Thursday, September 01, 2016

I was in Oklahoma last week on business.  Nice state - I lived there for 10 years.  They have some of the best road signs in the nation.  My old favorite used to be "Do Not Drive Into Smoke".  It made you keep an eye out, scan the horizon for, perhaps, telltale wisps of chimney smoke in the fall and winter.  Of course the sign did not tell you what to do if you ran across some smoke.  Stop right there on the turnpike and put your blinkers on?  Pull off to the shoulder and let all the scofflaws drive on into the smoke?  Cross the median and drive back the other way?  Or what would happen if you are sitting there, stopped, and the smoke drifts across your car?  Are you violating the traffic code sitting there?  Can you be ticketed?  Is it illegal to drive Out of the smoke in that situation?  What do you do with a sign that leaves more questions than answers?

I didn't see any "Do Not Drive Into Smoke" signs last week.  They have been replaced with "Bridge Ices Before Road".  A warning with no actionable advice.  If the Road is icy, well, then I suppose common sense tells you the Bridge should be icy, too.  If the Road is not icy, well, then I still have no clue about the condition of the Bridge.  The Bridge may or may not be icy.  It's a warning perilously close to crying wolf every mile or so down the Interstate.  At lease the Smoke sign gave you an imperative instruction to act upon. 

But my favorite Oklahoma road sign is "Damaged Guard Rail Ahead".  Oh, no!  If your planning on hitting this guard rail, don't.  It's ALREADY damaged!  Go hit another guardrail instead!  What in the world is a person supposed to do with this warning? 

The best sign of the week, however, was not provided by ODOT.  It was on the side of an eighteen-wheeler with Ontario plates.  It read, "Where Honesty & Integrity Matters".  Where, apparently, grammar does not.