Almost every day I see someone effectively run a stop sign. Just today I would have seen it again if the person didn’t realize that there was actually a car coming from another direction. Even if these drivers don’t blow through it completely, they generally don’t slow enough to make much of a difference. Today’s example, for instance, was nearly halfway across the intersection before they stopped because of the other car.
It’s also rare that I’m out driving and I don’t see someone blatantly ignoring traffic directions, be it a sign or a traffic signal or a combination of both (the “no turn on red” is a popular violation). In Charlotte, there are also a large number of signs that are valid for particular times of day – no right turn from 6am to 9am, for instance. As if anyone notices those at any time of day.
While in most every case I think that the safety of other commuters is not sacrificed, there are undoubtedly times where it is, but let’s face it – that’s the case on any street, at any time. While street signs were undoubtedly useful when people were new to driving, and didn’t realize the rules, and while they have a certain utility to those learning to drive in many cases – have we passed the point where, as a society, we look to the direction offered?
With driving such an integral part of our life, and with the increased apathy towards the signs we do have, have we absorbed the information needed, and quaint developments like street signs are at the point where they should become a thing of the past?