Blinking lights

OK, I admit occasionally to watching Sky News (motto: Feeding pap to the masses), but this morning there was an item on their ‘vox pop’ slot by a chap advocating the removal of traffic lights in order to improve road safety, the premise being that drivers, however normally aggressive, don’t want to bend their car or themselves and therefore are more careful.

This radical proposal was immediately poo-pooed by the chunky Irishman and his hench-ladies, but hang on, let’s think about it.  Are you, however arrogant and self-possessed, gong to roar through a crossroads despite the fact that a fourteen-wheel forty tonner might be about to T-bone you?  No, you’re not.  You are going to slow right down and look first before proceeding in an orderly manner.  Job jobbed, says I.

Now let’s take this a stage further.  Idiots demand the right to drive, ‘normally’ for them, whatever the weather conditions.  They drive at the legal limit (or above) in snow, ice, fog, heavy rain or whatever.  “Where were the gritters”, they wail after a multiple pile-up leaves them and others on stretchers or worse, as if it were always somebody else’s fault for their failed attempt at a Darwin Award.

And something else.  I have driven on some very hairy mountain roads around the world and here in Portugal – narrow road, deep ravine below and no Armco or barriers of any kind, but there in nothing better to concentrate the mind and slow down than seeing an upturned, rusty wreck at the bottom of said ravine with only a forlorn little shrine to mark the occupant(s) demise.  Even the dirt track up to The Cave has eighty metre drops on the interesting side and will kill you if you get careless or cocky.

So, when I assume power, traffic lights will be removed, gritters will be left in the depots  and their crews employed removing barriers on mountain roads.  I’m not kidding!

OZ

Author: O Zangado

Just loping around. Extremely fond of roast boar in particular, meat in general and cooking on the barbie. Fish is good too.

10 thoughts on “Blinking lights”

  1. OZ, I recall that some years ago Holland tried this out in Amsterdam, with some success. I suspect though that the ‘no, guv, it was my road’ brigade will cause mayhem.

  2. “I suspect though that the ‘no, guv, it was my road’ brigade will cause mayhem.” Not if instead there are road markings showing priority such as painted mini-roundabouts.

    OZ

  3. Oz, I think you have a point. In the Channel Islands they have a ‘filter in turn’ system which seems to work well.

  4. Here in Zim, we are streets ahead of you all. Our traffic lights stopped working a long time ago. Well, for much of the time. Actually, I really think traffic runs more smoothly when they are not working. It does become a game of chicken though.

  5. The title (Blinking Lights) reminded me of this:-

    This term derives from the last word of the famous blackletter-Gothic sign in mangled mock German that once graced about half the computer rooms in the English-speaking world. One version ran in its entirety as follows.

    ACHTUNG!
    ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS!
    DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN! ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKEN.
    IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
    ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.

    Courtesy of Wikipedia

  6. Aah, Jazz. That takes me back.

    Somewhere in The Cave I have/had a book of office wisdom with that one and such other pearls as,

    “Will any employee requiring time off to attend the funeral of a relative please inform Management at least two days before the date of the match.”

    I know/knew exactly where it is/was, but now it isn’t after a recent rearrangement of my shelves. I am sure I would not have flung it, so I must have a delve into the deeper recesses.

    OZ

  7. Hi Sipu. That sounds like progress by default. In a similar vein, certain Pacific Islanders got into the organic production of various commodities very early for the simple reason that they never could afford fertilizers.

    OZ

  8. It is called a four way stop in the USA. Been around for decades. You go in the order you arrive.

    In the seventies in Memphis, anyone driving though a green light was taking their life in their hands. The black went through at 70 mph on red trying to hit whites for the insurance (which had only just been made compulsory!)

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