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The importance of road signs

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by teef, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. I actually appreciate the efforts to have those orange light road signs over several Brisbane major arterial roads that light up and flash when there is something important going on with that road. Often times they will warn of a crash ahead, road works or other disruption which may affect my safety. For this reason I assign a fairly high importance to reading them, particularly when I'm on a motorcycle as I don't often have a radio on to give me traffic updates.


    Brisbane inner north, there is the Southern Cross Motorway. I commute sometimes on this road, particularly as it starts to get heavy traffic in the afternoon. It used to be the old Gateway Motorway, and indeed joins it just before the bridge. It's a very dangerous piece of road for a few reasons. I merge on to it from the East West Arterial. As I merge it is 90kph. Shortly after this everything changes for the worse. The speed limit drops to 80 before the bridge. Two lanes become three as the Kingsford Smith Drive exit approaches. All the cars suddenly slow down so they don't get a ticket from the copper hiding near the Gateway merge. The trucks however often speed up to get a run on to the hill of the bridge. The traffic that was speeding now wants to go across 2 lanes and get off on to Kingsford Smith Drive. After that the traffic coming in from Kingsford Smith drive immediately fans across all lanes cutting off underspeed cars and speeding trucks to get the lane they want on the Gateway Bridge. I'm riding along on my motorcycle hoping vaguely to survive this experience.

    So the other day in this mix a truck changes lanes and cuts me off - no biggie, I slow down, but I now have this enormous truck 3m in front of me going slower, a car just about piled up my butt because he failed to anticipate what the truck was going to do, so you get the picture I have a very high, very dangerous workload.

    The truck was a huge pantec, limiting my visibility of nearby traffic, so I'm rapidly reassessing who is likely to be next to try and kill me. The pantec also partially obscured my vision upwards, and as I went under one of those signs I noticed it was flashing. I thought I best make the effort to read what it said, because in peak hour it is quite likely some dangerous situation ahead that I should know about. So in the middle of my danger, and my high workload I made the effort to read the sign as I rode under it.

    What did the sign say I hear you ask? The sign said "DISTRACTED DRIVERS ARE DANGEROUS"

    Really? Who was the genius who thought it was a good idea to put that message in that location during peak hour?


    • Agree Agree x 8
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  2. Absolutely agree.
    If you miss a sign you spend the next few km wondering if it was important or vital travel information.
    Then when you do get to see it you find out it was just some random message of very little importance to most travellers.
    It almost makes the big warning signs irrelevant.
    They should only post up urgent of important info so that that we don't get tuned to ignoring them.
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  3. I think there is a sign like that just past Collector NSW. Irked me everytime I read it, though then I laughed as it reminded me of my first boss giving me a phone call, and then yelling at me for being on the phone instead of working. Atleast my boss new he was being an ass...
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  4. At least the sign didn't say "speed kills"!
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  5. Sounds like we had the same boss. I got a call on my new mobile years ago from my boss telling me to use the phone only for important calls, not for stupid calls like he had just made.
  6. They must have gone to the same "be a leader" management weekend.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Oh - you guys have seen nothing yet. I wonder how many more years it will be before the government realises that they can make money off these signs, and will sell time for advertising purposes whilst they're not used for other critical information...
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  8. Pisses me off when there is NO sign warning of serious roadworks or similar BEFORE the last available turn off - you round a corner and bang - km of traffic ahead of you, some of which may be filterable. But hey, why not chuck a warning sign up a few km back so people have an option of getting off that route?
    • Agree Agree x 4
  9. Or when there are a whole series of warning signs out ..... And no road works
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. Oh hell yeah! Especially for bloody kilometers....
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. Or when there's no road works remaining and they've left the blasted restricted speed signs out!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. The last time I saw these signs in Perth on the freeway, they said something like "Check your blind spots for motorcycles".

    I didn't mind that reminder.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. I do like them, most of the time, just hate it when I get past them before they have flashed all their information.

    The last one I saw on 3 consecutive days, but always missed the date the roadworks were going to start. I was determined to catch it on the 4th day only to find they had started the roadworks, fortunately I wasn't in the cage so it only added a few extra minutes to my commute.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. My favourite sign is the corner speed sign. Great indication on what speed I should be at.
    What speed I choose to do is another matter, but great idea for roads that are unfamiliar.
  15. My not so favourite one was one warning of an environmental issue in the Murray placed in this area last Autumn. It was one of those trailer mounted ones that can flash a warning, often in three screenfuls. This one used two or three messages in sequence.

    Placement was the issue. It was in Victoria facing Southbound traffic a couple of km away from the River - of no value at all as it was telling people of the danger as they were departing the area AND it was placed on the inside of a bend in the only bit of road for miles, limiting your visibility and time to read the sign. It was, however, in an 80 km posted speed zone, but it took me 3 or 4 passes to read the entire message. You'd get it if you were travelling at 50 or 60 probably. It could have been placed more appropriately 3 km further up the road where the road where the road is straight and facing Northbound traffic actually approaching the river, and access roads to it.

    One wonders who decides where such signs go, or whether there is any oversight of the placement. That was an everyday competence test fail.
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  16. Not a great indicator at all imo. Sure, they let you know when a sharp turn is coming up, but don't go thinking "Oh a 45km/h turn, I can do those at 70km/h everytime easy".
  17. On the flipside, I hate riding an unknown road and a curve turns into a sharp turn with NO frigging signage to indicate this is going to happen, either speed or hazard arrows....
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Yeah, I can see that. But they are the roads I love, the ones without advisory speed signs. It makes me really look down the road and through the corners for those hairpin turns.
  19. I'd be happy if someone were to come up with a standard sign for a curve which reduces in radius. It would be an uncommon sign, but oh so useful. They could save so many from running wide.

    I like speed advisory signs on curves. People "read" them however they like. Some of the formulas I've heard applied range from "if the sign says 35, that's the max if the road is wet." to "Add 10 and see it as mph when it is dry." (old school try hard view) At any rate, they are useful.
  20. That only works when the signs are consistent with the corners and condition of the road. Usually in GOOD WEATHER you can do +25% in a car easily and +50%
    on a bike. Then when you hit a corner that says 35km/hr and means it you might be in trouble.
    It comes back to roadcraft. If it's been raining or windy and there are leaves and branches all over the road you probably aren't going to be able to do the posted speed
    let alone adding to it.
    "What speed I choose to do is another matter," That is the main issue Ravenit. It doesn't matter what the sign says it is up to the rider to decide what they think is safe for them.
    If they get it wrong they suffer the consequences but as I said the signs need to be consistent.