Why is it that some oldsters seem determined to jaywalk?


In fact it could be my imagination, but it sometimes seems the less agile they are, the more likely they are to jaywalk. The other evening in Glenhuntly I saw a lady who was struggling to merely push a shopping trolley, and she decided to try and get it across Glenhuntly Road (a mere 100 metres from the traffic lights), and then down a sidestreet… not on the footpath mind you, but along the roadway.

On Centre Road and on Jasper Road I regularly see the oldsters crossing a few metres from the traffic lights. Sure, they don’t usually have shopping trolleys, but they often seem to be less fleet of foot than most.

Maybe it’s just what they’ve done for the past X decades, and they haven’t quite registered that the once quiet road is now chocka with cars.

Certainly I can understand the frustration of waiting for traffic lights. Some of them have been designed by traffic engineers who were determined to waste as much pedestrian time as possible. And I can understand why sometimes you want to be taking the most direct route across a road, especially if it’s a quiet one and you don’t walk very fast.

But in busy traffic, and if you’re not as nimble as you once were, why do it? Unless you have a death wish, use the freaking crossing, that’s what it’s there for!

As for this guy who drives his motorised wheelchair down the Nepean Highway — well it’s not actually the first time. I saw someone doing the same a couple of years ago, and called Triple-0. I wonder if it was the same guy.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “Jaywalking”

yeah. I’ve noticed elderly citizens taking risks on the road. Another couple of examples I’ve seen recently:
* old guys riding bikes without a helmet (oh well, their brains have atrophied so much, a helmets not going to help in a spill).
* women in their 50s (OK, that’s not elderly!), wearing dark cloths, in pre-dawn darkness, jogging ON THE ROAD.

Try living down our way when it comes to fogies on Gophers, Mandurah must be the capital of renegade oldies taking to the streets on these contraptions, but they really aren’t much harder to allow for than cyclists. And would they resort to using the road if they had a decent network of paths that were actually maintained?

It’s not jaywalking if you’re more than 20 metres from a crossing. But she was clearly close enough to go to the crossing. She was outside 20 metres, but a 30 metre walk isn’t very far when the road is 15 metres wide anyway. Perhaps she really does want to die!

That particular crossing is very difficult to jaywalk across at the point where she’s crossing – the timing of the traffic rarely leaves a hole, and you’ve really got to bolt when the hole’s there.

I figure the plan is – “they’ll stop for me”.

Agh! Those three wheel motorised things drive me nuts, the drivers often have absolutely no regard for the sea of pedestrians they are ploughing through. When you do happen to get in the way of one, you get abused for not hearing them sneak up behind you. Silent death!

That’s not forgetting the degree of freedom that these contraptions bring their owners that they would otherwise not enjoy. But like driving it’s all in the attitude of the driver.

Yes I don’t understand it either…especially pushing the pram out in front.

Twas a bit of an eye opener when I first moved to Canada in 1997…there you could cross a busy road and the traffic would actually *stop* for you. People would wave you across if you were at the curb.

I imagine some older Canadians would have trouble in Melbourne if they didn’t know our motorists…obviously here you accelerate if there is a pedestrian in your path!

She’s probably a grumpy old woman that’s fed up with the world and her life and thinks “buggar it I’ll cross here & give everyone the sh*ts, I’m sick of pushing this thing week in week out for little thanks when I get home. I’ve had enough of my life I think I’ll up the % of getting hit and being relieved of this life”. lol

p.s. women who push their kids in prams front of oncoming traffic in the hope they’ll screech to a stop should be jailed for life, is this a new form of child abuse or are they just brain dead?

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