We were in some heavy traffic in north Fresno, and had plenty of time to look around as we crept along behind a bus. I noticed a sign on the back of the bus that said, “This vehicle stops at all railway crossings.” What got my attention was the period at the end of the statement. When’s the last time you encountered a public warning or notice that ended with a period? Is there a new guy or gal who’s writing this stuff? Someone who actually went to complete-sentence school?
What if this were applied to other signs, for instance STOP. Whoa—a period after the word STOP adds much more emphasis to the command. A period would also help when a traffic sign should be broken into two sentences, like LANE ENDS. MERGE LEFT. That would simplify things for me, since while driving I need things to be as clear as possible to save time processing the information while simultaneously piloting a speeding vehicle, sipping a cuppa, listening to Karla, and scooting around in the seat trying to relieve that nagging back pain.
And as long as I am ranting about traffic signs, here’s one that is off the subject, but needs changing. Last week while zipping along on Highway 50 heading eastward from the IKEA store near Sacramento, I was looking for the off ramp to Highways 99 and 5 south. A sign said “99 5 Redding.” To me that meant it was leading to the northbound lanes of the highways, since Redding was in that direction; the southbound lanes off ramp must be coming up soon. But it turned out the sign was for both directions, north and south. They could have said “99 5 Redding Los Angeles” which would indicate both directions. Or simply said 99 5. Or 99. 5. since it was leading to two different roads.
Oh, well. I guess I should start writing letters to those in charge of all this stuff. Period.