They’re Lethal

An earlier blog entry was linked to the closure to motor vehicles of a local bridge over the Thames.

Since then, every time I’ve used the bridge while it’s been partially closed, cars or vans have come along, ignored all the numerous, very visible signs saying it’s closed, and then had to turn around.

Road closed sign

It means what it says

Which all poses the question, how should these drivers be judged? It seems the options are:

a) They are startlingly stupid– they’re so idiotic they can’t understand that when it says the road is closed it means the road is closed.
b) They are alarmingly arrogant – they understand what ‘road closed’ means, but they think it won’t apply to them; they imagine that they’re some kind of special case.
c) They are unconscionably unobservant and have driven by the numerous ‘road closed’ signs but haven’t seen them.

If these were cyclists displaying any of these three behaviours I wouldn’t care. The same would be true if they were pedestrians. However, motor vehicles always have a very real potential to be lethal.

Whatever type of road user you are, surely you don’t want to be travelling knowing that people this stupid / arrogant / unobservant are on the roads too?

It sounds jokey, but in reality the roads would very probably be significantly safer if everyone who’s driven past ‘road closed’ signs in a motor vehicle were banned from driving for life. And this approach would have the advantage of being self-selecting – these people are identifying themselves.