Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blinkin' winkers

Hey, if I had indicators like this
I'd use them as much as possible!
Dubai Police have recently announced a week-long campaign to encourage indicator use. According to the front page of last Monday’s 7DAYS newspaper, the majority of motorists do not use indicators when changing lanes, which resulted in one in four of the deaths on Dubai’s roads last year. According to the head of Dubai Traffic Police, indicators are perceived by the yoof as only for old people. Western drivers, however, do use their indicators; this is part of their culture. 

Er, no. Culture is related to art, music, dance, literature. How people behave when they get behind the wheel isn’t cultural. It’s all down to education and enforcement. Although, as the roads resemble a battle zone at times, it seems only appropriate that so many motorists appear to be cultured enough to have read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War:
  •  “All warfare is based on deception.”
  •  “Mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy.”
  •  “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”
And the idea that we are at war on the highway seems to be the prevailing attitude. Just try to indicate before changing lanes, and inevitably that gap you were planning to move into will vanish. We give away our tactical advantage if we show anyone else what we’re planning to do.

For crying out loud, people, this is not Death Race 2000.

However, getting everyone to indicate isn’t going to solve the original road safety problem. “He changed lanes without signalling” becomes “He signalled and then changed lanes, heedless of the fact that someone was in the way.” Wednesday’s 7DAYS ran a story of a fatal crash, in which the victim was hit “by a driver who changed lanes without looking or indicating.” How would the outcome have changed if the driver had indicated, yet moved anyway? Not by very much, I suspect.

Indicators, the current road safety panacea du jour, actually do not provide a divine right to change lanes or turn. Irrespective of flashing lights or any other signals, we can only move into an empty space.

Sun Tzu again: “Be where your enemy is not.”


No comments:


The opinions expressed in this weblog are the works of the Grumpy Goat, and are not necessarily the opinions shared by any person or organisation who may be referenced. Come to that, the opinions may not even be those of the Grumpy Goat, who could just be playing Devil's Advocate. Some posts may be of parody or satyrical [sic] nature. Nothing herein should be taken too seriously. The Grumpy Goat would prefer that offensive language or opinions not be posted in the comments. Offensive comments may be subject to deletion at the Grumpy Goat's sole discretion. The Grumpy Goat is not responsible for the content of other blogs or websites that are linked from this weblog. No goats were harmed in the making of this blog. Any resemblance to individuals or organisations mentioned herein and those that actually exist may or may not be intentional. May contain nuts.