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Ovation: Please Slow Drively.

08/01/2013

PleaseSlowDrively, road sign, speed limit, speed bump, highway safetyThere are many places that have strict laws about the placement of signage at intersections and along parkways.  It’s illegal, in these areas, to post for “Yard Sale”, “Open House” or even “For Sale” signs from REALTORs at many intersections.  Some municipalities have laws of this nature specifically for political sign placement.  I suppose it can become difficult to distinguish between excessive advertising and litter.

Apparently, my community has no such ordinances in place because the number of signs installed in my neighborhood has escalated tremendously in recent weeks.  Bright shiny signs pointing toward churches and points of interest have been installed.  “Neighborhood Watch” and “Please Don’t Litter” signs have appeared out of the blue and in the most unusual places.  It’s almost to the point that there are so many signs along the roadways that I don’t even read them anymore.  I can no longer tell the difference between a new sign and a “senior moment” …

“How long has THAT sign been there?” I ask.

“What sign?” is the reply.

“The one that says ‘Trail of Perpetual Misdirection’. What’s the ‘Trail of Perpetual Misdirection?’ Is it something from the civil war?”

“I have no idea.  Maybe it’s supposed to help tourists find the mall.”

There are signs pointing to City Hall, giving directions to the Library and to the park.  It’s as if everyone was suddenly getting lost.  Are we expecting an inflow of visitors that will need to find City Hall and the Old Stone House?

A traffic sign installed outside a private preschool in Auburn, California, is certainly getting noticed.  The odd sign, which may or may not be intentional, asks passing motorists to “PLEASE SLOW DRIVELY” and it’s getting a lot of attention.  It is unclear if the sign was purposefully designed as a word puzzle meant to have drivers slow down to make sure they’re reading it correctly or it was simply a mistake, which seems unlikely.

Either way, I imagine it’s working.  I, for one, would slow down to read it and read it again to make sure that I’d really seen it correctly.  It seems that drivers have become so terribly distracted when behind the wheel, and they travel at often ridiculously high speeds, that they can’t be reminded too often to slow down and be careful.  Outside my office building, six speed bumps and two stop signs have been installed in an effort to get commuter traffic to slow down all to no avail.  A “PLEASE SLOW DRIVELY” sign would surely slow people down … for a little while, anyway.

On the other hand, any unnecessary distraction along the roadside can be a bad idea.  In my neighborhood, there are so many signs that this one might not even get noticed.

What do you think?  Good idea to slow drivers down or bad idea that takes their eyes off the road?

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8 Comments
  1. I agree that too many signs can be a distraction, however, drivers loose sight of the fact that they are not the only ones using the parkways and roadways. Drivers must be aware that 1) Children are unpredictable and can in a fleeting moment run into the roadway, 2) Bicyclists have the same rights as cars (yeah I know many bicyclists ignore the rules) and 3) Motorcyclists share our roadways and we must remain aware of that.

    There will continue to be more and more vehicles on our roads and we must learn to drive more defensively, stay alert, slow down and allow more time to get where you are going.

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    • If everyone (motorists, cyclists, bus drivers, pedestrians, crossing guards, etc.) would simply obey the laws the roads would be so much more safe and efficient. Sadly, it seems that for every driver obeying the laws there are three fools sending text messages or playing with their iPods. I remember a time when the worst drivers on the roads were “Sunday drivers” that caused minor inconveniences. We didn’t know how good we had it.

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  2. I used to live down the hill from Auburn, and I’m guessing the sign-maker had a few too many at lunch that day.
    And then so did the guys who put the sign up.

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  3. My main advice to my children, whilst learning to drive, is to expect other drivers to do the most crazy things and be ready for it. (The old drive defensively) The out of town Christmas shopper who totaled our Volvo with our two sons in it proved that. (Both boys fine after a bout of physical therapy for the one who was just missed by the extended cab pickup.)

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    • That’s great advice! I think it’s sad that the best thing to do is to expect the worst from other drivers … but it’s certainly safest.

      Glad your boys are fine!

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  4. I think a sign like this posted in an area where you are supposed to be driving slowly (where you could easily read the sign if you were following the speed limit) would be a good thing. But too many signs is certainly a distraction!

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  5. Lanny Waters permalink

    This was obviously done intentionally !! Just look at how much notoriety the sign is getting. People have been reading it and pointing it out to others. Our brains are plastic enough to be able to read the words and put the meaning together, without it being properly spelled. Some smart person is taking advantage of this knowledge and calling attention to the sign in with attention, comes compliance !! It is achieving its desired effect !! If it was just a run-of-the-mill “please drive slowly” sign, I’m sure everyone would disregard it, just like we do background noise or other things we become overly familiar with.

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