Sunday, April 05, 2009

Here's Your Sign

Driving home today on the tail of an impromptu weekend trip, I noticed a sign on an interstate off-ramp. It was situated so that any drivers that might erroneously attempt to use this off-ramp for "on" purposes would notice it. The message of the sign is a simple one. It simply says, "WRONG WAY."* I support the message this sign is getting across, as it seems that driving against the flow of traffic could result in very few positive outcomes. In fact, other than working to sharpen the reflexes of the offending driver and those law abiding drivers with terrified looks on their faces, I can think of no gains whatsoever that might be drawn from such a loss of direction. Nevertheless, I wonder if a better sign could be created for the purpose of diverting errant-minded vehicles. Can we replace WRONG WAY with something that is both more effective and aesthetically pleasing?

What's wrong with "WRONG WAY"? Well, first of all, it's not really even a complete thought. With signs like "STOP" and "YIELD" the reader is being directly told to act in a certain manner. The "You should.." in the thought is implied, creating a complete thought. I don't see the "WRONG WAY" sign in the same manner... especially if the reader continues to operate with the thought that signs imply "You should..."

It also seems to me that anyone who makes the mistake of going the wrong way on an off-ramp (or on-ramp, for that matter) deserves to have the matter rubbed in his or her face. If they're going to learn not to do it again (and 13 near-accidents have no effect) they're going to have to be spoken to in a manner that will be memorable. What follows are my suggestions (to be submitted to the department of transportation at a later date) for successors to the WRONG WAY sign. If you have any suggestions, please pass them along.

- If you don't see anything wrong with this situation, please pull over, grab your driver's license, chuck it out your window, and prepare your thumb for hitchhiking. Driving is not for you.

- If you are reading this, you may not be reading much longer. Consider making an evasive maneuver.

- You know those people that slow down to look at car accidents? They might be checking out your vehicle soon.

- Your horoscope for the day: If you continue the path you're on, things will get much worse before they're any better.

- Hey, Goober. Turn around.

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