Friday, 28 May 2010

“She just came out from nowhere”

That’s what they always say, is it not? The cyclist just came out of nowhere – or in this instance, the pedestrian. Crikey, yes, that’s the last place you’d expect to see a pedestrian, on a pedestrian crossing.

What drivers who say this really mean, of course, is ‘I was driving along in my one ton metal bubble paying no attention at all to the world around me, while breaking the speed limit. But I knew this was socially acceptable and that if I did kill someone the personal consequences would be very minor and Britain’s marvellous justice system would still allow me to continue driving my car.’

A student whose careless driving killed a trainee barrister on a pedestrian crossing has escaped imprisonment. Foysal Ali, 24, drove through flashing amber lights, striking Victoria Johnson, 23, outside Mile End Tube station.

He was speeding at up to 37mph in the 30mph zone and should have “proceeded with caution” until the signal changed to green, the court heard.

Ali, of Forest Gate, claimed he could not have avoided ploughing into Miss Johnson at 2.20pm in January last year, telling the jury: “She just came out from nowhere.”

Ali was earlier cleared of a charge of causing death by dangerous driving on the direction of the judge.

Well obviously driving at 37 mph in a 30 mph zone and running down and killing a pedestrian couldn't possiby be construed as 'dangerous', could it. No, that's just 'careless.'

I hate those signalled crossings with flashing lights. They are a lethal menace and should be done away with. The moment they start flashing drivers take this as a signal to start edging forwards, irrespective of who is on the crossing.