop. That is irresponsible. highway code for pedestrians is very clear – read rules 18 and 19. You are told to wait until traffic has stopped before stepping out.
So John, What is the purpose of a zebra crossing? If a driver is not obliged to stop for a waiting pedestrian then in theory, the law supposedly says a pedestrian could be waiting for 50 cars to pass before one decides to slow down for them.
How does this make a zebra crossing any different from any other stretch of road?
I did know about placing your foot on the crossing but often it has no effect and can be a very dangerous action to take
It’s been in the Highway Code since before I passed my test in 1961 and I’ve never had a problem, either as a driver, pedestrian or cyclist with the rules as laid down. If everyone got it right every time, it is a safe system but errors accidental or deliberate will occur from time to time. A little more patience all round goes a long way to road safety and no, I DON’T dawdle around because I can master another advanced skill. It’s called VECTORING (look it up) but not many seem to possess the ability to use it.
I knew the rule because I read the Highway Code, unfortunately most pedestrians do not know the rule. More education is needed
Rule 195 needs a revision following a rethink to clarify a pedestrian’s Rights and responsibilities. If you were to step on to our local zebra crossing on a 40mph road with no centre refuge, you would undoubtedly lose a leg. It seems more sensible to oblige motorists to recognise the need to stop when pedestrians are clearly on the marked threshold of the crossing facing the opposite pavement. The pedestrian’s responsibility is to refrain totally from stepping into the road until both traffic streams have halted. Our crossing which has a primary school on one side has suffered many “road proxies” in the past few years, including a crossing warden!
Read rule 19 in the Highway Code. It states “ Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross. Vehicles will need more time when the road is slippery. Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing. Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing. Keep looking both ways, and listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen you and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has stopped.“
I.E you give the impression pedestrians can just walk straight out onto the Zebra Crissing in your article which is a misleading message IMO.
As we can see, nearly every comment (assuming all “drivers” commented) that we all expect and anticipate those waiting near the crossing want to cross, so we stop and give way, nothing wrong in good manners all round 🙂
I would like to read the comments, and perhaps put my own point of view, but this is an awful
site as the advertising keeps blocking half of what I am trying to read
since when has the highway code been law? Silly me I thought we had to comply with LAWS not codes!!! The facts in the article OK, but it is the regulations that control what a car should or shouldnt do, not the highway code. Please be accurate!
What is in the highway code basically IS the law.
The Highway Code is not a law, however the rules concerning pedestrian crossings are in fact part of an act of parliament which makes them a law – section 25 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act to be precise.
It is cyclist using the crossing, usually without stopping first, that is really dangerous!
I understand the zig zag lines aproaching a crossing means that if a car is within the lines a pedestrian should not step onto the crossing the lines are the stopping distance at thirty miles an hour
I knew this and also know the distance from a road junction where a car can be parked. But I dont know who if anyone deals with cars parked dangerously. Police are only interested if there is a fine to be made.
Eyes down, this is a long one… moderators’ “delete” buttons at the ready!
This somewhat vacuous article, rather irritating and incomplete. And as it’s incomplete, it’s potentially dangerous in certain situations. This is not what we need from an organisation that is supposedly interested in cars, driving, drivers etc.
Don’t forget, the sole purpose of these little stories is to generate advertising income. Fair enough, we all need to earn a crust, but don’t dress it up to be more than this often inaccurate and patronising fluff… just like the sort of ‘news’ stories on home pages of browser like Yahoo!
This little story seems reasonable enough, but doesn’t address the “worst case scenario” situation or give a definitive answer in a realistic situation. You state:
“The correct answer being that a car needs to come to a stop, to allow a person to cross, only when that pedestrian has already set foot on the zebra crossing.”
Consider that statement: A CAR NEEDS TO STOP ONLY WHEN THE PEDESTRIAN HAS ALREADY SET FOOT ON THE ZEBRA CROSSING. To stop a car in normal conditions at 20 mph takes 12metres (40 feet/3-4 car lengths). At 30mph it’s a massive 23 metres – almost double the distance at only 50% increase in speed. (Highway Code information)
Critically, you do not explain what happens in real life when a pedestrian without warning (we’ve all seen it – person walking along the street, reaches zebra crossing and without stopping or even slowing down, executes an impressive 90º turn straight onto the crossing. They don’t check for traffic as they know that once their foot hits the crossing, the Empire that is The Zebra Crossing is theirs, all theirs!
