One of the distinguishing features of electric motor vehicles is how quiet they are; drivers of same tell me this is one of the aspects that takes a while to get used to. But it’s not only drivers who are affected; pedestrians often rely on the noise of a vehicle to alert them. Pedestrians like me…
So, now I have set the background, let’s go back to one day in the office earlier this week. Ours is a multi building complex, and to go from my building to any of the others, I have to cross a two way street. There is a traffic island in the center dividing the two routes.
I was on my way to a meeting. I had successfully crossed one lane and was standing in the middle, on the traffic island.
I looked right to check the oncoming traffic and waited for it to pass. The route was clear. there was nothing coming. No need to rush.
I stepped out into the road and headed for the pavement. And was nearly flattened by an electric vehicle.
No, it was not invisible.
Yes, it was driving the wrong way down the street.
No, it did not hit me, because I managed to ‘sense’ it in time and jump – ok, hobble – out of the way.
Yes, I was bloody lucky it was only an electric bicycle.
No, I have no idea why he was riding the wrong way down the street. He wasn’t even on the flipping pavement!
Yes, I gave the rider an impromptu and free vocabulary lesson about combining Anglo Saxon and Scotch expressions.
I detoured to pick up a strong black coffee before my meeting and tried to recover from that nasty, silent, shock. Yuk. Not a nice experience.
But it was a timely reminder: when out on the roads in Israel, you must keep up your concentration level at all times. Even when you are a pedestrian. Or should that be, especially when you are a pedestrian?