Grantham Journal letter: Easy way to ease congestion
If you are crossing the road at a T-junction, then a motorist who is turning off the main road into the side-turning you are crossing has to stop, or they will run you over. You have right of way.
If you step back, and therefore make it evident that you are ceding right of way, and wave the driver on to make it even more evident, then the driver knows he or she can proceed, and there won’t be a tailback.
Grantham is so congested that one car, stopped for the few seconds it takes for you to cross the road, can cause a tailback to the previous set of traffic lights (there are lots of traffic lights in Grantham) and hey presto, Grantham gridlock.
I don’t drive, but I have a driving licence, and I know just how frustrating driving in Grantham is (in London the average speed of traffic is 7 mph.
In Grantham rush-hour it is 3 mph - the same speed as walking). Letting drivers through saves everyone time and frustration. Grantham is a special case; until the by-pass is finished, the town is a mess, and anything that assuages congestion is helpful, and does it really cost you any time to let drivers through?
Legal stuff: taking a step away from the kerb is a clear indication that you are not going to cross the road, and you are ceding right of way. Gesturing the driver to drive on is better understood 99% of the time, but if it’s a police car, they will wait until you step back. So step back. And gesture the driver to drive on. The combination is unambiguous.
Motorists usually wave ‘thanks!’, HGV drivers flash their hazard lights, twice.
Only if they are really busy will a driver not acknowledge your little gesture which cost you two seconds? Maybe three?
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