sign language


To get their L-plate driving hours up the twins were taking it in turns to drive from their home in central west NSW to Geelong for a family reunion.

It wasn’t long after they crossed the border they noticed a marked change in scenery.

While Victorians have arguably become conditioned to strange admonitions which proliferate along our highways and byways, interstate and overseas visitors have not.

At first the twins were bemused: “Yawning? Take a powernap. Got sore eyes? Take a powernap.”

Then they started gleefully reciting each new sign. “Feeling drowsy? Take a powernap. Open your eyes. Fatigue kills. Take a powernap. Powernap now.”

Their father, fearing the twin at the wheel was paying more attention to the roadside than the road, ordered her to pull over after “Police enforcing speed” sent them both into paroxysms.

Really officer? I have to go that fast?” the non-driver chortled.

Now, we should take road safety seriously and obviously this was the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) intended, but the twins’ response raises an issue.

Is there a chance that roadside visual clutter can actually overload the driver or cause distraction.

Nearing Geelong the twins – now in the back seat – added “Crawl Low in Smoke” and “In the Bay Keep Clear of Big Ships” to their dossier of weird Victorian roadside safety signs.

Sadly they’d missed my seasonal favourite: “Pull over if locusts impair your vision.”

Like why stop at locusts? What if you a blinded by bees or bedazzled by bats?

Now that would be a sign.



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