Whether you are driving to work or simply driving to the nearest shopping centre for a touch of shopping, not a day goes by without you losing your temper with at least one pedestrian.
Pedestrians are the bane of many a motorist in Newcastle, but what is it about pedestrians in town that push motorists blood pressure up?
Is it the fact that no one looks left or right? Or is it that pedestrians no longer wait for the traffic light to turn green for them? Or is the problem that pedestrians no longer cross at intersections or zebra crossings?
The Newcastillian went out and asked residents what are the biggest issues regarding pedestrians? This is what they have to say:
“People don’t seem to know how to cross the road or how to use traffic lights,” Jason says.
“People simply don’t cross the road properly. I saw someone the other day crossing the road while busy looking down at their phone. Not only does this make them an easy target for criminals, but it is dangerous.”
Ruziska Helm and Claudia Freyer
“People cross the roads as they please,” Ruziska says. Claudia adds, “People will just cross a busy road without looking. Pedestrians don’t even know how to use a zebra crossing.
“People walk as they please, showing no regard to the traffic or the traffic laws and signs. This is why so many pedestrians get knocked down by vehicles. Pedestrians expect cars to slow down and stop for them.”
While Newcastillians feel pedestrians are often problematic, what are the legal ramifications?
Chief of Traffic for Newcastle Municipality’s Community Services, Ashok Anandhaw explains an individual can be fined up to R300 for jaywalking.
“A person can also be arrested for verification of their identity and appear in court,” he says.
While there are legal consequences for jaywalking, Chief Anandhaw says one of the biggest problems faced is the lack of education on how to correctly cross a road.
“This is usually the older generation who come from rural areas, where they don’t learn the correct way to cross the road. When they move to the cities, they are not aware that what they are doing is incorrect. So, a lot of education still needs to be done,” he explains.
What are your views on the pedestrians in town? Do you think pedestrians show little regard to the traffic laws in town? Share your views with us in the comment section below.