LETTERS: Steps across the spectrum


There is a spectrum of pedestrian types, from considerate and sensible people to self-centred and presumptuous.


There is a spectrum of pedestrian types, from considerate and sensible people at the left end to self-centred and presumptuous at the right end.

As with all spectrums, of course, most people are somewhere in the middle; some a bit more considerate, others a bit more presumptuous.

Here comes the controversial part. It is my unscientific observation, just in driving around White Rock and South Surrey, that older people tend to be toward the left (considerate) end of the spectrum while younger people tend to be toward the right (self-centred) end.

It is more often older people who will pause at a pedestrian crosswalk and signal a car to pass through if there happens to be a break in the traffic, and the driver has that precise moment to enter traffic safely or be forced to wait a long time. It’s basic consideration. And they are safer: they remember their parents’ training to look both ways before crossing the street – regardless of whether they have the legal right of way.

It is most often younger people who will stride obliviously across the crosswalk, earphones in ears, without bothering to look left or right, seemingly secure in the knowledge that they have the right of way, and that all cars will screech to a halt for them.

These people act like they are the centres of the universe. If a driver happens to drive through the crosswalk in error, these youngsters are little able to avoid an accident because they are not looking at traffic, nor can they hear it with their headphones on.

This self-centred behaviour will get them into an accident one day, and if it is a serious one, who cares what the traffic law says?

It is still an accident that could have been avoided.

Len Petry, Surrey