Friday, 6 November 2009


I was two minutes late for my meeting in Broughty Ferry which in itself was not a disaster. However, the reason for my sloppy timekeeping is contributing towards a catastrophe that will one day beset our beautiful planet.
Just as I was approaching a set of traffic lights, they turned red. On some days the air might well have turned blue but, for once, I was showing great forbearance. Five or six cars quickly bunched up behind me with a similar number opposite. There were probably as many to the left and the same again to the right. Twenty four cars in total idling for two minutes or, if you prefer, forty eight idling minutes.
Each burning fuel. Each polluting our planet.
Some knucklehead had pressed the button for the green man to appear. Rather than wait, he jay walked his way merrily to the other side before strutting up the road, oblivious – one hopes – to the real gravity of his actions.
Multiply this by the number of traffic lights in my poky little town, multiply it again by the number of towns and cities across the country and then across the world. In fact, you would need to use the ‘x’ sign so often, there would scarcely be enough of them left to kiss goodbye to our beautiful world.
Why is nothing ever said or done about this continual abuse of pedestrian crossings?
Either we act now or it is just possible that one day soon we will need to join the little green men on some other planet.


  1. I have to say this is also one of my pet hates.

    If a motorist drives through a red light there is a good chance there will be a camera in the vicinity to photograph the 'criminal' and subsequently send a hefty fine to the offenders home.

    I would like to see a similar punishment meted out to any pedestrians who cross the road when the red man is showing.

  2. err... you do know that it's not illegal for a pedestrian to cross the road whenever they please? Just cars.

    There's a reason for that.

    A person is a nimble thing that can leap out of the way if something unexpected happens.
    A car is two tons of lumbering steel that takes several seconds to change direction.
    See, it was only after we had cars that traffic lights became necessary to protect the pedestrian from the car. The car does not need protecting from the pedestrian.

    In our next lesson, we will see how it isn't necessary to protect guns from being damaged by bulletproof vests.