Now, a decent ordinary driver who approached the crossing at a relatively sedate and conscientious 20mph finds that The Ruler of the Zebra Crossing has stepped onto the crossing when our driver was less that 3 car lengths away from the crossing. Frustratingly, s/he could not stop in time before reaching said crossing and The Ruler. (Huh, those bloody laws of Physics! How dare they!)
Of course, we hope that both protagonists have managed their own specific avoiding tactics and no one actually got hurt. The arrogant Ruler rips into our driver, shouting “Hey, a**hole (part of an American’s bottom anatomy), I was on the f**king crossing. You didn’t stop. You could have killed me!!”.
My point is this – and well done if you’ve read down to this point – not long now 😉 – for this article to cooly and (supposedly) authoritatively state that “a car needs to come to a stop, to allow a person to cross, only when that pedestrian has already set foot on the zebra crossing” is frankly b***ocks as it does not address the key issue of who is at fault if that pedestrian, without warning steps onto a crossing with a car perhaps only a few meters away and inside the car’s stopping distance. And to me, this is the critical part of the little story that you leave out. The most important bit. The bit where people are injured or die and lives are ruined – pedestrians and drivers.
If this was merely as important as ‘how to make the best scones’ – then no problem. Have a laugh. Buy the damn scones. But it’s not. You need to up your game if you want to be taken seriously.
I thought the same, but your response is quite wordy.
In short, the correct advice is that IF you, for any reason, collide with a pedestrian on a crossing, YOU are to blame. So common sense dictates that you need to look out for pedestrians about to cross, and slow down if you see any likely candidates.
1) Thank you.
2) Wordy? Hmmmm. 2a) As an Irishman, I am genetically predisposed to both talk a lot and to write a lot with a degree of passion and enthusiasm. Sorry. 2b) War and Peace is 1024 pages long; Anna Karenina is 848; Don Quixote is 800; Ulysses is 736.Takes all sorts.
3) Sorry to say that I find your admirably brief explanation not entirely adequate. It ignores my point regarding the example (apols for repeating this example, but it hasn’t been addressed, IMHO) where a driver approaches a zebra crossing, exercising all the careful observation and anticipation possible. A pedestrian is walking along the footpath and on reaching the crossing, without looking or stopping, turns right on the ball of one foot and onto the crossing. The way the ‘news’ item tells it, that pedestrian, from the moment his/her foot touches the crossing, s/he has right of way and effectively ‘owns’ the crossing. The driver, who was only 3 car lengths away from the crossing when the pedestrian, without prior warning or indication, stepped onto the crossing. At 30 or even just 20mph, the driver cannot stop within those 3 car lengths.
The explanation given in the news item is incomplete and inadequate, and, maybe it’s just me being a thick Oirishman (I can say that 😉 ) but I am afraid that I feel your clarification does exactly the same thing. No offence intended!
I am a sad old git who keeps a current Highway Code in the car, and even more sadly, another in the house. I know this riveting read pretty well. The Highway Code is unclear and inadequate on this point:
“195 Zebra Crossings. As you approach a zebra crossing:
– you MUST give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing.”
As the saying goes, the law is an ass. “You MUST give way…” Fine! In many – even most – cases, no problem. But increasingly, I see more and more people who take the view that the world revolves around them and they can do anything they want to… it’s their RIGHT!!! And they take the view that they can just walk down the street and, without stopping, just step onto a crossing and the whole world must stop for them, even the cars that are only a few car lengths away from the crossing.
Now perhaps, and hopefully this would be the case: if a driver could not stop in time and witnesses confirmed that the pedestrian had turned onto the crossing without stopping or looking to check for approaching traffic, then if a collision took place, the driver would not be at fault as he/she could not stop in that distance. But just hoping is not good enough.
I guess my frustration is a) with Lisa Edwards who wrote the article and with Petrol Prices.com and b) with the Highway Code and DoT for leaving a clearly dangerous issue unclear and unresolved. We have a right to expect laws and recommendations in relation to normal every day activities like driving and crossing roads to be crystal clear and well thought through – most especially where the potential for injury or worse is all too real.
Next week I shall try to get a comment to at least Ulysses’ length. Failed miserably here.
Happy, safe driving!
Although, to be fair to those folks down at the highway code writing establishment, They did cover the pedestrian’s responsibilities in all of this…
At all crossings. When using any type of crossing you should
. always check that the traffic has stopped before you start to cross or push a pram onto a crossing
Zebra crossings. Give traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross…Remember that traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing.
