Monday, November 18, 2013

Public Safety? Or Extortion?

Traffic laws, traffic control devices, police patrols, speed traps, radar, photo-radar and all the extortion that comes with those things do nothing to improve public safety according to yet another study.

German Town Abolishes Traffic Lights, Signs, and Laws - Accidents Decrease to Nearly Zero

Previous studies in the Netherlands have shown that about 70% of street signs are ignored.  This is likely due to the fact that there are so many signs that motorists would be neglecting to pay attention to the road and other cars if they cared to take the time to read all of the signs.

Several cities throughout Europe have adopted the concept of "Shared Space" which has greatly reduced traffic accidents and fatalities.  The idea is that without rules, drivers are forced to pay more attention to the other cars on the road.  The changes have increased the use of eye contact, nods, and courteous interaction between drivers.  They are looking out for themselves, but also for others.  Rather than the reliance on rules and regulations, more conscious use of signals, paying attention to one's surroundings, and caution have improved traffic safety dramatically...  To a surprising degree.

Psychologists have found that the more traffic regulations there are, the more drivers feel the need to rebel either consciously or unconsciously.

On those days when you can't seem to hit one single green light and you're running late.  You find lights turning red for no reason - no cars or pedestrians coming from either cross street.  Eventually people push the limits, speeding through
yellow lights, rolling through stop signs, etc.

People are more worried about getting a ticket than they are about avoiding collisions with other vehicles on the road.  When the authoritarian state treats its citizen motorists like children, the natural tendency is to try to see what we can get away with and rebel.  This is human nature.

Eliminating the rules, forces motorists to take responsibility for their own actions, to avoid the other motorists and not worry so much about police, cameras, radar equipment, and other nonsense.  It empowers people by treating them as adults which promotes more responsible behavior.

Related Stories:
Police Ticket Cyclist for Not Using Dangerous Bike Lanes: Cyclist Gets Revenge
Speed Kills... Your Pocketbook