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hit a pedestrian today(19 posts)

hit a pedestrian todayMJ
Oct 11, 2001 1:02 AM
and the silly woman broke my light when I ran into her - no other damage to me or the bike

I was heading along (Gresham Street, London, EC2 in case anyone's interested) when a woman stepped off the white line in the middle of the road directly into my path. She didn't even turn her head once. I was going quite slowly as there were plenty of pedestrians (idiot zombies in the morning - Dawn of the Dead anyone?) and had just left a light and was pulling up to another light.

I saw I was going to hit her and told her to 'pay attention' hoping she would jump out of the way (no where for me to go as there was oncoming traffic and another 'innocent' pedestrian that I couldn't swerve into). She didn't move - in fact she stopped which was a good thing otherwise I would have just hit her with my left hood and gone down hard - but really I more or less rolled into her as I started braking when I saw her - neither one of us were knocked down. My front light broke into pieces but there was no other damage.

She asked if I was ok and then walked off. I called after her and caught up to her to tell her that she owed me £10 as she had broken my light. She said that she always crossed at the corner on the green man, that last week she had been hit by a cyclist and (the classic) that I was going too fast. I told her that getting hit last week had noithing to do with me, that she hadn't crossed at the corner on the green man this time and that I had the right of way and was going very slowly. (I'm not petite, one of us would have gone down if I had been moving quickly...) She looked like she was about to cry, said she was 'fed up' and walked off.

I guess if my bike or I had been damaged I would have called the Police and/or followed her to her office and called the Police - but over £10 it just wasn't worth the aggravation.

It seems it's another example (to add to the long line of threads I've seen recently) of someone in the wrong trying to blame an innocent party.

Pedestrians are the scariest (and most unpredictable) creature in the world of urban cycling.

Anyways, I hope I scared her enough for her not to get hit again for at least a few weeks.
Got your title wrong....muncher
Oct 11, 2001 1:06 AM
Try "Hit a pedertrian A day". Taking education on to the streets to the people who need it...
re: hit a pedestrian todayLeisure
Oct 11, 2001 4:23 AM
I completely understand where you're coming from. It's just frightening how easily people can make you powerless, impair your safety, and then blame you for it. In my experience (primarily New York and Utah in the US) whenever something like this happens the "law-enforcement" unconditionally places the blame on the cyclists. You can be sitting still at a light and a jogger on a cell phone will blind-side you and it's still "your fault". When I was in college other students would walk out in front of traffic all the time without looking, as though the whole world owed it to them to stop. I even had people (as in several, not just two or three) walk out and intentionally try and knock me over. Ivy League, go figure. What's most disturbing to me is that every legal source I've referenced claims that's perfectly legal. I'm afraid to discuss the "law" component of this issue any further because it makes me too angry, and it's hopefully quite different in GB.
I've been in psych awhile, and though I'd need to hear more details on what happened to be definitive, I'd suggest there's a good possibility that this pedestrian was perfectly aware that you were there when she walked in front of you. She may have been under more stress than she knows how (or wants) to deal with, and watching you attempt to stop for her indirectly satisfied some need that someone else was going to help remove her from the responsibility of her own actions. I see it so routinely I might be predisposed to make the conclusion too quickly, but the facts that she seems to have had her defense argument readily prepared, was so easily close to tears, and had done the same thing to someone else the previous week are fairly strong indicators.
I think you did all the right things, especially by telling her (more or less) exactly what she did. Not allowing youself or anyone else to be unnecessarily victimized and not pursuing further "aggravation" were nice touches. She walked away because she was afraid that you'd figure out her game. That more than anything else will discourage her from attempting it again. Congrats, and try not to let it eat at you.
thanksMJ
Oct 11, 2001 5:31 AM
it'd be hard for me to believe someone would step out in front of someone to see if they were gonna stop for their 'need' - but I don't konw much about psych... she did have a three point defence and crocodile tears ready to go

the law concept isn't much better here and is very annoying indeed by taking any sense of (legal) responsibility away from the pedestrian and putting it on the cyclist

I don't know but if it were me and I got hit twice in as many weeks by cyclists I'd be Mr Paranoid Pedestrian checking and rechecking whenever I left my front door

I didn't see a white stick, but maybe her vision is impaired (all the more reason to avoid 'jaywalking' and cross with the green man)

it's unfair - but I have a better life than her

I wasn't injured/bike damaged and now get to go to the bike store!! - bet I leave with more than just a front light...
Don't forgetDannyDoo
Oct 11, 2001 5:35 AM
Your winter slicks and your moon saddle.
they're on the list - nmMJ
Oct 11, 2001 5:42 AM
"bet I leave with more than just a front light..."Kristin
Oct 11, 2001 9:32 AM
I bet the bike store hired her to break the lights of unsuspecting commuters.
Forget the police...sic the Piranha Brothers on her! (nm)RhodyRider
Oct 11, 2001 8:21 AM
Forget the police...sic the Piranha Brothers on her! (nm)MJ
Oct 11, 2001 8:23 AM
Piranha Brothers?

help me understand
Old Monty Python reference, sorry for the obscurity. I am...RhodyRider
Oct 11, 2001 8:37 AM
...just dopey enough to think that Brits are still as entertained by this 30-year old schtick as many Americans are. Spiny Norman: "Dimmesdale..."
Remember "Kill the Cat Limited"? I think that's what it was.Spinchick
Oct 11, 2001 10:56 AM
"Confuse a Cat, ltd." (nm)DAC
Oct 11, 2001 11:49 AM
Right. That was funny. nmSpinchick
Oct 11, 2001 5:18 PM
Ah yes, Doug and Dimsdale Piranha!Tig
Oct 11, 2001 9:09 AM
"He nailed my head to the coffee table."
"He was cruel, but fair."

For those who like a good Python site: http://www.montypython.net/
zombies seem everywhere latelykenyee
Oct 11, 2001 8:25 AM
In Boston, it used to be just in the Harvard Square area 8 yrs ago (they walk in front of cars and bikes blithely, totally ignore you, don't even look at you, etc.).
Now they seem to be everywhere. Despite the fact that if a driver happens to not see them in time, they'll get run over, they still do the zombie thing. To top it off, our police department has been ticketing cars who don't stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, which clearly tells the zombies to "keep it up!".
I don't understand the world any more...
Dodging crackheadsTypeOne
Oct 11, 2001 11:42 AM
On my morning commute to work in downtown Seattle, I go past Regrade Park on the corner of 3rd and something. The drug dealers in the park do that zombie thing, crossing against the light and right into my path. On the way home, I go down Yesler past Pioneer Square and have to dodge the same type of people...wandering into traffic like no one else was there. Sometimes the man or woman will be a "yeller" and they'll be shouting at no one in particular. But they are mostly the zombies out there.
No big deal. Their actions are predictable.
But when I encounter well-to-do tourists further down the road, THOSE are the people I look out for. Who knows what they'll do?!?
At least the crackheads have an excuse for wandering into the road.
5 Points! 10 if she had a kid with her. (nm)grzy
Oct 11, 2001 8:57 AM
Serial hitee. Only 1 point/hit. nmBrooks
Oct 11, 2001 1:32 PM
re: hit a pedestrian todaysweetbuns
Oct 15, 2001 6:23 PM
I ALMOST hit a pedestrian saturday morning...she seemed offended that I stopped short....puleeze sister! Don't get your panties in a bunch...

My attitude is, would you rather be hit be me and my less than 20lb bike or a car???