Just so that you all know – in having my latest rant I am not seeking confirmation/affirmation: I KNOW I am RIGHT.
The intersection of La Perouse St and Carnegie Cres is not a fun place to negotiate at Peak Minute. It has at least one traffic accident per term, with plenty of sacrificial offerings left for the Traffic Gods within the junction.
Recent additions include pedestrian islands to enable school kids to scuttle across to Red Hill Primary in sort-of safety.
These pedestrian islands are NOT pedestrian crossings. There are two pedestrian crossings on La Perouse St, closer to the school. As such, I am attempting to train my kids to differentiate between a situation where foot traffic has right of way (whilst coaching them on how to assess whether or not a car is actually going to stop for them) and a situation where traffic has right of way.
The number of drivers who stop at the traffic island and indicate that pedestrians should continue across the road is worrying to me; firstly, it may seem courteous to wave the kids across but in actual fact is teaching them that road regulations are flexible (kids just DO NOT have the brain matter available to apply judgement to when they should/should not obey road rules). Secondly – introducing random adherence to traffic rules interrupts the flow of traffic at a busy, confusing intersection and not only increases the chances of an accident, but also increases frustration levels in those waiting, correctly, to proceed.
So – please: DON’T wave kids across in front of you when they are waiting on a pedestrian island. You are confusing them. They will attempt to judge for themselves whether or not they should cross in front of traffic, and primary school-age kids don’t have the hard-wiring to do this until they are nine or so years old – and even then they make mistakes.
AND: you are IN THE WRONG, and are breaking traffic regulations. The last thing I need is for some well-meaning soul to cause a traffic accident right at the intersection where I am standing – in the middle of the road – with two young children (and also frequently three large dogs). Just proceed as you are legally obliged to do, and maintain a predictable pattern for my children to safely learn. Proceed as the traffic rules and regulations insist you should, so that the other road users – the ones in the armoured, fast-moving instruments of death – can confidently plan their own law abiding progress through an already dangerous intersection without running the risk of accident.