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Old 18.03.2011, 09:44
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Kids crossing the road

My son was waiting at the crossing zebra this morning and no cars would stop. It is the first morning I let him go to kindergarten on his own, and I was following him to see how he was doing. I ran and stopped one of the car and asked the couple why they didn't stop. The guy said "he had his hand waving and I didn't know what does it mean". I asked him how old he was, that even a 5y old child would know what does it mean and what did he think my son was waiting for anyway? I was mad. I was also pride of my son to have waited and not crossing. What upset me is that on my way back home, a car stopped to let me crossing the road without even me asking him to stop as I was not even near the crossing zebra.
Swiss mentality is so disappointing. Why don't they stop?
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:09
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Re: Kids crossing the road

As far as I know, the children are taught here NOT to make signs that they want to stop. Exactly for the reason the driver gave - it gives conflicting messages and may give false security that the car will stop. I think children are taught to stand at the zebra-crossing waiting until the car is fully stopped and then cross.

Maybe you can talk to the teacher of the school and ask if it would be possible for your son to have a quick training either with the teacher or the local police.
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:15
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Re: Kids crossing the road

well actually the police came to train them and they are being told to stand at the zebra crossing and stop the cars with their arm holding on straight and their hand up. Who told you the opposite?
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:19
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Re: Kids crossing the road

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As far as I know, the children are taught here NOT to make signs that they want to stop. Exactly for the reason the driver gave - it gives conflicting messages and may give false security that the car will stop. I think children are taught to stand at the zebra-crossing waiting until the car is fully stopped and then cross.

Maybe you can talk to the teacher of the school and ask if it would be possible for your son to have a quick training either with the teacher or the local police.
This was also the method my children were taught by the police. Its possible that things may have changed in the interim, but I would agree that hand signals could give a false sense of security.
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:21
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Re: Kids crossing the road

Lola, I've seen children at the local school being taught (by the teacher and police) to do just as Tilia and Klostergirl mention - stand at the crosswalk, facing the road so that it is obvious that the child wants to cross, but not to use a hand signal.

Usually, a hand-waving signal is interpreted as 'please drive on'.

Can anyone clarify what is being taught today?
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:26
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Re: Kids crossing the road

I was with a reflectively-orange-clad policeman a couple of years ago, training a class of 1st graders to cross the road, all but one of whom were lined up nicely at the side of the road as their classmate made her way across the zebra stripes. The girl was about halfway across when a driver zoomed about two feet in front of her at 30 mph, leaving the poor girl somewhat shaken and the teacher and the police officer somewhat bloody annoyed.

A line of children; a copper in reflective gear; a child actually on the crossing: what more do these idiots need to encourage them to stop?
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:30
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Re: Kids crossing the road

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Lola, I've seen children at the local school being taught (by the teacher and police) to do just as Tilia and Klostergirl mention - stand at the crosswalk, facing the road so that it is obvious that the child wants to cross, but not to use a hand signal.

Usually, a hand-waving signal is interpreted as 'please drive on'.

Can anyone clarify what is being taught today?
My son was taught, at Kindergarten, by a policeman, NOT to use a hand-signal when crossing the road.

However, when he was younger,and my back was turned, I have found him directing traffic in car-parks using hand-signals as described by the OP.

He was copying the children doing their weekend traffic duty (not sure what the organisation is called).
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:31
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Re: Kids crossing the road

Wow that is unacceptable. I hope sanctions have been taken against this driver.
I'll have a chat with the teacher and check that my son is doing the right thing then but it is very very annoying and worrying.
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:39
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Re: Kids crossing the road

I found the following quote on the net (from the following site):

http://www.economypoint.org/pedestrian-crossing/p1.htm

Although taken from a supposedly English language site, the actual text appears to have been possibly translated, because some of it doesn't read true/make sense.

