Ixion FAQ

How can I avoid running pedestrians over?

Peds have rights on the roads too, but lemmingpeds who cross a road in London without looking endanger everybody; are pillocks; and are surprisingly frequent - I've already hit two on my pedal bike at slow speeds, and I'm worried about hitting one with my motorbike or car one of these days - there's nothing you can do about true lemmingpeds - they don't just do the ordinary ped thing of stepping off a pavement without looking (which every two-wheeler in London allows for), no, the true lemmingped will look at you and see nothing there, or will cross an entire road without looking, for example.

Something which I've learnt through experiences on two wheels is to not try and outdodge a pedestrian if s/he's aware of you when you're bearing down on them (unless they're pissed).

Today going round the huge roundabout outside Buckingham Palace (always horrible and slippery - yesterday I saw a despatch rider who'd come off there (sheltered by police vans in the middle of the roundabout while the medics checked him over).), anyway, today a dopey young man started slowly sauntering across it from the palace to the middle of the roundabout as if he was out for a promenade, his eyes on the island in the middle. (what was he thinking? "I can't see you, therefore you don't exist"?!!?) I was doing about 20 (that despatch rider coming a cropper having had its effect on me) and was being predictable. "What the fuck?!" I thought as dopey began to cross the busy road, "Surely he *must* have looked!" He hadn't but an instant later he did, and he began the Panic Dance, which involves the ped leaping from side to side trying to entice you to the same side as him/her. Me, I've come to realise that a healthy young ped like that can shift from side to side better than you as a two wheeler, so you have to be predictable and not change your line - just slow down so that you give them more time and so that if you crunch into them, things are relatively ok. (Oh, except when they're pissed, (which is likely on Friday and Saturday eves especially). If they're likely to be pissed and walking across the road, you are better off trying to change direction. I managed to hospitalise some poor pissed fool when on my pedal bike once, crunching into him at about 3mph - pissed people don't protect themselves too well when they fall down). Anyway, the lemmingped managed to leap out of the way in time due to: me traveling slowly in the first place; slowing down when I realised he was a lemmingped and, importantly; being predictable as I was bearing down on him (peds assume you're a mindless machine and don't expect you to change your direction).

`I quite agree with you,' said the Duchess; `and the moral of that is--"Be what you would seem to be"--or if you'd like it put more simply--"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."'

(- Alice in Wonderland)



I agree. The best thing to do with lemmingpeds is to aim straight at them while applying the brakes. The only problem is that this doesn't work with rabbitpeds, who stand still, transfixed with horror, until you knock them over. The last rabbitped I hit was accompanied by two lemmingpeds. As they saw the bike bearing down on them in heavy braking mode, one lemmingped dashed across to the far side, and the other dashed back to the near side, while the rabbitped stood transfixed. The far side lemming ped started waving and screaming at the rabbitped to run. The lemmingped from the nearside ran back out and grabbed the rabbitped by the arm and tried to drag her back, but was beaten off so severely that she fell over. I then hit the rabbitped at about 5mph and laddered her stockings. She tried to insist I should pay for them, but the lemmings explained to her what an idiot she was, and you couldn't expect a braking vehicle to dodge about as well as brake, and she gave up.

This should be in the highway code: "In the case of impending collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian the vehicle should brake in a straight line and the pedestrian should move out of the way."

And not being able to quote it should fail you the examination for the pedestrian licence. If you haven't got a pedestrian licence (or have lost it through drunk-walking or whatever) then you can only cross roads if someone with a ped licence holds your hand.

Chris Malcolm

This page last updated 18/09/02
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