New road markings outside a Whitehall Primary School have been condemned as an accident waiting to happen.
Because they look like a zebra crossing. A real zebra, that is…
The zebra-print markingshave been painted across Johnsons Lane outside The Limes Nursery and just around the corner from Whitehall Primary School.The new marking is not technically a zebra crossing and there are concerns it could cause confusion.
Presumably, though, the absence of any of the associated paraphernalia accompanying a real zebra crossing will alleviate that?
But the council said the patterned marking highlights the position of new dropped kerbs that have been installed to make crossing the road safer for children.
Ah, well, of course. Why not?
Well, because the Association of British Drivers clearly has a very, very low opinion of their members:
Hugh Bladon, spokesman for the Association of British Drivers, said: “I can’t understand what the highways people are playing at.”The marking is very misleading and extremely dangerous.
“It has been painted where there is a dropped kerb which implies it is a pedestrian crossing.
“I think it has created an accident waiting to happen.”
Well, surely not? I mean, most drivers are thinking beings, aren’t they? It doesn’t look anything like a real zebra crossing!
Mr Bladon said drivers already had to cope with too many signs and road markings.
Resident Patrick Lawrence told the Post: “The ‘pretend’ crossing is sure to cause confusion for motorists and pedestrians. Neither motorist nor pedestrian will really understand what the road markings mean.
“A pedestrian, possibly a child going to school, may think they have priority on the pretend zebra crossing, while at the same time a motorist may be aware that the markings in the road mean nothing at all and so ignore them. The consequential results could be significant.”
Wow! Well, now I know what the ABM thinks I should do if pedestrians are jaywalking – run ‘em over! And if they are crossing on a fake zebra crossing, it’s not my fault, because those road markings mean nothing…
“In its perceived wisdom the council has also painted a pretend zebra crossing on the nearby cycle path.
“This will lead to pedestrians crossing from Bruce Road to Johnsons Road to think they have some kind of priority over the thousands of pedestrian and cycle traffic using the Bristol to Bath cycle path.”
It’s a long time since I looked at the Highway Code, but isn’t there a presumption that pedestrians have right of way?
In fact, isn’t that why we don’t have the offence of ‘jaywalking’ on the statute books, and why I can’t run ‘em over as I so dearly want to?
Bristol City Council spokeswoman Kate Hartas said the new ‘school-friendly’ scheme, which is funded by Sustrans, was designed by the same team who are devising the cycle path from Long Ashton to Bristol.
Well, that bodes well, doesn’t it?
“In order to make this option more attractive, the council has installed a total of seven dropped kerbs, with three zebra-skin markings to highlight the position of these crossings. Fun markings encourage the children to actively want to cross at a specific, safer place, whereas previously they were crossing at a number of points, some dangerous…The message is that the road around the school is a child-friendly space and cars must take care.”
Which sounds like a very good idea to me.