Protests have erupted from walkers in Stornoway faced with regular peril from drivers ignoring red lights at road junctions and pedestrian crossings.
This came out on the welovestornoway.com Facebook Page after editor Fred Silver shared his experience at the Matheson Road/Goathill Road/ Church Street junction last Tuesday (January 8th).
This was the latest in a series of near-misses at different crossings over recent several years – which also include being distracted by a mobile phone message and thereby saved from injury because he failed to step off the pavement when the pedestrian phase began, and thus avoided being hit by a car going through on red at full speed.
What Fred said was: “Okay folks…Christmas is over…you know those red lights on poles at various stages along Matheson Road…they are stop lights, not Christmas lights!
“As a regular walker around town I have had a series of near misses over recent years as car drivers choose to disregard the lights, even crossing when the pedestrian audible alarm is sounding, when all traffic should be halted.
“But this morning, around 8.50am, was the worst so far! Four or five cars crossed the Matheson Road/Goathill Road junction with the lights all on red…and at least the last two after the all-clear was sounding for pedestrians to start crossing!!
“OK…this is the editor of EVENTS and welovestornoway.com exploiting our WLS Facebook presence to make a point…but remember this could be anyone! Those red lights mean something…they mean STOP!!!”
And it turned out there were a wide range of similar experiences to share.
Kirsty Macleod told us: “Two near misses, out of many, come to mind. Waiting for green man ...car stops...but not trusting another car that was coming down Matheson Road at great speed, I stayed on the kerb. Said speeding car WENT ROUND the stationary car and then slammed on the brakes just past the top of Stag Road...and then drove away.
“Second close call was just a plain old drive through the red light…went home to write down the licence plate and vehicle description…was then crossing road to go to police station to report first vehicle when lo and behold a small white van did the same thing. Got licence plate on that one and both drivers were SPOKEN TO by police.”
Carol Ferguson said: “The number of people who drive through red light at the pedestrian crossing at the Spar end on a daily basis is unreal. It's a well-used crossing and is sadly an accident waiting to happen. Some speed patrols on Matheson Road wouldn't go amiss either.”
Maureen Horner said: “That happened to me at the Laxdale School crossing… lights were red, started to cross and a dark car coming from Laxdale side just managed to brake in time. I just stood and pointed to the red light, hope they got a fright.”
Paula Christie said: “I nearly got hit twice, first time at the hospital lights, lights on RED two cars straight through, nearly hit me. Second time, lights at YM bridge on RED, the car speeding right through.”
And Catherine Bruce said:” Well done to highlight this. We see this frequently drivers ignoring red lights, I made it quite clear to one van driver and I got a rude gesture…Living in the Goathill area, we frequently walk to town and see many near misses.”