It’s a huge stretch of the imagination for any prosecution to say that having a foot on the crossing or even dangling your toe out there can constitute “moving onto the crossing”.
Maybe if we had jaywalking laws here as well as making the highway code more law than advice?
And maybe schools should have the highway code as compulsory lessons?
It certainly wouldn’t hurt for kids to be taught the rules for pedestrians, moving onto rules for cyclists and cycling proficiency.
I agree with you regarding the need for some sort of legislation re jay-walking. Some countries have it. We don’t, though there is something specific to Northern Ireland in this area.
Drivers and pedestrians are all ordinary (I won’t say ‘normal’!!) people. What I perceive that has happened in the last 50 or 60 years to attitudes and behaviours in society in general is this: overall, I believe that people are more selfish, cynical, egocentric and arrogant. The me-me-me generation.
The most powerful brand in personal consumer electronics starts the names of its products with the letter/word “i” as in iphone, ipod, iMac, iBook etc. The cult of “i” is centre stage. Consumerism, and the undeniable right that I have to have anything and everything ( – thing!) I want is so much more prevalent now. And I see that in the habits of both drivers and pedestrians – sure, not all, but increasingly so. The growth of road rage is an example.
Recently, whilst packing my car with the weekly supermarket shop, a bloke drives aggressively into the one remaining disabled space. He has no blue badge, and does not show any obvious sign of disability. Politely and calmly, I mention that its busy today and perhaps it would be good to keep those places for disabled users. He turns on me in full effing tirade mode… telling me he will effing park wherever he effing well wants to and that disabled lot can park somewhere else. And I should mind my own effing business and he will do whatever he wants! Mega-strop!
I just started laughing, which didn’t seem to please him at all and he came towards me. I think it was at that point he realised that he was around 5’6” and 8 or 9 stone and I am around 6’2” and about 18 stone. He rapidly turned away somewhat sheepishly and nothing more was said. But it really brought home to me just how much more selfish and egocentric more and more people are now than compared to decades ago. This can certainly be seen in drivers’ behaviour… generalisations and of course there are many good and considerate drivers (and pedestrians) but I encounter more bad, aggressive, selfish, poor quality driving now that at any time in the past 40-50 years.
So yes, let’s have some legislation to ‘encourage’ pedestrians to act with care and attention when crossing roads. And more education on the subject for all!
Isn’t Tourettes a disability? 😉
PDJT, I do hope you write some articles for Petrol Prices because I quite enjoyed reading that.
Ha! Thanks Paul. I don’t think they’d want me as I have been a tad critical of them in the past and this story in particular. (See my other reply to Tony, next post down.)
I promise to try harder next time – I will aim to get you to say that you “absolutely enjoyed reading that”, not just “quite” 😉
I quite fancy writing a piece on the issue of the emperor’s new clothes – or in motoring circles, the apparent contradiction between electric car owners who chant the “zero emissions” mantra, yet seem to conveniently ignore (or genuinely forget!) the reality that the electricity that goes into their cars through the charging process has to be generated first… and that in UK, whilst some progress has been made, approaching 80% of our electricity is still generated via fossil fuels and all the emissions and pollution they continue to emit.
Successive governments have sycophantically brown-nosed the big fossil fuel energy companies for decades. A consultation of the Conservatives donor lists especially makes interesting and enlightening reading… oil companies, generating companies and of course the usual finance companies and bankers, health care companies etc etc.
Our little islands have some of the best and most abundant energy sources on the planet. Wind, waves, tides, plus hydro-electric and increasingly efficient solar technology/schemes. Yet politicians have dragged their feet, fearful of annoying the big energy boys who provide a lot of their funding. The lack of investment, political will and basic bloody action in the development and exploitation of our overflowing renewable energy resources is not only appalling, but to me, verging on criminal in terms of the continuing damage to our atmosphere, environment and health.
The almost total ignoring of the potential for the use of hydrogen and hydrogen power cells is in that same basket of non-investment and support.
So that’s one big topic that needs exploding! Here’s another.
The complete and utter travesty that has been the use of diesel fuel to power road transport. Politicians’ and governments’ support for diesel and the encouragement of drivers to embrace diesel vehicles has been breathtaking in its scope and reach. With their poisoned mantra that diesel is wonderful, once again, government activity has been appalling, verging on criminal (see the pattern here??). Governments told us to look at the low CO2 emissions and those great consumption figures. And it is so good that they’ll set up the vehicle tax system based on those CO2 figures!
