Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Safer Pelican Crossing

You smashem my legs, I ripem your tyres.
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A Pelican (or sometimes, Puffin) crossing is one of those pedestrian crossings where you push a button before you cross the road.

The sequence of events is:
1) Pedestrian pushes button
2) a few seconds later, the traffic light changes to orange as signal to cars to speed up and cross quickly.
3) a few seconds later, the traffic light changes to red as signal to cars to stop.
4) a few seconds later, a walking man signal is displayed to the pedestrian as a signal that they may begin crossing.

The wise pedestrian makes sure vehicles in both directions are stationary before proceeding, as some cars have priority under all circumstances.

I propose that half a second after the traffic light goes red (and well before the green man lights up) a spike strip raises up from the road on each side of the crossing.

I predict that this would reduce the car stopping failure rate dramatically. If not, it would at least be a useful indicator to the police as to the state of the signal at car vs pedestrian incidents.

Loris, Sep 11 2006

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       Not very pedestrian friendly then.(visualises punctured knees,electric wheelchair tires etc..)
skinflaps, Sep 11 2006
  

       I was envisaging the sort of one-way tyre shredders you sometimes see at entrances to petrol-stations. They sort of rise up at an angle and can be walked on, no problem. I think they'd also be easy to electronically deploy. You're not supposed to cross adjacent to a crossing, anyway.
Loris, Sep 11 2006
  

       //I do honestly believe that road safety starts with the pedestrian upwards, and the more pedestrians that could be educated to actually bother to press the button and actually wait until the man is green, the better, in my opinion.//   

       Perhaps. But with sparse traffic I suspect most people feel embarrassed to press the button and make cars stop, rather than nip across in a gap. The way that motorists scowl at you for holding them up probably has something to do with it.   

       The cyclists round here (Birmingham) arn't as bad as they seem to be in London. In any case, according to the Metro today, there have been 12 pedestrians killed by bicycle accidents in the last 5 years, in the UK. But 671 pedestrians killed by cars, in the last year. Which makes cars about 280 times more dangerous to people who arn't using them.
Loris, Sep 11 2006
  

       //A cyclist is about 95% as dangerous as a terrorist?//   

       Terrorists don't kill so many pedestrians, so cyclists must be even more dangerous than that!   

       ... hang on a minute, do you think there is just one maniac cycling serial killer touring Britain?   

       (Actually, when I looked at the Metro again, it said 'over 671 people'. So, what, 762 then?)
Loris, Sep 12 2006
  
      
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