Toronto/Ontario needs to rebuild its driver-training platforms. I speak as a pedestrian.
Twice within twenty-four hours I have ended up slapping the hood of a car while in part to buffer myself from its rapid forward movement, in part in anger.
I am seventy years old and have heard all the platitudes about “Never argue with anything that’s got more wheels than you’ve got lungs” and the like. These are cute, glib statements, but they don’t help you move around the city.
And the platitudes about “make eye-contact with the driver” is mostly useless, because so many cars have tinted glass nowadays that the driver is invisible when the rain falls or the lighting is poor, and those delivery trucks loom so far above us ...
When a car covers the entire zebra-crossing markings, or completely blocks the sidewalk, you could wait until the vehicle exits the sidewalk – which is when the oncoming traffic stream has disappeared – or you can make an attempt to walk around the vehicle.
Walking behind the vehicle is dangerous, because the driver is looking away from you, to his left, hoping for a break in the oncoming traffic. I have seen people knocked down by drivers who thrust the gear into reverse and backup up six feet, with nary a care for who might be walking behind them.
Walking in front of the vehicle is dangerous, because the driver is looking away from you, to his left, hoping for a break in the oncoming traffic. I have seen people knocked down by drivers who thrust the car into forward gear because they are tired of waiting and will force their way into the oncoming traffic, with nary a care for who might be walking in front of them.
Why is it so different in France, to name the one other country with which I have recent experience?
I believe it is because in Ontario Driver Training focuses on Control Of The Car, rather than Member of Society.
In Ontario, the underlying theme of training is “how to get your vehicle from here to there”, whereas in France the theme seems to be “How can we operate together”; that is, the French view seems to be “Fins someone else on the road and work with them” rather than “Just get going already”.
I have to write “seems” because I have not received driver-training in France, nor discussed this with any one resident in France.
I do know that in Toronto especially, far too many drivers are driven by the mantra “get your vehicle GOING”, rather than “Who else is around me”.