11/09/2010

What do you do when you see a child in the road? Drive over them....

..... because its only a 3D image, or it was last time a child was in the road.

Via the ever readable Dick Puddlecote this story of bureaucratic idiocy:
We’re doing something completely different compared to our campaign last year to raise awareness about more kids being on the roads this first week back at school. In fact, our latest campaign is a Canadian first.
Preventable, BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, and the District of West Vancouver have launched a 3D illusion geared to make drivers slow down at high-risk intersections.



As Dick says, what could possibly go wrong? Apart from distracted drivers slamming on their brakes and getting rear ended or veering across the road into another vehicle or onto the pavement......  If you need me to tell you then you probably shouldn't be driving. The comments on Dick's site and on the original piece say it all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for trying to keep drivers alert and aware of children, I'm a parent and seen fist hand what kids can do, but that doesn't mean every attempt should be tired, the lame brained ones should be strangled at birth. But there are much better ways of calming traffic and making the roads safer for all, if only people would open their minds:

Riding in his green Saab, we glide into Drachten, a 17th-century village that has grown into a bustling town of more than 40,000. We pass by the performing arts center, and suddenly, there it is: the Intersection. It's the confluence of two busy two-lane roads that handle 20,000 cars a day, plus thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians. Several years ago, Monderman ripped out all the traditional instruments used by traffic engineers to influence driver behavior - traffic lights, road markings, and some pedestrian crossings - and in their place created a roundabout, or traffic circle. The circle is remarkable for what it doesn't contain: signs or signals telling drivers how fast to go, who has the right-of-way, or how to behave. There are no lane markers or curbs separating street and sidewalk, so it's unclear exactly where the car zone ends and the pedestrian zone begins. To an approaching driver, the intersection is utterly ambiguous - and that's the point.
...

In Denmark, the town of Christianfield stripped the traffic signs and signals from its major intersection and cut the number of serious or fatal accidents a year from three to zero. In England, towns in Suffolk and Wiltshire have removed lane lines from secondary roads in an effort to slow traffic - experts call it "psychological traffic calming." A dozen other towns in the UK are looking to do the same. A study of center-line removal in Wiltshire, conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory, a UK transportation consultancy, found that drivers with no center line to guide them drove more safely and had a 35 percent decrease in the number of accidents.
Closer to home one of the towns close to us, Blandford Forum, has done something similar on their main street, although they haven't gone quite as far, and its a lot more pleasant moving backwards and forwards across the road. Even as a driver I don't find it inconvenient as I know that when its clear I keep moving rather than waiting for the lights at empty crossings to change or expecting someone to jump out to try and get on a crossing at the last minute.

1 comment:

  1. Yes of course, everybody has observed this in real life, it's just that the authoritarian element always plays the trump card "It's for the cheeeldren" and installs yet more traffic 'calming' measures.

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