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Black Diamond System

Rating roads and turns biased on actual incidents.
  (+11, -6)
(+11, -6)
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On the highway signs a mechanism for attaching and removing black diamonds to indicate actual risk of fatality.

This would have two applications first would be to indicate the danger of a fatal accident on a given stretch of road. One diamond per annual average fatality on that segment of the highway. This would encourage drivers to take extra care on fatal roads. (we have several in my area) and guide the police to areas where there is a real public safety threat. It would also encourage public projects that would make dangerous roads safer by shaming the municipalities that have the most dangerous roads and reducing property values nearby.

In addition the diamonds would be posted on any sign that indicates a danger where that danger has caused a fatality. Sharp turns would get additional diamonds every time someone crashed. If deer in the road killed five drivers on a given stretch of pavement then the sign should bear five ominous black diamonds. Really dangerous spots would bristle with them. If pure excessive speed is the cause of an accident then the most proximal speed sign should get the diamond.

WcW, Feb 16 2008

Not exactly what I meant but close. http://www.american...s/fatalitysign3.jpg
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 16 2008]

The Best Black Diamond Slopes http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17286320/
"Here's Yer Sign." [Amos Kito, Feb 19 2008]


       When I lived in Edmonton they began placing these sorts of signs around the city. The signs were in the shape of a black coffin and had FATALITY written across the center.   

       They were very effective as I recall because a new one would be erected for each death.
When there gets to be a small grove of these things all around one corner or intersection, people bloody well slow down.

       exactly. I'm tired of crosses and flowers which you can usually only see too late to be of any help. Real warning of the fatal danger needs to come when the driver can do somthing about it.
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       This must also include roads with very bad (not necessarily dead) drivers. And people backing out onto the highway, blind curves, pot holes, etc. If emergency services don’t arrive quickly, people may die, so that road is “dangerous”. When I can evade an accident (and neither of us is killed), that road is statistically “safe”, even when the collision would have been a disaster.   

       I drive Uber-defensively, which makes bad roads safer, but only as I pass by, and a bad driver survives this day (and no doubt becomes cockier). If this idea includes areas of the hazardous drivers, it’s a good idea, if "post a sign" counts as an idea. I can easily identify which roads those are, so anybody can. I’m hoping the intent is to stop the fatalities, not to merely catalog them.
Amos Kito, Feb 16 2008

       The idea is that statistics allows us to ignore the non-incidents and focus on what we can measure: casualties. If the lack of services is associated with an accident then the sign indicating that the road is remote should bear the diamond. Many roads that seem like they would be dangerous are actually quite safe and many fatalities happen in that spot where it seems safe but there is a hidden danger INDICATED BY A SIGN. Same goes for multilane highways you never know which stretches are really dangerous.
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       I like it because it's sportier and less gloomy than looking out and seeing crosses, and maybe it will encourage the novices to stay off the road :)   

       I'd give you multiple buns here if I had 'em. Also, maybe some streets could be considered "Black Diamonds by Night" because of drunks getting out of the bars.
quantum_flux, Feb 16 2008

       "Beware of drunken drivers" sign with numerous slots for diamonds. This would work to motivate the city to clean up their act and really keep people safe (especially the drunk people). Hightened enforcement to try to keep diamonds off the signs where they would reduce property values.
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       Car/Ped fatalities would be indicated on "watch for peds" signs. A caution to drivers and people on the street.
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       Divide the deaths into categories. The highway signs would bear eight BIG diamonds to indicate deca-deaths and the individual signs would bear the balance of the deaths. Advice about avoiding sleep driving would have diamonds for the number of sleep related fatalities, road condition signs would relate fatalities due to loss of control,Etc.   

       You could even include a black flag on the mile marker where an unexplained fatality occurred keeping drivers wits about them on those long straight stretches.
WcW, Feb 16 2008

       Some roads in UK (I'm thinking specifically of the A361 between Daventry and Swindon - I forget which side of Banbury) have signs such as "7 fatalities in the past 12 months on this stretch". The implication appears to be "We know the road is dangerous, but we're not going to fix it".

[UB]; we have similar signs on our motorways, particularly those used as holiday routes, ie by people who probably rarely drive long distances ("long" in UK terms meaning a few hundred miles).
angel, Feb 17 2008

       I think this is an excellent idea. [+]
gabrielsnew, Feb 18 2008

       Alread exists, although we call them 'accident blackspots'
simonj, Feb 18 2008

       Basically, you want to keep score? That's not really the point of roadside memorials.
GutPunchLullabies, Feb 18 2008

       As angel says, fatality count signs exist in the UK. Often they are erected by the local council with a view to causing enough bad publicity to force central government to improve the roads.
calum, Feb 18 2008

       // 2000km in length and claims 60-80 lives per year //   

       On average, that's .04 deaths per kilometre per year. How does that compare with other highways ?   

       How about if each road had a rating based on fatalities ? Multiply up the .04 and get a "Category 4 road". The bigger the number, the more deaths per kiolmeter per year. Then stick it on the SatNav maps and make them change the road colour according to the rating.
8th of 7, Feb 18 2008

       //How does that compare with other highways?//

It compares pretty favourably with the A361, but you need to factor in the number of vehicles for the comparison to be meaningful. If only one person died but there were only twenty or so users, that may give you a hint. One fatality out of a couple of million users might be acceptable.
angel, Feb 18 2008

       A recent road safety campaign near where I live, had black life size (including child size) silhouettes on poles mounted at the appropriate point representing each death in the last five years on a stretch of road (N201 between Geneva and Annecy). It was quite chilling, and certainly had the required effect on me. Didn't seem to make any difference to the hooligans in their clapped out 206 GTis.   

       Busy single carraigeway roads are always going to be the most dangerous - a moment's bad judgement or lapse of concentration can easily bring about a collision where closing speeds are almost certain to prove fatal. If signs can concentrate the mind, then I'm all for them, but I have a feeling they are largely preaching to the converted.
Gordon Comstock, Feb 19 2008

       I'm curious as to how people continued to hit the same power pole. Was it IN the intersection?   

       On-topic: I think I prefer the diamonds to any other symbol (coffins, dead babies, richard nixon masks) simply because it's an easily-recognized but meaningless symbol.   

       Also, it allows for an expansion of the sign (pull a slide-out section to add another diamond?) whereas putting up individual coffin signs requires greater expense.   

       Another cost-saving measure: have it be based on three-year averages, with new measurements calculated every summer.
shapu, Feb 19 2008

       // I prefer the diamonds //   

       When I'm on a Sunday Drive, it is disturbing to see crosses and richard nixon. But black diamonds [Link] are for daring, experienced skiers who crave the thrill and challenge of a dangerous course.
Amos Kito, Feb 19 2008

       Thank you amos
WcW, Feb 19 2008


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