Whenever I walk the streets of London, I know for a fact that I can step off the curb and cross the street without batting an eyelash if I’m passing over a Zebra crossing. I’d walk normally, secure in the knowledge that every single vehicle in driving down that street must stop when pedestrians need to cross the street from their designated spot and that every vehicle will indeed stop. I’ve never come across a bus, a shuttle, a taxi, a truck, or an expensive sports car that didn’t stop for me, ever!
Crossing the street is not something we are familiar with in Kuwait, we don’t really walk the streets much and the few times I had to cross the street i.e. walking between malls in Salmiya for example, I’ve had to wait anxiously for the street to empty up and dash across the street like a mad woman trying to escape the zooming cars approaching in space rocket speed! Zebra crossings, and pedestrians, never have priority in Kuwait. Other cars don’t have priority either since whomever is driving thinks he has priority even if its wasn’t his turn or lane but that’s another matter all together.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Zebra crossing, no one will stop for you. I usually try to stop for pedestrians, I really do. Yesterday morning I stopped for a lady to cross the street FROM a zebra crossing. Other cars on other lanes didn’t stop and people honked and were agitated because of my action even though it was the right way to go! If you try to do the right thing for pedestrians you are faced with the wrath of your fellow car drivers. Its not like I’m letting them cross just because, it is a designated pedestrian crossing area where pedestrians, yes those who are moving on two feet, do have priority over those moving on four wheels.
Is it because pedestrians are viewed as non important? That because they are walking on their feet they are slower therefore they aren’t in a hurry to reach their destination? Is it because most pedestrians are poor expat workers? Would people stop of there was more Kuwaiti pedestrians for example? Or a good looking girl wanting to cross? No wonder pedestrians are throwing themselves at passing cars whenever and wherever they feel like it.
Do you stop at Zebra crossing in Kuwait? For anyone? If you don’t, why not?