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Re: RHD, no thanks.

Subject: Re: RHD, no thanks.
From: "David Breneman" <>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 12:21:14 -0700 (PDT)
Telewest SEZ -
> Brits too.  My daughter worked and drove in America for two summers and said
> that over there if any pedestrian even looked as if they might step into the
> road as a driver you stopped.  In the UK if you step into the path of a
> vehicle it is your fault.

This seems to be an urban phenomenon.  I grew up and learned to
drive in the country, and the protocol was that pedestrians
stood on the side of the road, waited for traffic to clear,
then crossed when it was safe.  Two things I had to learn when
I travelled to The Big City (Tacoma) was that:

1) Pedestrians walking down a sidewalk don't stop for you
   when they see you coming out of a driveway, in fact they'll
   yell at you if you don't stop for them.

2) Pedestrians at an intersection don't wait for you to pass
   before they walk out into the street.

We were also taught that if you're on a road without sidewalks
(99.999% of them where I grew up) you always walk *facing*
traffic, and if on a bike you always ride *with* traffic.
>From my observations, absolutely nobody is taught that today.
In fact, I encounter many bikes and even some pedestrians that,
if on the right side of the road, will cross over to the other
side of the road as I approach them.  And in cities, bicycles
travel on the sidewalk or on the street at the random whim of
the cyclist.

Right-of-way seems to be more and more accepted to be based
on the "civic virtue" of the conveyance rather than rules of
the road.  Here in Washington, they've actually passed a law
that all other vehicles must always yield the right of way to
public transit busses (although, apparently, not to school busses).
And of course, bicyclists are notorious for their total lack of
attention to the rules of the road; that's fine, of course,
because just like busses, they are more virtuous than cars.
Carpools get more privileges than single-occupant vehicles.
And, as mentioned above, traffic is expected to part like the
Red Sea for any pedestrian, even if they walk against the light.
No intersection robot cameras for them!  :-)

David Breneman                   | "Before there were CDs there were
Distributed Systems S/W Analyst  |  records, and before there were
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