What happened to Stop, Look and Listen?

This past week I’ve fortunately avoided two adult pedestrians on separate occasions who appear to have forgot the Stop, Look and Listen method of crossing the road that they were taught as children (or at least I hope they were). Mainly they don’t stop or look and who knows if they are listening or not. For the most of it I’m safe enough and normally react comfortably, they narrowly avoid getting hit and the worst part is the shout (being whatever comes into my head first – normally “LOOK”, or “WATCH OUT”) that I give.

The funny one the other morning was me shouting “LOOK LEFT” when the lady was looking left but not right, which is where I was, but she got my point.

What worries me more than anything is that there are cars out there now doing 15MPH that don’t make any noise, those hybrid cars running on electric are practically silent just like my bike, so pedestrians relying solely on sound will get themselves killed sooner or later.

Only a week ago I managed to scare the life out of a teenager who walked out in front of me without looking, it was dark but a well lit area, after walking out he glanced (a bit late) to the right and my bright front light made him think he was about to be run down by a car. His surprised comment to his friends who were still on the pavement was “I thought I was ended then, god”. I replied “Indeed” and cycled on.

Gosh, the more I think on, the more times I remember teenagers (who are the majority of pedestrians I see in the evenings) stepping out without looking, then leaping out of their skins when they realise what could have happened. I do hope that every single incident is a lesson learned and none of them learn it the hard way.

Nobody stops anymore and I seem to come across people only looking one way assuming that the other is still clear because it was last time they looked (no matter how long ago it was).

There is a STOP sign I cycle passed twice a day, I’ve never seen a car stop let alone put its hand brake on. I’m yet to find out what the law on cyclists is, anyone know?

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5 responses to “What happened to Stop, Look and Listen?

  1. It’s the same rule for a cyclist as a motorist, but It’s not a law it’s a code, so you can ignore it if you want, if however you cause an accident it can be used to show liability on your part.

    When I used to ride regularly in London I was never worried by the vehicles it was always the unmechanised humans that scared me, but even that became a sport giving them a loud BOO in passing. Happy days.

  2. Pingback: STOP in the name of the law | Tim's cycling blog

  3. There was quite a long piece on Stop signs (in the US) on EcoVelo.

    Had the same experience with a chap at night, but I was going up a very steep hill on the Brompton, so going 5mph, did laugh when the guy yelled.

    Almost took out a teenager while going about 20mph though Aldershot in the rush hour a few years ago. I think he had headphones on, so who knows how he expected to make it across the road without looking.

  4. Totally agree! Plus, no one looks before the cross cycle paths (especially the one by Finsbury Park station). So many near collisions… and only a few apologies from pedestrians who threw themselves in front of my wheels!

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