Sunday 7 December 2008

the "No Eye-Contact" zone

The car J5AWS is demonstrating the modern purpose of the hatched area across a junction. Historically it meant "do not enter this area unless your exit is clear, its purpose being to stop cars blocking cross traffic and so bring the junction to a halt"

That use has fallen into disrepair. The modern meaning of the sign means "if the lights are about to change, drive into this area and hope that eventually you will be able to get out of it. Do not make eye contact with anyone and act as if it is not your fault"

Which, when you think about it is correct. It's not this car's fault the road in front is blocked. Therefore there is no reason for the driver to feel embarrassed or guilty about the traffic that could not get off Arley Hill because this car was in the way. All that horn beeping the mini driver was doing was rude and uncalled for.

[For anyone wondering how this photograph was taken, yes it was from a range rover, but it was up on the pavement and hence not interfering with traffic in any way]

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