Road-sign Rage

Grr – I’m hopping mad! At the moment, half Britain’s motorways seem to be covered in road-works, lane closures and speed restrictions as they’re converted to ‘smart’ roads and their hard shoulders taken away (well, hell, we don’t need those, do we? Such a waste of space – I’m sure the ‘smarts’ will be much safer).

Not that I’m altogether complaining. Although the long, long stretches of 50 mph speed limit are pretty tiresome, I dare say they’re a Very Good Thing – they reduce accidents and carbon emissions, and (when I’ve used them, at least) have kept the traffic rolling remarkably well.

No, what drives me (hah) to distraction is the signage on them. The big, chirpy orange ‘Welcome To Our Work Zone’ which greeted me last time I entered one. The sickening, mawkish exhortations to ‘Let’s All Get Home Safely,’ which gives me an almost irresistible urge to broadside my car across the carriageway and cause a mass pile-up, or ‘No-one Likes A Tailgater,’ which naturally makes me want to ram the vehicle in front off the road, or the children’s smiling faces captioned, ‘Our Dad Works Here,’ at which I scream, ‘I don’t give a flying f*ck!’

But the worst, the absolute worst, shows a workman in high-vis clothes, bending down, with the caption, ‘You May Not See Me.’ For pity’s sake – what use is that? It should say, ‘Look Out For Me’ or ‘Watch Out For Workforce’ or some such positive instruction – if it has to be there at all, that is. If the mile upon mile of cones, huge bright yellow earth-moving vehicles and other plant parked beside the carriageway, giant lighting gantries, speed cameras etc aren’t enough of a hint that hey, there just might be some road-guys working out here and it might be a cunning plan not to run them over.

Yes, I hate these damned signs. Apart from the phoney sentiments, I think they’re completely unnecessary and a dangerous distraction. The only signage I want to see on the motorway is essential information like junction numbers, distances, hazard warnings, traffic merging – you know, the usual stuff. What I absolutely DON’T want are these pointless, chatty irritations taking my eye from the road (isn’t that one of the major causes of accidents?). And it pisses me off beyond belief that somewhere, someone was paid a huge amount of money to come up with this crap – then more huge amounts were forked out to manufacture the ghastly things. I’d like to pelt whoever came up with this stupid idea with lumps of hot tar – and make them rip down every single one of their bloody stupid signs. Grr!

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