Risky setup: Glasgow dad on risking driving into parked car

Image copyright Antonio Amaral Image caption The electric pole has been erected over a pedestrian crossing

It’s usually the commuter in a hurry who sets a vehicle off on this sort of journey.

But Antonio Amaral didn’t set out to have a car crash.

His case of tripping up when looking at a leaning forward, bending-the-neck type of sign, has become all the more urgent after the government recently introduced new rules against owners ignoring safety crosswalks.

We were in Glasgow, where many are complaining about the lack of protection.

Amaral was driving along Dumfries Road to take his young son to nursery when he slowed down.

‘It was a footstool off the end of a crosswalk’

He points out what looks to be a heavy stop lamp which as on his dash screen is already across the road.

A closer look shows the light poles have been crossed and the guide points are all bent.

“I was trying to look for it on the other side of the street but at that time I was at a standstill to try and get to the back of the car because the [other] car came through the driver’s side door,” Amaral explains.

He then stops to get out of the vehicle and begins the procedure of trying to get the car moving again.

It took him another three attempts.

“By the time we got the car moving, my son was walking towards the car and I was trying to move the vehicle because I was not sure if it was going to slide,” Amaral continues.

“I started reversing. The car was going forward a little bit and it was a footstool off the end of a crosswalk.”

Image copyright Antonio Amaral Image caption Amaral says the car continued to back up before stopping again at the pedestrian crossing. Amaral tried to get out of the car but was having difficulty.

It was a normal day, typical for Amaral, a Glasgow bus driver and community volunteer who is full of regrets.

“I should have gone in a different direction and stopped but I just saw it as a normal thing.

“When I stopped it I started moving again and when I stopped again my son started running towards the car to get his toys out and I told him: ‘don’t run. You’ll hurt yourself or the car or whoever’.”

What he doesn’t remember is that he got his foot stuck between two cars, and his son had to get out of the car to rescue his dad, but luckily the driver stopped and got them out of danger.

Image copyright Antonio Amaral Image caption Amaral’s experience brings to mind the warning about looking at the left of the sign when you are at a standstill

As a father and community worker, Amaral is concerned the Glasgow directive has been the start of the enforcement of dangerously leaning signs.

“My word is going around trying to warn people they have to go in the right direction and now people are not respecting the new rules, which is no longer safe.

“It is affecting people’s lives.”

Amaral did file a safety camera ticket but while the difference might be small, it will cost the person who has just lost their foot half a fare.

“The council’s response was that they had cameras but they didn’t have the money,” he adds.

“People don’t realise what the system is about.”

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