Pedestrians to heel

For many it's like a game of Boo, planting themselves on the pedestrian crossing as unannounced as possible. They might do that by sprinting from out of sight around a corner straight onto the crossing, they might turn sharply onto the crossing while walking along the footpath, they might stand looking the other way before spinning around and striding onto the crossing.We scramble to a halt and brace ourselves for the thump of cars rear-ending each other back up the line. The pedestrian would be entirely innocent. Then there are those who rather than waiting for the gap in the traffic behind us demand that we stop just for them.It's time, I say, that we challenged the sacred status of the pedestrian. If they want to walk, let them, not the rest of us, carry the risk of that decision.And so in my column in The Herald today I propose six rules to bring pedestrians to heel. They are, briefly, that pedestrians cross the road only when that is unavoidable, that they be required to stop before stepping onto the crossing, that in cities they can cross only in groups of at least five, that a pedestrian licence be required for the use of a crossing, that pedestrians wear helmets on crossings and lights at night, and that driving alcohol limits apply to pedestrians on crossings.I estimate that stopping for a pedestrian costs me 15 cents, but at least with the above rules I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that the process is costing the pedestrian too. And a bonus may be that the cost will deter the pimpled, pierced and tattooed grubs whose numbers on pedestrian crossings have exploded in the past decade.Doesn't it get your goat, having to grind to a halt so some greasy-haired git can saunter across the road! The cost of meeting my rules will force him to get a job if he wants to cross the road. Are you with me or are you a pedestrian?

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