I was reading an article from one of my husband’s motorcycle magazines called Ride and I thought it might be of great interest to us four wheeled drivers too.
Apparently Matt Hull, from Ride Magazine, was having a conversation with an anarchist who asked him “What would happen if we took all the road signs away?” Well I suppose no road signs would mean no speed limits, no signposts and no warnings of hazards. Junctions would have no traffic lights and roundabouts would have no right of way. How would you deal with that? Would you go past a school at 50 miles an hour? How would you know where to go with no road signs? How would you know there wasn’t a junction around the next corner, a tractor cutting the hedge or a level crossing? Would you go around a corner at a speed that you could stop from, if there was something around it, or would you just plough round hoping it was clear?
We’ve become lazy: We rely too much on safety systems built into our machines, signs telling us to be aware and, even if it goes wrong, there’s always a solicitor to help us blame someone else. In a signless future, those who couldn’t adapt would inevitably come a cropper. We would all have to pay more attention, ready to take in more information about what was going on around us, what others were doing and what was coming up…………
Hang on – isn’t that how we should be driving anyway??
As bikers we would, you’d like to think, be able to react to this situation better than our tin-topped cousins. Even with signs we have to be more aware and are mostly more conscious of what may lay ahead. But bikers are no different to any other group of human beings, in that no two of us are the same. Some of us have a degree of risk awareness that means we come up to a corner and judge our entry speed with the thought of “what if?” But some of us come up to the corner and judge the speed to get round it, then deal with a “what if?” as and when it happens.
If we didn’t have road signs, one thing is for certain, it would be bloody carnage. But next time you ride or drive think about how much attention you pay to them – do you rely purely on them or do you look for further information? And how risk-aware are you?
The anarchist may have been living in a dream world, but it’s made me think about how I drive….
How about you? Your comments are welcome.
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