Wednesday 22 July 2009

Give me a sign

The road I live on does my head in at the moment!

Every day, week in, week out there seems to be a new section of road works, a new bit dug up, and a new set of badly-timed traffic lights!


So, Monday, I left early to account for the road works I knew were there, but guess what? A further 200 yards up the road, there were more. Which means, rush hour traffic has these two sets of traffic lights as well as the three regular set of traffic lights in that area – and to make matters worse, the timings on them have clearly been programmed by an imbecile.

*pauses and catches her breath

Now, as I've said before, I hate being late. So yesterday, I left early and took an alternative bus route to work. Except that was no better and after 15 minutes in stationary traffic I could feel my blood pressure start to rise. And so, this morning, I walked a little bit more, to try yet another bus route.

I'm on it right now, and although I don't want to speak to soon, so far so good.

In fact, the only things that have delayed my journey are idiots on their mobiles, Starbucks lattes in hand, crossing at lights when they're green.

Really, I don't think it should be illegal to run these people over. In fact, maybe buses should get those snowplough front things that American trains have so when they hit half-wit pedestrians no damage is done.

Wow, I'm feeling charitable today.

There is however one flaw in my plan, and that is how it affects deaf people.

Regular readers will know I'm always having near misses with traffic because I haven’t heard the siren or horn. So, if it wasn't illegal to run down pedestrians, then how would they know who was deaf, and who was just stupid.

Thinking about this reminded me of the shocking story of the Miss Deaf Texas who got hit by the snowplough mounted on the front of a train, while taking a short cut along the track and texting at the same time. She couldn't hear the train coming and the plough extended about a foot either side of the tracks apparently.


In Holland you can get a plate for your bike if you are deaf with the letters SH on it, which stands for Shlect Horen – bad hearing. I have one of these signs in the back window of my car as Big Bro sent it to me. But this means only Dutch people on holiday in England will know I’m deaf and they may also be slightly confused as to what this sign is doing in an English car.

But I do wonder if we should have something similar here – not just for bikes, but for cars, too. It would save me from the cringe-worthy moment where I don’t hear the ambulance/police car/fire engine coming up behind me until it’s visible in my rear view mirror and everybody thinks I am an evil person who doesn’t give way to life-saving vehicles.

It might even make me more eager to ride my bicycle in central London…

But then I think about the time I nearly wrote myself off on the side of a white van while changing lanes on Hyde Park Corner and failing to notice the car in front had stopped suddenly.

So, erm actually, on second thoughts, I think I’ll take the bus


SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi DG,
Actually that snowplow like thing is called a cow catcher. You can read more here.
Stay safe,

Me said...

ooh brilliant, thanks Sarah...
nice to learn something new.
London buses with Cow Catchers on the front... it could work!

Dee said...

Not to worry. MOST people who get scrunched by buses and hit by trains are *hearing.* After all, they could have earbuds in, yakking on the cell phone, texting, or otherwise just plain not watching where they are going.

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