Saturday, November 1, 2008

Clarity in signage.

I saw this sign the other day:

Now, I believe that the intent of this sign is to warn me that the upcoming intersection is under camera control. So that if I run a red light I'll probably get a ticket.

But this has to be one of the most obscure and poorly communicating street signs out there. First of all, what is that image. I'm old enough to know that at one time, perhaps over half a century ago, cameras looked something like that. Nowadays most image capturing devices are just a hole on the other side of your phone. So, the vast majority of drivers, particularly the new ones, will have no clue what this is.

Secondly, even if you do know that that's a camera, what is this supposed to be communicating to you? "Danger! Cameras!" Perhaps a paparazzi warning for the rich and famous.

Thirdly, and this has little to do with the poor design of this sign, do we really need signage to warn us how the law is going to be enforced? Should we start putting up road signs saying "Danger. Drunk driving roadblock ahead." Uh. No.

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