Invisible Pedestrians

Vehicle headlights create black hole in front

That night the shock set in! Headache, cold, shivering, despite the heat in the room. 

It was just a brief visit to the supermarket for the dog food I had forgotten to buy - for myself I would have gone without but not for my dog!

It was early evening, cold and raining, headlights glaring off the wet road surface. Rather than return via the A47 dual carriageway, I chose the shorter route via the old A47 through the local village. Just before the village itself, opposite the Norfolk Showground, is a business area set back off the road, fronting onto the A47 dual carriageway. Staff movement is on the village road, opposite the Showground. There is clearly not enough parking space for staff and so cars are parked along the verges outside the entrance, and the morning and evening movements of staff are making this point along the road increasingly more dangerous. But never more so than that night.

One employee had parked his vehicle on the opposite side of the road and, as I approached, was sitting in the driving seat, headlights on facing the oncoming traffic whilst he was engaged in a conversation on his mobile phone. As I approached, headlights from oncoming vehicles, together with the rain on the road, now made worse by the headlights facing me on my side of the road, masked 2 pedestrians, dressed in dark clothing, as they walked in the road right in front of the parked vehicle's headlights! This is a fairly wide and open NSL road, but thankfully I was driving much slower as the outline of these pedestrians appeared. I had no time to brake, especially considering the wet road, and could only swerve out of the way!

I had missed them by the barest margin, but the shock made me angry. I pulled up alongside the driver and, after he had lowered the passenger window, asked him to switch off his headlights. He refused, insisting he was parked and that I shouldn't be driving at night if I couldn't see!

So, had I actually mowed down these pedestrians, who would have been held accountable? Me, the driver who hit them? The pedestrians for walking in the road wearing nothing hi-viz? The driver of the parked vehicle breaking 2 laws - illegally parked at night with his headlights on and speaking on his mobile whist in charge of a vehicle? When a judge recently stated that there was nothing illegal in driving without glasses, even though the driver could not read a number plate from more that 7 feet away*, then it makes you question how much notice judges take of road traffic acts!

*Read the newspaper report here

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