Soapbox # 3 Road Signs

Every now and then, I wander off my usual writing topic when I feel the need to vent about something. I’ve been doing a spot of driving of late so from my soapbox I have these four points to make:-

  1. In Australia, there is a very simple rule when driving on our roads: Keep left unless overtaking. At least I think it is simple, but it seems to me that every second driver cannot grasp the concept.
  2. Why, oh why, must we have lights flashing constantly to tell us to pay our tolls, watch our speed, don’t drink and drive! The lights give me a headache which makes me dangerous on the road. Yesterday, I copped Distracted Drivers Die flashing till it almost blinded me in one eye. Well, if distracted drivers die, why are you distracting me by flashing these words when I’m trying to concentrate on the road at 110ks per hour?
  3. Speaking of distractions, it might be time to outlaw the erection of crosses and flowers and other monuments on roadsides. These sideshow alleys of mourning on public property do not enhance either our concentration or our driving skills.
  4. Speed Camera ahead. Okay, if you must raise extra revenue. For Road Safety. What the? Every time I come across a speed camera sign, I see people jamming on their brakes (even though they were not speeding in the first place), putting other drivers in jeopardy and slowing the previously perfect pace of the flow of traffic. For Road Safety indeed! Really? At least be honest.

I’ll climb down of the box now and go and have a nice cup of tea.


Filed under General Interest

10 responses to “Soapbox # 3 Road Signs

  1. Oh, I adore a good vent! “Slower drivers keep left” is a rule here as well but Florida is the worst I’ve ever experienced for ignoring that one. You have senior citizens in the fast lane going forty. You have senior citizens in the middle lane going forty and you have senior citizens in the slow lane going seventy, because they’re late for a funeral. It’s madness!

    They also have red light cameras here now which means that as soon as a light turns yellow, everyone slams on their brakes at once. I’ve seen two accidents from that in the past month alone.

  2. Senior citizens must be the same the world over. LOL.

    • Not in Spain. There, they drink wine straight out of the bottle while driving fast through hairpin, mountain turns and if you don’t get out of the way they will run you off the road without a second thought.

      For once, I am NOT exaggerating!

  3. Val Banks

    Hey, not all senior citizens are that bad but I did enjoy your piece,

    • You are right of course!!! Some seniors are much better drivers than young people. We shouldn’t generalise.
      Isn’t it a pain that we all have to spend so much time, looking at our speedo, worrying about speed cameras and trying to keep up with all the changing speed limits, when we should simply be concentrating on driving safely?

  4. Aussies drive on the left? Aren’t you guys embarrassed to be copying the Poms?

  5. LOL Karen Lee. Re no. 1. I agree when I’m out on the major freeways … but I do find people don’t understand that on multilane city roads – where the speed limit is 80K or less – the keep left rule does not apply. I regularly get honked or given the hand signal for not keeping to the left on our lovely city roads (and we have some good ones here in the ‘berra) when I am going the speed limit. But with cars merging from side streets every couple of kms, I’m darned if I’m going to keep left (when I don’t have to) and be continually slowed down so someone else can exceed the speed limit!

    Agree re 2.

    Re 3. It doesn’t really bother me. We have one particular one in our city where 4 young lads were killed on the last day of school (year 12), probably 15 years ago. It’s a small but visible cross on the crest of one of our 80km roads where there is now a point-to-point camera set up, and it never fails to affect me, even though I pass it at least a couple of times a week.

    Re 4. I appreciate the warning. Though, you are right. We do tend to automatically hit the break when we see these signs even if we are within the limit and even though by the time we see the sign they’ve probably seen us! I do believe though that evidence is that the cameras, and probably the signs (?), are having a positive effect (not just on revenue!). I have to be honest and say they have certainly changed my driving. They could of course have coincided with my getting older, but I know I used to push the limit a bit. Now I don’t.

  6. Nice to get your point of view WG. I’m interested in your reaction to number 3. When you feel affected by the cross as you pass the crest, do you think it has an affect on your driving? Are you distracted? Or do you think it just makes you more mindful?

    • No, I’m not distracted (I don’t think – I think I’m so used to these memorials now that new ones just register. Though sometimes I think, I wonder what happened here if it’s not obvious). But this one, just makes me feel sad – I remember the story at the time. One of the boys was given his father’s car as a treat and clearly was speeding over the hill – four of the five in the car died. Four 17/18 year olds, just terrible.

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