Driving dangerously close to pedestrians

75 posts in this topic

Posted

So, I've noticed in both Northern and Western Germany, drivers like to race past pedestrians as close and as fast as possible...even if you're in a crosswalk with a pedestrian signal...and even if they've stopped for you first (they wait till you're about halfway across and then floor it - leaving about 6 inches between you and the car).

WTF?

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Posted

Always carry something handy to "drop" in their general direction. Generally I use a newspaper but once I slammed a Christmas tree into a car that sped across the crosswalk in front of me when I was halfway across the street.

(By the way, just because a car has a German license plate doesn't mean that a German is driving it.)

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Posted

I considered carrying eggs...but that might actually damage the paint. My wife was not supportive of the idea anyway :-) I like the newspaper idea though :D

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Posted

even if you're in a crosswalk with a pedestrian signal.

Red or green?

If it's red they don't stop at all.

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Posted

Some pedestrians confuse the right to cross with the right to take their sweet ass time. Just like many bicyclists confuse their right to use the street with the right to obstruct traffic. There's no need to leisurely stroll across the road in front of waiting traffic, just as there is no need for cyclists to ride 2 meters from the curb at 10KPH.

I personally never take my frustrations out on vulnerable pedestrians/cyclists, but not everyone is so rational.

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Posted

To the OP: I think it is significantly worse - at least in pedestrian crossings - in Portugal and Italy.

(...) just as there is no need for cyclists to ride 2 meters from the curb at 10KPH.

While I generally agree with you on pedestrian crossings (it is not for leisurely crossing - but some, like older people may need the extra time as well), about the cyclists it is different (2 meters from the curb is too much, but I think the exaggeration is yours and not on the typical cyclist). Unfortunately many drivers squeeze cyclists way too much and I would say sometimes it is even recommended for bikes to take the full lane (as a car would) so that drivers coming from behind can only overtake if the opposing lane is free - otherwise, apparently it can be too tempting to pass when there is also an incoming vehicle on the other lane and squeezing the cyclist into the curb. Consider also that cyclists can really feel holes and bumps and near to the curb there may be obstacles (which can even lead to falls in extreme cases). Keeping some distance gives some manoeuvring space; staying too close doesn't, and if a car is already overtaking...

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Posted

As a bycyclist I would say that 2m between bike and curb is a little too much. Court decision say 0.8 to 1m.

However, when you overtake a bike the distance must be more than 1.5m! Meaning that a bike is almost as wide as a car.

Here you will find some rules: http://www.stern.de/auto/service/rad-vs-auto-wer-hat-vorfahrt-1502652.html

and here http://www.stern.de/auto/service/sicherheit-fuer-radfahrer-immer-schoen-breit-machen-617996.html

Sorry, I don't have the time to translate.

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Posted

Some pedestrians confuse the right to cross with the right to take their sweet ass time.

If a pedestrian has right of way then they are free to walk at whatever pace they choose to. There is no law that requires pedestrians to walk quickly (whether able to or not) and it's not his fault that the utterly retarded German traffic-light system gives a simultaneous green light to both the pedestrian and the vehicle crossing his path.

just as there is no need for cyclists to ride 2 meters from the curb at 10KPH.

It wouldn't be at 10 km/h but if the road is too narrow for vehicles to safely overtake me then I will cycle further inside the traffic lane.

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Posted

nfortunately many drivers squeeze cyclists way too much and I would say sometimes it is even recommended for bikes to take the full lane (as a car would) so that drivers coming from behind can only overtake if the opposing lane is free - otherwise, apparently it can be too tempting to pass when there is also an incoming vehicle on the other lane and squeezing the cyclist into the curb.

I am all for having some escape space while riding a bicycle but taking the whole lane might be too dangerous. Most bicycle riders do not have a driver license so they are not aware of many details, like you take the whole lane on a street with 2 lanes with a continuous divider line is a very bad idea, this make it impossible for cars to overtake them and the car drivers get anxious. This is very common here in some parts of Berlin where you see bicycles riding a 15 km/h without even noticing they are blocking the traffic.

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Posted

In my experience you stand more chance of getting mowed down on the zebra crossing than at other places in the road. Your chances are increased 10-fold if you are pushing a kid in a pushchair. Then they really put their foot down.

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Posted

Some pedestrians confuse the right to cross with the right to take their sweet ass time.

I know what you mean. In the UK you would make a show of hurrying across as quickly as possible, smile at the people who'd stopped for you etc. Courtesey. John Lloyd and Douglas Adams called it a sturry.

Round here some people walk reasobable quickly across, but try and look like they are taking their time because "F- you I have right of way I'm entititled to walk as slowly as I like." And then some old dear hobbles accross as quickly as they can and you think "Noooo! YOU should be the one taking your sweet time about it." It's rare for a pedestrian to even glance at the cars waiting for them, let alone acknowlegde the drivers with eye contact and a nod.

Perhaps I'm misreading the body language, and this is a "You Brits are emotionally repressed"/"We Brits are emotionally subtle and don't emotionally shout" thing.

Schoolkids at a busy junction near here don't do the "F-you" walk but they do walk out into the road on a greeen Amplemann without glancing sideways to check the traffic has noticed them and stopped. It would be such a comfort while flying onto the bonnet of a careless driver to know that the driver is in the wrong wouldn't it. That's certainly not a body language issue.

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Posted

I know what you mean. In the UK you would make a show of hurrying across as quickly as possible, smile at the people who'd stopped for you etc. Courtesey.

That's because if someone in the UK has stopped for you then they've done so voluntarily. That has never happened in Germany in the entire history of the country; car drivers here only ever stop for pedestrians where legally obliged to.

