Driving without road signs
Ever since we were kids we were always told what to do. We either grew up with our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and even siblings telling us what we should do and should not do. For those who get married, that role is transferred over to our spouse. When we get a job our bosses tell us what to do and even though we may not like it, we do it anyway. Even the government tells us what we should and should not do. Have you ever imagined life without being told what to do? No, I’m not talking about becoming a hermit on a deserted island. What if our driving community didn’t have any signs to tell drivers what to do or not to do? Would we survive?
The closest I’ve ever come to this is when I come across an uncontrolled intersection and another vehicle is approaching from the cross street. There are no signs telling us what to do, so we work together to ensure we both can get through the intersection safely. Could that work with other aspects of driving? Are drivers mature enough behind the wheel to work together without signs?
Another area that essentially has no signs are roundabouts. Drivers in and approaching roundabouts have to work together to allow everyone to make it through safely. Even though there may not be any signs, there are still rules. Rules are there to protect us, regardless of what we’re doing. We shouldn’t need signs to tell what to do. Common sense and the ability to share the road should be enough in most cases. Most cases.
There are times when signs warn the driver of impending danger, like blind intersections or suggested speeds for curves or hills. Could driving sense give us this same information? Since driving is really done with your eyes, wouldn’t drivers be able to see road conditions early enough to make their own safe choices?
What about common courtesy? Would drivers become more pleasant to other road users because of having the signs removed or would you see more aggressive drivers because the signs were gone? In some cases, we wouldn’t really know the answers to these questions unless this theory was tested. Lucky for us, it was.
A small European city of approximately 1000 residents removed their road signs and let the community work together to make up the rules. So far, things have worked out well. You can read more about their experiment here; http://bit.ly/1mzYB0j
Would a larger city have different results? Would there be too many inconsiderate drivers stopping those who want to work together from actually working together in a safe manner? It’s an interesting theory since most drivers fail to notice most road signs. Most drivers notice stop signs at intersections and most will pick out the yellow warning signs, but some drivers wouldn’t even know what those signs really meant anyway. Many other drivers sail right past them. So would this be a good change to our driving community?
In many cases, we have to make driving choices without being told what to do. So how much different would a community without signs really be? To many people, they like to push the envelope and go against the rules. If there are no rules, would they drive more responsibly? I would be very interested in driving in a community like this for a while to see how traffic moves. Would you?