"Until 1994 required the Swiss traffic rule regulation (VRV) that pedestrians, who wanted to cross a road on a zebra crossing had to state their intention to approaching cars by Handzeichen. In contrast to it however the superordinate traffic law (SVG) specified that the pedestrian without restriction would have precedence on the pedestrian strip. Thereby a large uncertainty developed among Swiss, so that finally the Swiss Federal court required of the legislator to clarify this situation. Thus in agreement with abroad valid laws 1994 the Handzeichen Obligatorium was waived. So today cars must continue, if a pedestrian wants to cross a road on the pedestrian strip, starting from 2006 to become cars, which do not continue, paid for in Switzerland.
At the 7.April 2004 by the Swiss pedestrian federation in the context of the world health daily of the World Health Organization the action yellow Zebra was started, which wants to contribute to the fact that the pedestrian precedence on the zebra crossing is better considered. However pedestrians must also consider with the fact that they may only enter the roadway, if an approaching vehicle can hold still without problems. Therefore also illustrations for pedestrians are on the web page of the action apart from references, how itself drivers have to behavior"
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:46
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Re: Kids crossing the road

Where I am from we had school crossing guards. They need that here.

In the next village to mine, children need to cross a busy road to get to school. They have moms there in reflective vests holding signs and assisting these children. I think it is a good idea.

In my village, which has the same busy road running through it, there are no guards. The zebra crossings are just after a roundabout and it is quite dangerous. I know many parents who walk their kids to school if their children are not walking with a group of friends. I would do the same. They don't walk them to the door, just make sure they have safely crossed the road. Afterwards they drop into the local cafe for a coffee or do some shopping in the village.

Children here are taught not to use hand signals but to just stand still at the crossing.

Many years ago when our kids were in primary school one of our son's schoolmates was fatally injured following a collision with a car. The teacher sent a letter to parents telling us that children can be very distracted on their way to school. Crossing busy roads is dangerous and children need to be alert because unfortunately there are a lot of drivers out there who are not.

I know the teachers disapprove of parents walking children to school but as parents we know our children best and if you have child who walks alone and are at all concerned, do what you feel you need to do.
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:49
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Re: Kids crossing the road

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A line of children; a copper in reflective gear; a child actually on the crossing: what more do these idiots need to encourage them to stop?
A bullet through the rear window would seem appropriate. The copper was armed, wasn't he?

Drivers generally do stop when I want to use a crossing. Partly, because I make it obvious I wish to cross, but mainly, I suspect, because I'm big and ugly. ( Bovver boots, union jack t-shirt and skinhead ). My kids, who are not so big, and definitely not ugly, find that they can stand by the side of the road for ages before someone stops for them. It gives me the impression that some drivers will stop for adults, but not for kids. How stupid is that?
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:54
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Re: Kids crossing the road

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A bullet through the rear window would seem appropriate. The copper was armed, wasn't he?

Drivers generally do stop when I want to use a crossing. Partly, because I make it obvious I wish to cross, but mainly, I suspect, because I'm big and ugly. ( Bovver boots, union jack t-shirt and skinhead ). My kids, who are not so big, and definitely not ugly, find that they can stand by the side of the road for ages before someone stops for them. It gives me the impression that some drivers will stop for adults, but not for kids. How stupid is that?
Same here. When I am alone, not everyone stops. When I am with the dogs, everyone stops.
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:57
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Re: Kids crossing the road

A crossing is a crossing........ hand waving, 5yo or 50yo....... it doesn't matter, you know what to do when someone is at a crossing:

STOP


In every country it's the same rule.


Not stopping at a crossing to allow a 5yo across the road is the height of arrogance.
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Old 18.03.2011, 10:58
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Re: Kids crossing the road

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I was also pride of my son to have waited and not crossing.
Well done to your son for having waited. It is a big ask of a kindergarten child to cross the road correctly and carefully on their own.

I have just asked my son about his training from the friendly village PC Plod (this was last year), and he told me that they were taught to stand still and square to the crossing, so as to make it clear they were waiting to cross, but to never ever move until any approaching car had completely stopped. No hand signaling was taught.

It has led to us having to wait for simply ages at the one crossing in our village as it is on a long straight stretch, and if my son so much as sees a car, we have to wait until it is at a complete stop

Better safe than sorry but a good example of the limitations of children at this age in being able to safely deal with traffic situations.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:01
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Re: Kids crossing the road

This, unfortunately, is a continuation on a never-ending topic of concern. More so here, than in our own/other countries, where the laws are more black and white (like the crossings).

I made the following comment:

http://www.englishforum.ch/daily-lif...ml#post1115325

on the following thread:

Crossing the road, cars failing to stop
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:02
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Re: Kids crossing the road

Pedestrians are your friends if you are being tailgated. There is nothing more enjoyable than watching a tailgater getting more and more frustrated as you let people across. And then accelerate slowly away because people are crossing on the next one.

