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National Boards => General Highway Talk => Topic started by: RobbieL2415 on January 31, 2019, 08:20:50 PM

Title: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: RobbieL2415 on January 31, 2019, 08:20:50 PM
Drive "old school". Follow all the basic statues in the vehicle code, like yielding to traffic on the right at uncontrolled intersections, etc.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: 1 on January 31, 2019, 08:22:30 PM
Drive "old school". Follow all the basic statues (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/statue) in the vehicle code, like yielding to traffic on the right at uncontrolled intersections, etc.

What about weight limits, height limits, ...
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 31, 2019, 09:30:25 PM
Drive "old school". Follow all the basic statues in the vehicle code, like yielding to traffic on the right at uncontrolled intersections, etc.

You mean the entire reason why they came up with the rules and signage in the first place? There were plenty of crashes back in the old school days!
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: CtrlAltDel on January 31, 2019, 09:38:33 PM
What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.

Not to be too glib, but people would die, and in high numbers.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: Roadgeekteen on February 01, 2019, 08:45:22 AM
carnage
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: CNGL-Leudimin on February 01, 2019, 08:47:27 AM
I believe there is a Dutch village with no signs at all :sombrero:. Apparently they do pretty well.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: Roadgeekteen on February 01, 2019, 09:19:26 AM
I believe there is a Dutch village with no signs at all :sombrero:. Apparently they do pretty well.
That's a small village. Image NYC with no signs.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: kphoger on February 01, 2019, 01:37:04 PM

I believe there is a Dutch village with no signs at all :sombrero:. Apparently they do pretty well.

That's a small village. Image NYC with no signs.

Yeah, a village of 1000 residents is not a good example to go off of.  I also read that the town removed traffic fines as well.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: Brandon on February 01, 2019, 01:54:22 PM
I believe there is a Dutch village with no signs at all :sombrero:. Apparently they do pretty well.
That's a small village. Image NYC with no signs.

It'd be like Chicago...with signs.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: empirestate on February 01, 2019, 01:58:05 PM
Taking the OP literally, the responses so far are probably pretty apt—there would be chaos.

But if, instead of taking them away, we could turn back time and see how things develop without them ever having been implemented in the first place, how would the answers be different?
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: formulanone on February 01, 2019, 02:47:01 PM
Road apples...everywhere.

Rural areas would be okay, but I think having to treat every junction as a four-way stop would be tiresome, assuming traffic and vehicle counts stay the same. Sure, it would be nice to roll though a few stop signs to keep my car in 2nd gear, without fear of incurring a ticket, but there would be the idea that a vehicle on the other side also isn't paying attention.

Cities and suburbia would be mentally exhausting. That fact that everyone doesn't outright ignore each and every warning is sometimes one of those things is kind of amazing.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: sparker on February 02, 2019, 04:08:05 AM
I'd start looking online for used Hummers and shops that could add reinforcing plates to such!  And the usually-submersed "evil sparker" side of me might even consider adding some offensive weaponry! 
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: GreenLanternCorps on February 02, 2019, 01:48:31 PM
(http://www.battlegrip.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/carwarsad-768x1020.png)

Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: sparker on February 02, 2019, 02:53:07 PM
^^^^^^^^
Whassat?  Mad Max, Texas-style?
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: GreenLanternCorps on February 02, 2019, 11:12:37 PM
^^^^^^^^
Whassat?  Mad Max, Texas-style?

A game about welll armed cars fighting on freeways, so yes.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2795/car-wars

“Drive offensively”

Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: kphoger on February 03, 2019, 03:35:08 PM
I think having to treat every junction as a four-way stop would be tiresome, assuming traffic and vehicle counts stay the same. Sure, it would be nice to roll though a few stop signs to keep my car in 2nd gear, without fear of incurring a ticket, but there would be the idea that a vehicle on the other side also isn't paying attention.

Uncontrolled intersections are not to be treated as four-way stops.  They are essentially four-way yields.  Roll through uncontrolled intersections in second gear all you want, with no fear of incurring a ticket.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: RobbieL2415 on February 03, 2019, 08:06:17 PM
I think having to treat every junction as a four-way stop would be tiresome, assuming traffic and vehicle counts stay the same. Sure, it would be nice to roll though a few stop signs to keep my car in 2nd gear, without fear of incurring a ticket, but there would be the idea that a vehicle on the other side also isn't paying attention.