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Posted

Am sure there are some very safe cyclsts but as anyone is allowed to cycle there are LOADS of idiotic cyclists.

A unicyclist swerved in front of me and Miniboot the other day, in a pedestrian zone. Not to ention the young guy who bellowed at me for pushing a pram across the glass bridge at Hackerbrucke, for taking up too much room apparently.

Look at the amount of wobbly cyclists on the road at the moment in the deep snow and icy roadways, have seen more than a few tumble.

Any idiot can cycle, at least drivers have to pass tests and pay road tax. I reckon there are less stupid drivers than cyclists.

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Posted

I find more interesting that during winter pedestrians do not make sure that incoming cars are braking under control and they just cross because they have the green light. If a car slips on ice and ran you over you can die happily knowing you were dead right.

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Posted

That's because if someone in the UK has stopped for you then they've done so voluntarily. That has never happened in Germany in the entire history of the country; car drivers here only ever stop for pedestrians where legally obliged to.

No it's not true, you acknowledge the person who's stopped to even if he's legally obliged by a red light or belisha beacon. And people here have stopped for me where they didn't have to.

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Posted

That's because if someone in the UK has stopped for you then they've done so voluntarily. That has never happened in Germany in the entire history of the country; car drivers here only ever stop for pedestrians where legally obliged to.

They don't stop when they're legally obliged to either - even at a zebra crossing with flashing yellow lights and a schoolkids in the vicinity sign (Schellingstr. right before you get to Schleissheimerstr. to be precise). The wankers only decelerate and stop once you step onto the road - wait on the pavement and the day will pass you by.

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Posted

You clearly have never been to a third world country.

Germany is a pedestrian paradise.

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Posted

It is a given this is a first world problems thread, captain obvious.

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Posted

...(2 meters from the curb is too much, but I think the exaggeration is yours and not on the typical cyclist)...

I'm not exaggerating, but not talking about the typical cyclist either. I'm talking about the exceptions for pedestrians and cyclists who want to flaunt their misinterpreted rights.

However, when you overtake a bike the distance must be more than 1.5m! Meaning that a bike is almost as wide as a car.

This is exactly my point. The roads that come immediately to mind aren't wide enough to legally pass these idiots whether there is oncoming traffic or not because I do allow the 1.5 meters. I'm a cyclist as well!

The exceptional cyclists that I'm talking about are the ones with chips on their shoulders screaming about "my rights" while coasting down the middle of the road without even bothering to pedal.

Don't get me started about the 1.5 to 2 meter wide sidewalks that the state hasn't seen fit to mark as bicycle paths, which the pedestrians don't even bother to use.

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Posted

You clearly have never been to a third world country.Germany is a pedestrian paradise.

Landed from ISB on Jan. 7th actually. Wtf - this is a thread about Germany, not traffic chaos in friggin Bangalore.

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Posted

No it's not true, you acknowledge the person who's stopped to even if he's legally obliged by a red light or belisha beacon.

Maybe in rural Lancashire they do, but if you smiled at a car driver in the South-East because they'd stopped at a red light they'd assume you were fucking mental.

And people here have stopped for me where they didn't have to.

My walk/cycle to the station involves crossing the road at a crossing island like this one, so it's a behaviour that I have observed very well over the years. Even when the traffic is slow-moving and slowing down to let me cross wouldn't delay their journey, still no more than around one driver in ten does so. It's just not in their mentality to think either beyond the rulez or about anyone other than themselves. In the UK this figure would be significantly higher.

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Posted

If a pedestrian has right of way then they are free to walk at whatever pace they choose to.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz - Wrong!

§ 1 StVO

Grundregeln(

1) Die Teilnahme am Straßenverkehr erfordert ständige Vorsicht und gegenseitige Rücksicht.

(2) Jeder Verkehrsteilnehmer hat sich so zu verhalten, daß kein Anderer geschädigt, gefährdet oder mehr, als nach den Umständen unvermeidbar, behindert oder belästigt wird.

See (2): Every traffic participant must behave so that no other is harmed, endangered or obstructed or annoyed more than necessary. In other words, don't mosey across the crosswalks taking your own sweet time, forcing whole droves* of cars to wait for you. However, if you are on crutches or otherwise unable to move quickly everyone else has to live with it.

*collective noun based on the activity "to drive"

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Posted

If a pedestrian has right of way then they are free to walk at whatever pace they choose to. There is no law that requires pedestrians to walk quickly (whether able to or not)...

EDIT: Sara was quicker, but here's more food for thought...

StVo § 25 Fußgänger

(3) Fußgänger haben Fahrbahnen unter Beachtung des Fahrzeugverkehrs zügig auf dem kürzesten Weg quer zur Fahrtrichtung zu überschreiten, und zwar, wenn die Verkehrslage es erfordert, nur an Kreuzungen oder Einmündungen, an Lichtzeichenanlagen innerhalb von Markierungen oder auf Fußgängerüberwegen (Zeichen 293). Wird die Fahrbahn an Kreuzungen oder Einmündungen überschritten, so sind dort angebrachte Fußgängerüberwege oder Markierungen an Lichtzeichenanlagen stets zu benutzen.

Now define "zügig"...

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Posted

It's just not in their mentality to think either beyond the rulez or about anyone other than themselves.

Hit the nail on the head with that one.

My buddy Jorn is an EMT and is naturally miserable at certain times when the Ordnung rules are relaxed. I chatted with him yesterday and we joked about it due to Fasching and he gave me the greatest one liner:

Me: "You ever wonder what things would be like here if they ever did away with the damned Ordnungsamt?"

Jorn: "...haf yoo evah seen 'Lord of The Flies'??"

:D

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