In light of a disturbing increase in the number of Luxembourg pedestrians being run over while crossing the street, here are some reminders to keep you safe.
Only cross at designated crosswalks (also called zebra crossings*)
The law states that drivers must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. That’s not to say that drivers will actually do it, but hey, it’s worth a try.
Keep in mind that drivers in Luxembourg come from many cultures
In Luxembourg, you will encounter drivers from all over the world. Some are from countries where failing to yield to pedestrians will get you 40 lashes and a year in prison. Other drivers, however, come from places where trying to hit pedestrians is enjoyed as a sport. Always assume the latter.
Make eye contact with the driver
And hold your gaze for no less than a minute. Sure, it’s time-consuming and creepy, but doing this shows that you’re the type of person who will seek revenge if you get hit.
Wait for a lull in traffic
Just to be really safe, remain on the sidewalk until the street is free of cars, which usually occurs between the hours of three and 5:45 a.m.
Make sure you are visible to drivers
It used to be that wearing a reflective yellow vest, pants, hat, and gloves was enough, but not any longer. Safety experts advise you to douse your body in a flammable gel and set yourself on fire just to make sure that approaching drivers are alerted to your presence.
Get a written agreement
These days, Luxembourg’s savviest pedestrians only cross streets in the presence of their lawyer or notary. That way, they can quickly (albeit expensively) get drivers to sign a legally binding agreement guaranteeing a safe crossing.
Still, prepare for the worst
So it’s 3:30 in the morning, you’ve set yourself on fire, blown a bullhorn, and looked both ways 50 times to check for cars. You’re finally ready to cross the street, certain that you’ll live to see another day.
Just in case, take care of your finances and any outstanding legal disputes before you cross. Pay off your debts, assign an heir, and for Pete’s sake clean up your apartment so that when loved ones come to fight over your tacky jewelry and outdated electronics, they won’t have to see your dirty underwear on the floor.
*This term is presumably used in countries with a high population of zebras living and working in urban areas.