Uncontrolled intersections are not to be treated as four-way stops.  They are essentially four-way yields.  Roll through uncontrolled intersections in second gear all you want, with no fear of incurring a ticket.
That seems worse. You have constant gridlock in the middle of the intersection.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: sparker on February 04, 2019, 12:23:09 AM
“Drive offensively”

A credo adhered to by more than enough drivers in these parts, thank you!
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: kphoger on February 04, 2019, 01:57:30 PM


I think having to treat every junction as a four-way stop would be tiresome, assuming traffic and vehicle counts stay the same. Sure, it would be nice to roll though a few stop signs to keep my car in 2nd gear, without fear of incurring a ticket, but there would be the idea that a vehicle on the other side also isn't paying attention.

Uncontrolled intersections are not to be treated as four-way stops.  They are essentially four-way yields.  Roll through uncontrolled intersections in second gear all you want, with no fear of incurring a ticket.

That seems worse. You have constant gridlock in the middle of the intersection.

No.  At a four-way stop, everybody has to stop, whether there is a vehicle in the way or not.  At an uncontrolled intersection, you only have to stop if someone else should be going first—in which case you don't stop in the middle of the intersection anyway.  I see you live in a part of the country that doesn't have uncontrolled intersections.  Trust me as someone whose house is literally between two of them, they work fine.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: NoGoodNamesAvailable on February 04, 2019, 03:05:23 PM


I think having to treat every junction as a four-way stop would be tiresome, assuming traffic and vehicle counts stay the same. Sure, it would be nice to roll though a few stop signs to keep my car in 2nd gear, without fear of incurring a ticket, but there would be the idea that a vehicle on the other side also isn't paying attention.

Uncontrolled intersections are not to be treated as four-way stops.  They are essentially four-way yields.  Roll through uncontrolled intersections in second gear all you want, with no fear of incurring a ticket.

That seems worse. You have constant gridlock in the middle of the intersection.

No.  At a four-way stop, everybody has to stop, whether there is a vehicle in the way or not.  At an uncontrolled intersection, you only have to stop if someone else should be going first—in which case you don't stop in the middle of the intersection anyway.  I see you live in a part of the country that doesn't have uncontrolled intersections.  Trust me as someone whose house is literally between two of them, they work fine.

Curious because I live in an area with very few uncontrolled intersections: do people actually abide by basic right-of-way rules? Applying the yield to the right rule is pretty unintuitive at T intersections.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: kphoger on February 04, 2019, 03:31:56 PM


I think having to treat every junction as a four-way stop would be tiresome, assuming traffic and vehicle counts stay the same. Sure, it would be nice to roll though a few stop signs to keep my car in 2nd gear, without fear of incurring a ticket, but there would be the idea that a vehicle on the other side also isn't paying attention.

Uncontrolled intersections are not to be treated as four-way stops.  They are essentially four-way yields.  Roll through uncontrolled intersections in second gear all you want, with no fear of incurring a ticket.

That seems worse. You have constant gridlock in the middle of the intersection.

No.  At a four-way stop, everybody has to stop, whether there is a vehicle in the way or not.  At an uncontrolled intersection, you only have to stop if someone else should be going first—in which case you don't stop in the middle of the intersection anyway.  I see you live in a part of the country that doesn't have uncontrolled intersections.  Trust me as someone whose house is literally between two of them, they work fine.

Curious because I live in an area with very few uncontrolled intersections: do people actually abide by basic right-of-way rules? Applying the yield to the right rule is pretty unintuitive at T intersections.

In my experience, a lot people at four-way uncontrolled intersections assume one of them is the "through street" and don't even bother slowing down or yielding at intersections if they're on that street.  Likewise, a lot of drivers on the other street stop and yield even when they should be the ones to proceed.  It frustrates me sometimes, but it doesn't seem to cause any issues in real life.

As for uncontrolled T intersections, yield to the right is not generally how those are supposed to function.  All states whose laws I'm familiar with treat an uncontrolled T intersection as having an implied yield sign for the terminating street.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: NoGoodNamesAvailable on February 04, 2019, 04:08:33 PM
Curious because I live in an area with very few uncontrolled intersections: do people actually abide by basic right-of-way rules? Applying the yield to the right rule is pretty unintuitive at T intersections.

