Postcards from Rome – A level crossing


“… And be careful crossing the roads.”

It appears an innocent enough comment made from one person to another – but then, this is Rome. A city where pedestrians barely register with the average driver.

The green light as seen in the image above is a temptress; a siren of doom. For the green man on Roman traffic lights has a far different meaning to the one back home.

Green means cross, but, well, don’t actually assume cars will stop. Green means some cars stop – whilst others, usually those turning off a main road – will carry on going. Carry on – irrespective of whether you are crossing or not.

And that’s just the crossings with lights, where you have a 50/50 chance.

There are the other crossings – the Zebras of the underworld – that force you in to a Frogger like state. Don’t move and you stand rooted to the pavements for life. Do move – and you do so in hope, more so than expectation that the cars will actually stop.

Many a time I’ve gone to cross the road, only for a driver to narrowly miss out on the tourist bonus of 10 points for a direct hit.

Crossings are never level in Rome. The advantage lies firmly with the driver – as the pedestrian risks lying firmly on the ground.

Be safe out there!


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