My personal beef is the crossing at our bus stop. Drivers just don't seem to understand that a bus at a bus-stop means you are likely to get pedestrians crossing. I have had one car overtake a car stopped at the crossing, then speed across the crossing while I was walking. I had to step back to avoid being hit.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:05
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Re: Kids crossing the road

actually law says pedestrians have priority on zebra-crossing.
But of course, they have to be careful.

It was also discussed some times ago about doing a sign with the hand, but it had been decided it was not necessary.
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:16
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Re: Kids crossing the road

My kids school also has a problem, as there is a main road near the school that alot of kids have to cross and it can be dangerous. For a few years the "elternrat" (parents group int he school) organized "traffic gaurds", which was basically parents willing to voulenteer to stand at the pedestrian crossing at beginning/end of school hours wearing orange vests and when a group of kids was ready to cross, they'd step out and stop traffic so the kids could cross. That seemd to stop a few years ago however (maybe all the parents got run over already? )

This year they sent a flyer around for a "pediBus" which is a "walking school bus", meaning a parent would walk a route in the neighborhood every morning at the same time, heading to the school, and kids could wait by their home and join the "pediBus" when it passes by. This way the kids are gaurenteed an adult is watching over them as they walk to school and cross the road. I don't this materialized however as I never saw anyone doing this.

http://verkehrsclub.ch/index.php?id=4771

I don't know what else to reccomend, besides having him be very careful, or taking him yourself every day...
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:34
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Re: Kids crossing the road

My kids have all been taught to wait until the car stops by looking at the wheels. The driver is actually not supposed to give any kind of signal to the child to cross. Sometimes they just slow down, but the wheels are still moving, and give a hand signal to the child. Very confusing for a young child. According to the police officer who instructed my children, most drivers don't know that one should come to a still stop and NOT give a wave of the hand. A lot of parents have complained about this and suggested the police do some sort of ad campaign to let drivers know how they are supposed to react when a child wants to cross. Apparently, the police do not have the funds to alot to such a campaign and we were told to "spread the word" ourselves within the community and beyond...
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Old 18.03.2011, 11:40
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Re: Kids crossing the road

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Where I am from we had school crossing guards. They need that here.

In the next village to mine, children need to cross a busy road to get to school. They have moms there in reflective vests holding signs and assisting these children. I think it is a good idea.

In my village, which has the same busy road running through it, there are no guards. The zebra crossings are just after a roundabout and it is quite dangerous. I know many parents who walk their kids to school if their children are not walking with a group of friends. I would do the same. They don't walk them to the door, just make sure they have safely crossed the road. Afterwards they drop into the local cafe for a coffee or do some shopping in the village.

Children here are taught not to use hand signals but to just stand still at the crossing.

Many years ago when our kids were in primary school one of our son's schoolmates was fatally injured following a collision with a car. The teacher sent a letter to parents telling us that children can be very distracted on their way to school. Crossing busy roads is dangerous and children need to be alert because unfortunately there are a lot of drivers out there who are not.

I know the teachers disapprove of parents walking children to school but as parents we know our children best and if you have child who walks alone and are at all concerned, do what you feel you need to do.
I agree with Mrs. Doolitle - the safety of your child is paramount, the consequences as described above, are unthinkable.

We also walked our children to Kindergarten for the first year and a half (in the case of the older one). We were lucky enough to have a choice of routes, one of which was through the woods and avoided roads altogether, although that brought its own dangers and distractions.

Once our children had to cross roads to get to primary school, I would sometimes drive around the school area myself to check that they were behaving sensibly and knew what to do. I agree that it is a good idea to check with the school exactly what your child should be doing.

I also think it is better for children to walk together. A little group at the crossing is perhaps more visible (although I don't defend drivers who don't stop) and older kids will sometimes take on a bit of responsibility for the younger ones. Our children had a fairly long walk to school with no public transport option. My older son would always walk our younger child home and take responsibility for other younger ones that they found on the way.

When I stop for children, I always wait until they have got to the other side before driving on, to alert drivers on the opposite side that someone is crossing. Its amazing how many drivers will whizz past little ones who are just reaching the middle of the road.
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