The last time that I consulted the Highway Code, zebra crossings were meant for the convenience and use of pedestrians, and were to be found at certain locations in busy towns. When a pedestrian stood on the kerb at a zebra, it indicates that they want to cross, and motorists extend the courtesy of stopping to allow us to get from A, over here, to B, over there. It is a rule of the road that is rooted in courtesy.
Imagine my surprise, then, when a perfect stranger and I were about two or three steps into crossing the road, using the zebra at the top of Hall Gate, and near to the Red Cross charity shop. A car coming rapidly up the road sounded the horn at us, effectively stating “Get out of the ruddy way!” The lady and I both leapt back to the kerb, and looked at each other in sheer astonishment. Neither of us had the time or opportunity to get the driver’s number, but I’m pretty sure that it was a he, and I think that he was also using his mobile phone.
What would have happened had we not been relatively fleet of foot? Or had there been a person on the crossing pushing a buggy? It doesn’t bear thinking about. But I wonder if the driver had even read the Code? Or was his selfish urgency in getting to his destination the main priority for him? Either way, it seems that another bit of good old-fashioned road sense and manners has gone the way of all the rest. I always extend the courtesy of a wave or a nod of thanks to anyone who stops for me at a crossing. This time the wave was of the “flip the finger” variety.