Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Get Rid of Road Rules?

J.D., over at the Disloyal Opposition blog, takes a look at Drachten, Holland where the powers- that- be decided to eliminate road signs, rules and markings in order to promote traffic safety. I believe I posted on this idea here way back when. Looks like they've had some experience with this and, so far, it seems to have worked.

Kind of hard for even me to believe that would work well here, but I thought about it the other day when I saw the road crews in Eureka doing street painting for the umpteenth time. Do we really need to spend money on painting lines down the middle of the street? The thought of not having street lines and such makes me a bit nervous but, seems to me, I've driven on many a road without them and there wasn't any problem.

One argument against road anarchy would be how I've seen so many people handle blind intersections (I failed my first driving test for driving through a blind intersection too fast). The corner of Huntoon and D streets in Eureka was a perfect example, back before they added stop signs to it.

I spent a fair amount of time at that intersection before the signs were added and never ceased to be amazed at how many people would blow through those intersections without even looking if there might be cross traffic- never mind bothering to slow down. I can't help but think the collision rate at intersections was reduced when the blind ones were controlled.

Then again, people run stop signs fairly often. And I can't help but wonder if, as suggested in J.D.'s commentary, people tend to be more reckless because they figure traffic controls automatically make them safer?

Would removing all those signs, lights and markings make driving safer in this country? I don't know but I'll admit the thought of trying it makes me a bit nervous.


At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I favor the status quo.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Joe Blow said...


At least in Holland there is no illusion of safety. Here, all the rules of the road are good for is a few money-making citations, whenever the police want to give out a ticket, that is. As far as regulating traffic that's a joke.

The worst offenders are my neighbor too. What make me nervous is the disdain they have for everyone else.

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article! Road signs are a big clutter and many drivers have to slow or ignore the signs.

There needs to be an optionable road sign simulator so people can practice having faster hand to eye cordinations without changing speed and it will give people faster reflexes for other things too in life.


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