Another day, another London transport story, anyone would think there’s a mayoral election in the offing (NB. don’t vote Paddick). So TfL are targetting cyclists to pay more attention. At its centre is a video [do the test] which is interesting enough and makes a point worth bearing in mind: the mind is easily fooled and we can be paying too much attention, not seeing the wood for the trees if you like.
Paying attention is something that surprisingly few people do. Most of the problems on the roads don’t stem from impatience or inherent rudeness, they stem from an inherent lack of attention, specifically to predicting what is about to happen – and making your behaviour easy to read for others so that they can safely and accurately predict what you are about to do (providing, of course, that they’re paying attention).
So the point in the video is almost completely and ironically missed; spotting things that aren’t expected is never going to happen. Asking people to do it is ridiculous. It is like warning people not to have a chip pan fire while crossing the road, a null reference exception gets thrown as you’re pulling away from the lights or looking at the sky for dead pixels. Oh.
Ask people to behave preditably … well, that’s impossible too, but it would be safer all around.