Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Silliness in Full Force

Our major local freeways are now adorned with electronic message boards. Useful information, like "This freeway is gummed up totally", can appear on the boards, though it is common to have homilies like "Pay attention to the road, not your cellphone".
Today the message I saw on my way home was "Right of way is meant to be given, not taken".
This is so sadly Canadian. Worse, it is often how I approach 4-way stops. It is the wrong approach. The outcome is that all the cars in the intersection sit waiting for someone else to show some initiative. This is profoundly inefficient. Far better were everyone to try to move as soon as possible.
I have driven a lot in the UK and right-of-way-driven priorities are fundamental to the driving protocols there. Where we have stop signs they have yield signs, and where we have lights or four-way-stops they have roundabouts.These are vastly more efficient than (at reasonable levels of congestion) our structures, and every driver there knows that asserting right-of-way is vital to the system, and that expecting the same of others is also vital.
Today's electronic message board was handing out lousy advice.
But it was truly Canadian advice.


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