Do a high number of drivers behave stupidly? It appears some driving instructors have a very low opinion of most other drivers. What message is this sending out to learner drivers?
Whilst in Norwich yesterday, I was reminded of a recent Facebook thread, concerning light-controlled pedestrian crossings, where the question was asked what ADIs would do if the lights were not working - stop or not? It seemed that quite a lot of instructors believed it not to be safe to stop because the 'idiot behind' would overtake. Well, I have to say that in my experience, drivers overtaking on approach to a pedestrian crossing, especially those controlled by traffic lights, is a rare occurrence (I've never experienced it!). What difference does the lights being out make? Surely it is still a pedestrian crossing, which should be treated like a zebra, so proceed with caution and stop if a pedestrian wants to cross?
So, whilst I was in Norwich, I was reminded of this because I was a pedestrian at a Puffin crossing, along with a lot of other people, waiting for the lights to turn in our favour, when a driver stopped. The lights were on green for the traffic but he stopped! So, after a few seconds, we all crossed the road! There was no honking of horns, flashing of headlights, or expletives from drivers, they simply waited patiently behind this driver! And no-one tried to overtake!
Norfolk drivers are either:
- incredibly patient!
- incredibly tolerant!
- incredibly stupid!
But whatever they may be, like the vast majority of drivers around the country, they respect pedestrian crossings and don't overtake on approach! Our message to learners should be use of mirrors, to check the manner of the driving of the vehicles behind, then take appropriate action if they have any concerns about a following driver (discussion on what might constitute 'appropriate action').
I would far rather point out the good driving we see on the roads than give the impression most other drivers are idiots! When we do see some poor driving, then the message should be that it is a good demonstration of how not to do it!
But what do YOU think? Comments below please.