Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Day Things Didn't Change for Ever

This morning, as I drove home from the swimming pool, I approached a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights. The lights were green in my favour so I continued towards the crossing. At the side, standing still and waiting to cross, were a father and two children - a girl who looked about nine and a younger boy.

When I was very nearly at the crossing, the father, without so much as a glance in my direction, walked straight out onto the crossing, very fast. I keep playing it through in my head and I still can't work out why he did it.

The children, without looking in any direction at all, simply hurried into the road after him.

I did the kind of slam-the-brakes-on emergency stop that you hope only ever to have to do in your driving test. I came to a halt just before the crossing.

The father, horrified when he realised that I was there, ran across the crossing and the children followed him.

The father, who did look very shocked, was now shouting at the children for running into the road, with elaborate gestures.

I wanted to lean out of the window and yell "Well you started it! They only ran into the road because you did!" But I didn't - - I was quite shaken up myself, and so was my mother who was in the car with me.

All day I've been thinking - - hey, if I'd have been two yards nearer to the crossing when the father stepped out then I might have hit all three of them.

Tonight I've had a lovely relaxing evening watching good things on television in excellent company. How different it could have been.


Anonymous Ruth said...

Thank goodness you were able to do an emergency stop in time. The sad thing is I doubt if the father will have spent hours hugging his children and thinking about the day that never was.

7:31 am  
Blogger Jennyta said...

What a shock for you, Daphne. At least the accident was avoided and that's the main thing. However, as Ruth says, the father has probably put it out of his mind. After all, he obviously didn't even take responsibility for his action at the time!

10:34 am  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I suppose that for every tragic accident there are perhaps fifty near misses like this one. Well done for being alert and ready to slam on the anchors. Isn't it funny that some people's first instinct when they make a mistake is to try to blame somebody else.

1:28 am  
Blogger Ailbhe said...

My first instinct is to blame the children. I do apologise when I realise what I've done, but it would be better if I could squash that panic-reaction flat...

11:46 pm  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

It's not always the pedestrians' fault. When I was nine I was knocked over on a zebra crossing. The cars both ways stopped but another car overtook on the inside of the traffic and knocked me and the boy I was with over. We had done everything correctly. Numerous times cars have gone through red lights when crossing on pelican crossings. My daughter and my neighbour had to leap out of the way of a coach that went through the green light.
And is there now a traffic law in Bradford that says cars do not have to signal when turning into side roads any more.

Don't get me started on drivers that are still using there mobile phones

12:14 pm  

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