March 22, 2009

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Lately I’ve become interested in signs; no, not the kind of signs that involve famine, pestilence, earthquakes, etc. I’m talking about road signs. I recently took a day trip to a small town in Washington and was greeted by the following sign as we entered.

Really? When did we give up on trying to stop people from drinking and driving? Now we just warn everyone to watch out for the drunk drivers like we warn them about ice on the road? This seems so wrong. I was even more worried when I got further into town and saw a building that proclaimed it was the Town Hall Pub. Aha! No wonder they have a sign warning visitors about drunk drivers on the road.

But that wasn’t the only interesting sign I came across. I was intrigued by the ones that advised people they had to wear their seat belts both day and night. Sorry I don’t have a picture, but if you’re in Washington, just take a look at the signs on the highway. I guess I just assumed the law covered both day and night. I wonder how many people went to court arguing that it wasn’t specific enough? And did people assume the law didn’t apply to daytime or to evenings? There must have been quite a few for them to go along the highway adding this to every seat belt sign (yes, it’s tacked on under the original portion of the sign).

But this is the Washington state sign that really had me pondering the consequences.

Oh my! And they said Texas’ litter signs sounded too tough (Don’t mess with Texas). At least we weren’t overtly threatening violence and pain. Do they break one finger for your first offense, two for your second and so on? Maybe they just give you a good swift kick in the pants. Whatever the punishment, it was enough to make me hold onto my trash until I was home and could dispose of it without retribution.

I’m going to keep my eyes open for other intriguing signs. If you see a good one, let me know or send me a picture.

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