In my experience, a lot people at four-way uncontrolled intersections assume one of them is the "through street" and don't even bother slowing down or yielding at intersections if they're on that street.  Likewise, a lot of drivers on the other street stop and yield even when they should be the ones to proceed.  It frustrates me sometimes, but it doesn't seem to cause any issues in real life.

As for uncontrolled T intersections, yield to the right is not generally how those are supposed to function.  All states whose laws I'm familiar with treat an uncontrolled T intersection as having an implied yield sign for the terminating street.

This is the only relevant provision I could find in the Uniform Vehicle Code:
Quote
S 11–401—Vehicle approaching or entering intersection
(a) When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.
(b) The right of way rule declared in paragraph (a) is modified at through highways and otherwise as stated in this chapter. [Elsewhere, this seems to only refer to orders that authorize yield/stop signs to be installed on side roads to a designated road]

I'm more familiar with the NYS VTL and I'm almost certain normal right-of-way rules apply at T-intersections in NY. Although I don't doubt you that some states are different.

The MUTCD says YIELD or STOP signs should be used at "an intersection of a less important road with a main road where application of the normal right-of-way rule would not be expected to provide reasonable compliance with the law," which is interesting wording. Crash potential and reasonable compliance with the law are different things. If people incorrectly but reliably follow the same wrong rules at an intersection, I wouldn't say that's necessarily unsafe, but the MUTCD seems to think that situation would warrant yield or stop control.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: RobbieL2415 on February 04, 2019, 04:21:12 PM


I think having to treat every junction as a four-way stop would be tiresome, assuming traffic and vehicle counts stay the same. Sure, it would be nice to roll though a few stop signs to keep my car in 2nd gear, without fear of incurring a ticket, but there would be the idea that a vehicle on the other side also isn't paying attention.

Uncontrolled intersections are not to be treated as four-way stops.  They are essentially four-way yields.  Roll through uncontrolled intersections in second gear all you want, with no fear of incurring a ticket.

That seems worse. You have constant gridlock in the middle of the intersection.

No.  At a four-way stop, everybody has to stop, whether there is a vehicle in the way or not.  At an uncontrolled intersection, you only have to stop if someone else should be going first—in which case you don't stop in the middle of the intersection anyway.  I see you live in a part of the country that doesn't have uncontrolled intersections.  Trust me as someone whose house is literally between two of them, they work fine.
Well, technically we do have them, mainly in parking lots.  But no one in their right mind probably knows the uncontrolled intersection law.  Hell, most probably don't even know that at a an uncontrolled T intersection only yielding is required by traffic on the ending road.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: 1 on February 04, 2019, 04:26:52 PM
Hell, most probably don't even know that at a an uncontrolled T intersection only yielding is required by traffic on the ending road.

Most people would treat the ending road as lower priority than the continuing road, and they would only slow down while turning (instead of stopping) if there was nobody nearby, even if they don't know that's how the law actually works.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: kphoger on February 04, 2019, 04:32:30 PM


Interesting.  I didn't realize that wasn't part of the UVC.  I guess I simply assumed that it must have descended from there without actually checking.

For what it's worth, here is the law in Illinois pertaining to uncontrolled T intersections:

Quote from: 625 ILCS 5/11-901.01
Vehicles approaching or entering a "T" intersection. The driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection of a highway from a highway which terminates at the intersection, not otherwise regulated by this Act or controlled by traffic control signs or signals, shall stop, yield, and grant the privilege of immediate use of the intersection to another vehicle which has entered the intersection from the non-terminating highway or is approaching the intersection on the non-terminating highway in such proximity as to constitute a hazard and after stopping may proceed when the driver may safely enter the intersection without interference or collision with the traffic using the non-terminating highway.



Hell, most probably don't even know that at a an uncontrolled T intersection only yielding is required by traffic on the ending road.

To me, it's common sense.  If your road ends, you give way to the one that doesn't.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: NoGoodNamesAvailable on February 04, 2019, 08:34:50 PM
Hell, most probably don't even know that at a an uncontrolled T intersection only yielding is required by traffic on the ending road.

To me, it's common sense.  If your road ends, you give way to the one that doesn't.

