Save us from cute safety warnings

speedtargetDriving back to Auckland from Wellington yesterday I had nine hours behind the wheel in which to read roadside safety messages. Maybe reading all those billboards helps keep drivers awake, but some of the messages just don’t make a lot of sense to me.

Like the one pictured above. If you’ve spent 20 minutes following someone doing 74km/h in good visibility on a road that has a 100km/h limit but no opportunities for overtaking, then 100km/h starts to sound like a VERY GOOD target. And if everyone drove it, then there would be a lot less frustration and ill-considered attempts to overtake.

It’s about as absurd as the one that says “Slow Down!” – no matter how slowly you’re already driving.

In the lower North Island I passed a series of signs with messages that someone must have thought sounded edgy.

Like: “I could crash anytime”. Nice.

Or “I can’t txt and drive”. (I can’t blog and drive either, which is why the past few days have been kind of quiet around here.)

There were several others, but of course I didn’t write them down. Because, “I can’t write things down and drive”.

Despite all the slogans, I still saw several drivers on the side of the road with a police car pulled up behind them, lights flashing.

It was a pleasant trip nevertheless, with courteous drivers everywhere and no crazy antics to put lives at risk. I just suspect the calm on the road had more to do with the visible police presence and light traffic than with the proliferation of billboards.