This article CROSS WALKS is about the newest safety craze that I believe promotes a false sense of security. I have recently come across a few of these here in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa.
To have flashing lights and special markings on roads between intersections only serves to tell our children that they do not have to look both ways and wait for all vehicles to pass before crossing. So what if the pedestrian is in the “right” at these and any other crosswalks. It won’t matter much who is in the right if a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle. There is nothing more annoying to a driver, not to mention dangerous to the pedestrian, than a pedestrian that is not paying attention to traffic when trying to cross an intersection.
Most drivers will stop to let pedestrians cross; I know I do if I see them waiting to cross. It is common courtesy, but so is crossing quickly if you are a pedestrian when a vehicle stops to let you cross. How annoying is it when you stop to let someone cross an intersection or parking lot and the pedestrian is purposely taking their time? With the new crosswalks, fines are given out to drivers that do not wait until the pedestrian has completely crossed the intersection before proceeding through the crosswalk. Like they are with drivers, fines should be given to pedestrians who are distracted (talking or texting on cell phones) while crossing roads.
Much like the red flashing lights and stop sign on school buses that is supposed to keep our kids safe, these new crosswalks give pedestrians a false sense of security. When my children were young, I refused to teach them to walk in front of a school bus. Instead, they got off the bus and waited until there was no traffic before proceeding to cross the road.
What are your thoughts on this new safety feature? Do you think we should teach our children that they are safe to cross in front of cars if the lights are flashing and there are special lines on the road?