The EU and governments ignored the fact that whilst diesel engines emit significantly less CO2 than petrol engines (and this is all they were interested in as climate change and the 1997 Kyoto Proctocol were centre stage), the other pollutants were even more dangerous – nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) which include the toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO₂), greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N₂O) and nitric oxide (NO), which reacts with oxygen to form NO₂.
With a petrol engine, a three-way catalytic converter can clean these up so that it emits on average around 30% less NOₓ than a diesel car without after-treatment. Long-term exposure to nitric oxide can significantly increase the risk of respiratory problems, and so these emissions have been regulated for some time. The fine particulate matter (PM) that diesel engines produce also causes cancer and can have acute respiratory effects.
There is so little clarity and so little action based on proper scientific evidence in the whole field of vehicle pollution. Many of us believed governments and supported diesel vehicles. Now, we find that we were wrong, and that older diesels especially are responsible for significant numbers of premature and preventable deaths.
Linked to this appalling, unacceptable situation is of course the quietly forgotten VW diesel scandal. What is happened regarding this possibly criminal situation. There are many issues to be answered – disparity between VW’s liability and reparations in US, in Europe and here in UK. What about other companies involved? Questions exist regarding ‘fixes’, values of faulty cars, compensation, and ultimately, legal action against VW. There is a strong argument that legal action should seek maximum punishment as not only was it cheating and lying on a vast corporate stage across the world, people will have died because of the emissions cheat, with those cars involved emitting much higher levels of pollution than the company had stated.
Oh yes, quite a few nasty stories to be explored. Happy for PetrolPrices.com to deliver!
This article is only stating what the Highway Code requires.
“only a few meters away”. As we’re in the UK the correct spelling is “metres”.
‘pends on the size of the meter. My gas meter is double the size of my electric meter.
METRE or (US) meter: noun (abbreviation m) in the SI system: the principal unit of length, equal to 39.37in or 1.094yd.
ETYMOLOGY: 18c: from French mètre, from Greek metron a measure.
Is there anything in the Brexiteers’ manifesto about us returning to ‘proper’ Imperial units of length: cubits, rods, perches, poles. And a jolly good flogging for the village idiot every Sunday after church!
When I see saomeone at a Zebra crossing from enough distance to even turn the car around I usually slow down to let them cross.
I really hate it when the pedestrians then stand there looking at you or nature, noticing that the is not going to hit them or even get to them at my approach speed – if you can call it speed – , and yet they will wait for the really nice car driver to stop and only then will they make their crossing. Why is it not safe to cross when the car is actually slowing down and there is enough time to cross???
Very true. I was approaching a crossing well within the speed limit when a youngster RAN out of a driveway and straight onto the crossing about 3 yards in front of me. Result – one emergency stop and disaster averted by inches. I was probably travelling at about 15-20 mph and even a slight increase in speed or me being not quite so quick to react would have had an entirely different outcome.
Just one of the reasons I have a dashcam, to protect yourself from malicious claims from dozy pedestrians.
Without video evidence, how easy is it for them to claim you were doing 40 down that road (with a 30 sign posted)? How easy is it for them to claim that they were already halfway across? (when, in reality, they had half a toe on the crossing?)
already know the rules on zebra crossings..when someone has set a foot on the road you are obliged to stop, although some pedestrians walk diagonally across them thinking they have the ‘power’ to make motorists stop, if i see someone waiting at a crossing i will always stop to let them cross, only if i do not have another car ‘up my bumper!’..as that would be more dangerous causing them to brake suddenly and risking hitting me from behind. I feel both motorists and pedestrians alike need to be more vigilant and use common sense,then maybe we can all share the roads safely..although cyclists do tend to have their own rules, i tend to stop and they carry on going..dangerous is a soft word i will use and i do get quite frustrated that they seem to have their own ‘rules’.Lets all be polite whenever possible and maybe we can help to bring down the number of unneccesary accidents.
Pedestrians need educating as much, if not more than drivers. They don’t know how to use the crossings and assume that they have right of way and can just run across a crossing without looking.
Forgot to add..please parents with pushchairs do not put your buggy partially in the road when you need to cross..really dangerous and not a good idea to put your child at risk!
