I MUST respond to “Nasty Mr Toad” comments (Letters, November 9) on my “I saved a life” letter of November 8. Cars are rightly confined to travelling on the road and pedestrians primarily on the pavement but at times on the road. In an urban environment a car travelling even at 20 mph is unlikely to be able to come to a halt within the length of the vehicle and the driver’s reaction time and weather conditions can multiply that distance several times. Rule 170 of the code states clearly that vehicular traffic must give way to pedestrians with the caveat “if they are already on the road” and that is how it should be.

However, bearing in mind that a walking pedestrian can stop on a sixpence and a car, bus or bike can’t, surely the onus has to be on the pedestrian to ensure that it is safe for them to enter an environment which is potentially hazardous. Drivers have to pay attention to and assess the movement of other road-users when they cross junctions and change lanes; surely pedestrians should have to as well when they join the mix? Otherwise the next time Miss J Walker could find it’s not even Mr Toad who is driving the oncoming car but Darwinian natural selection

David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.

ATTEMPTS by cycling and walking communities to have Rule 170 of the Highway Code recognised and even enhanced have fallen to the British "car is king" mentality. Other countries have recognised the potential hazard for pedestrians at junctions and have stricter rules for motor traffic and their observance which make for more considerate and civilised behaviour from drivers.

The traditional British response has been to drum in to children from an early age to "look right, look left, look right again", with the default becoming that if anything with wheels is seen they must keep back or expect to be killed. Road design, with sharp delineation between where cars and people should be, often with fences to keep people off the road and special red and green lights for where to cross, can reinforce drivers' feelings of entitlement to "their" space and even lead to disrespect for any pedestrians who encroach on it.

These separations may seem a self-evident necessity for survival but, like so many road safety issues the counter-intuitive option often proves far more effective. When all road users are given the right cues to become alert and take note of each other then co-operation and care for all breaks out. Shared-use space, well designed, does work.

Ian McNair and Bob Downie (Letters, November 9) are right. However from my experience as a pedestrian, asserting my "rights" under 170 can lead to drivers speeding up, apparently using their vehicles to teach me a lesson. When on my bicycle turning a corner pedestrians often step back or wait. A quick stop by me would most likely cause confusion, so hopefully my “thank you” or careful giving them a wide berth helps restore some sense of common "rights".

Let’s hope the many national and local policies to reduce private cars in towns can be enhanced through more infrastructure which curbs drivers innate superiority and offers pedestrians and cyclist less anxiety and more confidence.

Peter Hayman, Glasgow G1.