jeudi 10 septembre 2009

Go Safe

On Tuesday, a woman was killed by a lorry outside a very busy shopping centre. A horrible tragedy. An unbearable loss for her young children and family.
But not a surprise.

You see, I know the shopping centre and the road where she was killed very well. Before I had the boys and owned my own car, this is where I used to wait for my bus coming back from work. The first time I was here, I honestly thought the road was pedestrianised (apart from buses of course). There were people everywhere on the road. Mums and their prams, young teenage girls loaded with Primark bags, old ladies with Zimmer frames... Everyone crossing the road without a care in the world, totally unaware of incoming traffic. There is a pedestrian crossing on that road, protected by traffic lights. In the 3 years I waited for the bus there, I never saw anyone using it. People just cross the road as if they own it. I hate driving through that spot, always scared that someone is going to burst onto the road and end up under my wheels. Just what happened to that unsuspecting lorry driver on Tuesday morning. The lady had parked her car accross the road from the bank (illegally I assume as there is no parking spaces there, but that is another matter), she crossed the road and tripped under the lorry. Some reports say her children were looking on in the car. Is it really setting a good example to your kids to cross the road outside a pedestrian crossing, in the middle of traffic?

I know I sound very patronising and I hold my hands up, of course, I have crossed the road in traffic in a rush to get somewhere or fed up with having to wait for the pedestrian light to go green. But since I've had the boys, I have become a lot more careful, both as a pedestrian and as a driver. Unfortunately I have also witnessed this careless attitude in many other places around Glasgow ... Think Byres Road, the crossings of Buchanan Street with George Street and St Vincent Street or Sauchiehall Street on a Friday night... Think new mothers pushing their pram onto the road from between two cars, not seeing what's coming... Think business men in sharp suits, ear glued to their mobiles.... Think drunk lads feeling invicible after a few pints of Tennents...

That is why I am glad that a new campaign was launched in Glasgow on Tuesday: Go Safe.
Its aim is to promote road safety for all road users, pedestrains, cyclists and motorists - hoping to educate the good people of Glasgow about the dangers of the road and make our roads safer for all.

Sadly, too late to save this young mum but here is to hoping it can reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on Glasgow streets ...

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