Thursday, August 14, 2008

And the sign said, "Long-haired freaky people..."

Didn't really need the "long-haired freaky people" part of that title, but I just really, really like the way it trips off the tongue. The Five Man Electrical Band is another underrated group I should've mentioned in a previous post. I understand they still reunite and tour occasionally. Great harmonies.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about. It's about a certain class of sign that I see popping up all over the place.

This may be something akin to saying, "the sky is blue" or "water is wet" but, I don't understand the DMV, or whoever it is that's responsible for these things.

First of all, they're often put up on heavily-traveled streets or even expressways. If you're flowing with traffic, how the heck are you supposed to know when the sign is indicating your speed? We were travelling last weekend in pretty heavy traffic when we passed one of these telling us that our speed was 68-72-75-77-66-80-72-71-79. If I'm doing 66 in a 65 zone, I don't much care. If I'm doing 79, I consider it pretty borderline. If I'm looking back and forth from my speedometer to the sign to try to figure out when it's pointing at me, then I'm not watching the road and I'm an accident waiting to happen, which is what I believe these signs actually accomplish.

Even if I'm in sparse traffic with one lane of traffic in either direction and it's obvious when the sign is indicating my speed, this tends to be my thought process:

  • I'm speeding (I'm always speeding).
  • Scan for a cop.
  • No cop, keep going.

What's the real percentage of people out there that see these signs, know when they're being clocked, realize for the first time that they're speeding, and as a result of all this, slow down? I'm betting it's pretty darn low.

This, to me, would be much more effective:

But this is really overkill. When I see the cop car, I really don't need the sign telling me how fast I'm going. My guess is that this is also true of most drivers.

Finally, though, what's up with this one?

So now I'm not only driving 55 (or more) miles per hour down the road, I'm also looking between my speedometer and craning up to see the sign. Great idea.

Oh sure, they're interesting and fun to play with, but I'm thinking they're pretty useless, and they're blockin' up the scenery, breakin' my mind.


lacochran's evil twin said...

I've never seen a sign attached to a cop car like that. My first thought: "With all that drag on his car from the sign, I might be able to outrun him." :)

Gilahi said...

I wonder how well the sign works if the cop car is moving. Hadn't thought of that.

j.m. tewkesbury said...

I thought the same thing as the Evil Twin. Woe unto those who get caught by those blasted speed cameras masquerading as police cars innocently parked in neighborhoods. I'm speaking from experience, of course. Annoying as hell.

Gilahi said...

You speed past parked police cars?

GreenCanary said...

I saw a parked police car on the side of the road and there was a POLICE MANNEQUIN sitting in the driver's seat! I almost ran off the road because it totally FA-REAKED ME OUT. Dummy police figures is an all-time low, in my opinion.

Gilahi said...

Yeah, those were all over NC. It got so bad that people sort of started ignoring them, so when there were real cops around, they had a field day.

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