Full disclaimer, when I was 18 I got caught for speeding, and so one could say that my love for traffic police and ‘traffic calming measures’ is a little slim. The debate as to whether the 70mph limit on motorways is too low and not reflective of the increased safety records of modern cars is perhaps one for another day.
This post it to let off steam, and considerable amounts of it at that, of the motorists who drive up and down Deansgate in the centre of Manchester.
For those who are not familiar with the area, Deansgate is a stretch of road that runs through the city itself passing sites such as The Hilton, The Great Northern, and John Rylands Library but to name a few.
Because of its connection with businesses, and city centre car parks, saying that the Deansgate road itself becomes a car park during rush hour is no means an understatement.
The drivers themselves are usually stressed, are often running late and not in the best of moods before the commute to works starts, and so perhaps feel that the traffic lights and other road markings do not apply to them.
Yes I am a pedestrian, and walk to work, and whilst I am happy for everyone else to sit in gridlock for their commute to work, I am not happy for them to run red lights, ignore ‘left turn only’ road markings, and park within box junctions. It used to be one or two people doing it, now its everyone!
Occasionally I have seen police who pass these junctions on my way to work get out of their cars and give tickets to people who believe that they are above everyone else, and naturally you see an argument unfold, with the police winning – however I would say that because there isn’t enough of a presence, one driver will watch another get away with it, and so another will try his or her luck, and before you know it, everyone is parking in yellow boxes causing more traffic.
Traffic lights on the other hand, if ignored could perhaps cause more accidents than being in a yellow box when you aren’t supposed to. I have witnessed drivers ‘sneak through’ red lights by being close to the car in front, those who check to see if the coast is clear whilst edging forward and then proceeding, all the way through to those who have stopped, put their hand break on, and disengaged it and run the light.
As a pedestrian, this is just mad!
We wait for the lights to be green for us to cross, but if the road users are ignoring their lights, its only a matter of time before one of us gets hit.
You often read stories online how people have taken the law into their own hands, and I think when I finish work this year I may be one of those. I’m not talking about handing out tickets (although id love to do that), but put perhaps taking pictures/videos of those who put my life and others life in danger on the way to work and sending these to the police & putting them online would spark a reaction.
Either that, or I’ll pitch to them the idea of setting up my own cameras, and giving them a percentage of all fines collected.
I’m confident that even if I gave them 90%, id still be rolling in it!
Drivers of Manchester – sort it out!