Stopping at a zebra crossing when you see someone waiting to cross is sensible, it is also common courtesy, no matter what the law says. Pedestrians need to learn that cars cannot stop instantly, as many pedestrians will put a foot on the crossing and start crossing immediately when a car is actually level with the pedestrian, then they give the car driver stick for not stopping instantly. One woman phoned the police when this happened and she swore she had started crossing well before the car got to the crossing. A few other pedestrians also stated the same. Fortunately for the driver, I was traveling in the opposite direction, so I showed the two policemen the footage captured on my dash cam which proved the woman pedestrian and her ‘witnesses’ were lying. The woman was arrested for obstructing the course of justice, not sure what happened to her after that.
I would not walk onto a crossing in the hope that every driver would stop. Not everybody is that polite. I would only step onto the crossing once the traffic had come to a standstill.
I always wait at the kerb edge and look directly at approaching vehicles to check they are going to stop. I have had several near misses when already part way across a crossing and a vehicle just drives immediately in front of me. I always thank drivers for stopping as do my grandchildren.
I am staggered at the number of drivers who move with the traffic flow, don’t think ahead, so that when the traffic comes to a standstill, they are ‘parked’ on a zebra/pedestrian crossing!! Hideous!
The law is not the same thing as common sense and courtesy. Pedestrians are supposed to be sure that the car can stop rather than just step on to a crossing and pray which is part of the problem. I do stop on occasion when I see someone stand by the crossing in expectation which is something drivers are supposed to do.
I am fully aware that drivers need to stop as soon as a pedestrian puts his/her foot on zebra crossing. I had a good driving instructor decades ago when learning how to drive.
However I stop and wait until they have crossed safely to the other side because sometime they change their minds especially children. I think this is a good practice I believe.
Why have this type of crossing, wouldn’t it be so much easier to have pelicans!
I have always understood that rule, for what it’s worth, and I will always stop when a person is so obviously waiting to cross. For sure, I would not chance putting one foot on a crossing just to see what may happen! For an able adult who has (or should have!) proper spatial awareness and all of their usual faculties, one could suppose that does (in theory) generally work. However, would you trust to mere pot-luck for your children walking to or from school, etc., to use zebra crossings subject to such a vague driver awareness notion? Equally what about the aged and infirm who may even be more confused that those ignorant drivers and assume they can just step out on a crossing, as or right? As one contributor remarks, the law is an ass. Indeed, it could only have been devised by a civil servant devoid of imagination. Whatever the rules (e.g., pedestrian controlled crossings) there will sadly always be some self centred morons who will disregard not just the law, but also basic common courtesies. Nothing can ever be 100% idiot proof. However no law should be as vague in interpretation as to leave it to a personal choice to apply, or not. A law change to eliminate the use of vague discretion is essential, because, sadly too, far too many people are seemingly incapable of applying even a modicum of common sense. As an aside, but not unconnected, I will close by adding too that when my wife was working in our local hospital ophthalmic department they frequently had patients attending who had driven to her clinic but had to be emphatically told they must not drive home because, literally, they were for all practical intents, BLIND!
I agree with the law however how long does the car have to stay stopped, until it’s clear to pass or until the pedestrian has cleared the crossing?
Basic driving knowledge. If not known then shouldn’t be driving.
Also the zig zags beyond the crossing prevent people parking so drivers approaching have a view of the kerb. So why is it not treated as a yellow box where stopping in a queue is banned. If a queue there, drivers can’t see and defeats object of zig zags.
So many misconceptions – pedestrians have the right of way as soon as they place one foot on the crossing, this does not mean they can just start walking or running across the road and motorists have to make impossible stops. Pedestrian crossings are usually placed where alert motorists have a good view of the crossing. If you observe a pedestrian stepping onto the ‘limits of the crossing’ (the black and white striped bit of road) then you must stop if safe to do so. Until a pedestrian places a foot in the ‘limits of the crossing’ they do not have the right of way and motorists are under no obligation to stop. When a motorist has stopped he must remain stopped until the pedestrian is no longer within the ‘limits of the crossing’ – i.e. you must wait until the pedestrian has reached the footpath before you drive away. Any doubts just read Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 section 25 – if you are caught breaking the law its 3 points plus a possible disqualification and a fine up to 1000 pounds.
When I was taking my driving test in the sixty’s I nearly failed for stopping at Zebra crossing as the man had not claimed his right to it, forward five years I was doing part time debt collecting and was over in the east end of London and a black lady was standing by the crossing but not on it so I did not stop twenty yards up the road a Police man stepped out with his hand up for me to stop, he then laid in to me to say I was being racist for not stopping, I waited until he was finished and then told him the law on crossings he hummed and huffed and then said on your way and do it again .