One of the things that I have a really hard time getting used to about living in the UK is that pedestrians really, really do not have the right of way. You would think that I would be used to this after living in India, but in the residential area of where I lived in India the road was too bad and the traffic so crap that there really wasn’t a lot of speeding.
Here, there’s speeding and no pedestrian right of way laws. If you get hit by a car, well, maybe you shouldn’t have been standing where the car could hit you. This is particularly irritating on campus. This is a college campus. The sidewalks (er, I think the British call it pavement?) aren’t always consistent and you often have to walk in the road. Yet the speed so many of these drivers are going you’d think it was the main road to Brighton.
The attitude is summed up pretty succinctly in one of the student handbooks:
“University students have been involved in road accidents in the past so please act on the following advice:
- do not drink and drive
- if on foot, beware of speeding cars
- if on a bicycle or motorcycle, wear a protective helmet at all times and, if cycling, use cycle lanes where available.”
That is all it says on road safety. Pedestrians, be aware. Drivers, continue to speed around corners like you’re in a perverse British version of Grand Theft Auto.