Thursday, 28 July 2011

And I thought they were law abiding

I’m finding I’m having to reign in my natural instincts as a Londoner when it comes to crossing the road.

Usually, if I’m at a set of lights and there’s nothing coming I’ll cross. Yes, I’m fully aware that’s against the green cross code and I should wait for the green man, but who does.

Well, in Germany, the answer is everyone. As I’ve mentioned before they’ll wait even if there are no vehicles in any direction for miles, wait and wait until the little green man appears and only then will they cross.

Up until today I had assumed that this compliance with traffic signals was across the board. Certainly I’ve never seen a driver jump the lights or speed through on red.

But then three times in the space of an hour I witnessed cyclists jumping red lights.

This leads to an important question. Is it something about cycling that make people jump the lights?

Or given that cycling is not the world’s safest of transport modes does it automatically mean people cycling are more likely to take risks?

And let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than the look of utter disapproval from an elderly German lady when you have cross the completely empty street on a red man.

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