That's definitely the intuitive way to handle T-intersections, but I imagine the reason some states apply the basic right-of-way rule at three-leg intersections is that determining which leg is the terminating road can get fuzzy for intersections with non-square geometry.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: RobbieL2415 on February 05, 2019, 12:09:30 AM
Hell, most probably don't even know that at a an uncontrolled T intersection only yielding is required by traffic on the ending road.

To me, it's common sense.  If your road ends, you give way to the one that doesn't.

That's definitely the intuitive way to handle T-intersections, but I imagine the reason some states apply the basic right-of-way rule at three-leg intersections is that determining which leg is the terminating road can get fuzzy for intersections with non-square geometry.
What I'm trying to say is that they don't realize that a full stop isn't necessarily required in that situation.  Blowing through uncontrolled T intersections in town is a pastime of mine :cool:
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: bzakharin on February 05, 2019, 01:15:57 PM
What I always wondered, living in a place without any uncontrolled intersections (except maybe T intersections), is how you distinguish one from an intersection where you have the right of way and the other directions have stop signs. If I approach an intersection without any markings in my direction, I assume the latter and proceed without slowing down or stopping unless I see cars already in the intersection.

It would seem that with uncontrolled intersections in the mix the opposite strategy is necessary, that is, slowing down and yielding at any intersection with no controls in your direction. This completely defeats the stop sign's purpose, unless there is supplemental signage of some sort saying "you have right of way" or something.

P.S. I know of at least one T intersection where the road that ends has the right of way because the other road dead ends in one direction shortly after the intersection. Even though I go through there rather frequently, I haven't completely unlearned not yielding there. That force of habit is hard to break.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: corco on February 05, 2019, 01:54:09 PM
On a related note, I always wondered what would happen if we got rid of speedometers instead of signs.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: kphoger on February 05, 2019, 03:00:37 PM
What I always wondered, living in a place without any uncontrolled intersections (except maybe T intersections), is how you distinguish one from an intersection where you have the right of way and the other directions have stop signs.

It's not easy, just as you surmise.  For this reason, I don't support the use of uncontrolled four-way intersections unless the speed limit is 25 mph or less.



On a related note, I always wondered what would happen if we got rid of speedometers instead of signs.

Have you never driven a car with no working speedometer?  It's not so bad driving around town or on a busy highway, where you can simply stay with the flow of traffic—but, when there aren't any other cars around, it's easy to become paranoid about cops with radar.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: NoGoodNamesAvailable on February 05, 2019, 03:58:00 PM
On a related note, I always wondered what would happen if we got rid of speedometers instead of signs.

You can get pretty good at speed perception with some practice. NYC subway cars didn't use to have speedometers and operators could estimate their speed well enough to obey time signals within a couple mph.

Bu realistically most drivers in the US have trouble even driving at a constant speed, so expecting them to put some effort into learning a skill like this is wishful thinking.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: BrianP on February 05, 2019, 04:09:03 PM
What came to mind for me is the warning signs at curves.  Without them people might try to take a turn on a freeway at 70+ mph and lose control and crash.  Since they would be going that fast elsewhere on the freeway and also be able to take some curves that fast, they may assume that the design would allow them to be able to take all curves that fast too.  Some curves would be obvious as sharp enough to need to slow down.  But there will be some that are not obvious enough.
Title: Re: What if we took away all regulatory and warning signs, traffic lights, etc.
Post by: kphoger on February 05, 2019, 04:24:32 PM
What came to mind for me is the warning signs at curves.  Without them people might try to take a turn on a freeway at 70+ mph and lose control and crash.  Since they would be going that fast elsewhere on the freeway and also be able to take some curves that fast, they may assume that the design would allow them to be able to take all curves that fast too.  Some curves would be obvious as sharp enough to need to slow down.  But there will be some that are not obvious enough.

Most countries of the world don't have speed advisory tabs for their curve signs, yet people do reasonably well.  Having driven more than 8000 miles in Mexico over the last 14 years, I can tell you it's not hard at all to get used to driving without those little yellow rectangles.

Note:  On major highways in Mexico, dangerous curves are often preceded by separate signage (CURVA PELIGROSA or similar) and/or a series of horizontal stripes across the roadway.  On less important highways, however, these things are usually lacking.