Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Do not Cross on Red Man

Across the road from the Bristol Royal Infirmary, there is a sign telling you not to cross when the little red man (man? Surely person?) is saying "stand still". OK, reasonable enough.

What's interesting is this: that sign cost money to make, to install. Why is it here, opposite the BRI, but not elsewhere? Is this particular crossing considered more dangerous than any other pedestrian crossing? Do more people here get run over by not waiting for the green man than elsewhere?

One would think, that given the hospital, the ambulances and the A&E service are on the other side of the road, if you were going to step out and hit a car, bike, bus or motorbike, this is the place to do it. Yet the council felt that in fact, this place merited a warning sign.

Perhaps there is something about the BRI's ability to handle road traffic accidents that is behind the sign. In which case a more accurate sign would be something like "Do not cross on the red man as the BRI can't handle run over pedestrians". That would be more accurate, and be far better at making people behave.

7 comments:

bristle said...

I've always rather liked that sign, it brings to mind the American Indian Movement.

Karl On Sea said...

No - the lack of PC awareness is because it's a sign from the '60s, with a missing comma. It should read:

"Do not cross on red, man"

workbike said...

Nice comment from Karl... You should lobby to change that, man.

Here we have signs saying 'Set a good example to children, wait for the green' Which is a bit more humane and gets a response. If only they would have a bigger one facing the cars...

Anonymous said...

Those lights have a strange setup.
They stop Westbound traffic to allow traffic to turn left out of Lower Maudlin St. However Eastbound traffic still has a green light.

Hence dead pedestrians.

Steve

Chris Hutt said...

The red man, or person, is purely advisory. There is no legal basis in the UK for prohibiting pedestrians from passing across roads wherever and whenever they like. I'm not sure of the details off-hand but it's essentially because the right to pass on foot over a public highway is so fundamental.

Chris Hutt said...

Sorry, I should have added that the written sign "do not cross on the red man" may be "illegal" in that the highway authority have no powers to issue such an instruction. They can advise but no more.

I think I might challenge it. I expect it would then get removed.

Martin, Clifton. said...

This sign has no basis in law, and as such is just advice.

This crossing has a poor line of sight up the road towards the east, and road traffic can come to this crossing quite fast (when the road is not congested), and as such I think the sign is a good idea here.