Re: Number of warnings

Subject: Re: Number of warnings
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 01:18:26 -0800

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

> The two accident sites you refer to should probably have
> their advisories lowered.

I agree, and it's hard to believe that any existing and meaningful
criteria for determining safe speed are being applied correctly to the
series of curves. The OP has a definite point about the way useful rules
are devalued by misapplication.

A study of highway signs would verge on the territory of semiotics
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics). AFAIK, semiotics isn't one of
those communications disciplines that tech writers study much or get
work in, but it contributes signs and symbols, and seems like it could
be fair as a topic. With that assumption, anyway, I'll offer my $.02
worth of banter about semiotic observations in the highway zone:

I don't often see new highway sign designs, but here are two seen in the
past 5-10 years:

In the mountainous western US, a highway sign with no text, showing a
cartoonishly-drawn rear quarter perspective of a semi truck in the
process of tipping over. It signals "Curve ahead" (not "Stunt driving
zone").

Another new one, seen on some urban freeway cloverleaf exits, has the
text "Decreasing Radius" and shows a graphic depiction of a decreasing
radius turn (the turn gets tighter as you get deeper into it). I don't
know the history of this sign, but I feel it stands head and shoulders
above all other highway signs I know, in not micromanaging everyone's
speed, and putting more responsibility on the drivers to have or acquire
concepts necessary to determine their own safe exit speed. I like the
idea that modern drivers are expected to grasp the meaning and
significance of this sign and the behavioral change it calls for.

Signed,

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com





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Follow-Ups:

References:
Number of warnings: From: Ladonna Weeks
Re: Number of warnings: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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