Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Speed shapes

... or an idea to reduce eye-strain and fuel consumption.
  (+5, -3)
(+5, -3)
  [vote for,

On an unfamiliar road, approaching a speed limit sign. It's a red circle with black figures in it, so it's not a 'national speed limit' sign (UK). Does it say 50? 30? 40? 20? I'm still too far away to tell.

Or maybe it's just time I had my eyes tested.

I can brake early, in anticipation of a 30mph zone; lose momentum; reach what then turns out to be a 50mph zone and have to re-accelerate, wasting petrol.

Or, I can assume it's a "50" sign; realise too late that the sign in fact says "20", and have to brake late & hard. Oooh, dangerous. And bad for your brakes.

Now, if speed limit signs were different shapes, they could be read at more of a distance ... driver anticipates required accel-/deceleration earlier, safer braking, more economical use of fuel, traffic moves more smoothly.


I propose the 30pmh sign remains a circle. A stretched ellipse (with the long axis on the vertical) for 40pmh, some kind of rhomboid for 50, and a 5-pointed star for 20mph zones past schools and residential areas.

Of course, it won't help the swine who choose to do 80 past my house (40mph limit). They'll get theirs. I've seen the road-death figures for this county.

A measure of international standardisation in sign-shape would be welcome, and perhaps some commonality between signs in mph and their approximate equivalents in km/h.

We've been here before, I know, and people have objected about the expense of having to mass-change thousands of road signs. Well .... yeah.

bibliotaphist, Jun 09 2006

Halfbaked Estates Halfbaked_20Estates
[normzone, Jun 09 2006]

A "2-sided" shape? http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Vesica_piscis
Vesica piscis [BJS, Jun 10 2006]

BBC News 15th June '06 http://news.bbc.co..../london/5082426.stm
Cameras catch 20mph zone speeders [bibliotaphist, Jun 16 2006]


       I couldn't think of a good title; and then I could. Well, good-ish. It's very hot, you see.
bibliotaphist, Jun 09 2006

       + I like it and I like boysparks's title! I don't like having a sign to tell me about an approaching sign, too many signs. I like the different shapes denoting the speed. (Not that I would always adhere to the limit, but it's nice to know what one *should* be doing.)
xandram, Jun 09 2006

       If you have a two sided sign, would it shaped like a two dimensional American football?
BJS, Jun 09 2006

       >If you have a two sided sign, would it be american football shaped?   

       No, it would be rugby ball shaped
spandit, Jun 09 2006

       Why not go for speed sizes? The more you need to restrict your speed, the larger the sign would be so it could be seen further away. If only a slight speed modification is required, it can be a smaller sign.   

       These would be ideal for Halfbaked Estates [link].
normzone, Jun 09 2006

       +1 for a great start to hb life...
po, Jun 09 2006

       Excellent title, [boysparks] ... I'm afraid I have far too literal a mind to come up with these 3-for't'price-of-1 swiss-roll titles.   

       As a long-time lurker i'th'baakery, it's lovely to see how this vernacular for idea titles has grown up: not straight-forward puns; rarely referring explicitly to the product in question; more of an oblique reference which hints at worlds unseen.   

       I wonder, [boysparks] and others: are you all crossword fans?
bibliotaphist, Jun 12 2006

       Stop it, please, you're killing me.
bibliotaphist, Jun 12 2006

       Why not just make the first digit much larger? e.g. 5o or:   

       . ___
. '''''''''| 0
. ''''''''''
James Newton, Jun 12 2006

       I like the idea, but most people (here in the US) drive according to prevailing traffic speeds. Speed limits are more suggestions these days, it seems.   

       At any rate, this gives them new and more interesting signs to ignore. [+]
shapu, Jun 12 2006

       The roads must roll.
normzone, Jun 12 2006

       Um, shouldn't you be wearing your glasses while you drive?
Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 13 2006

       I just prefer to drive the same speed as everyone around me. I figure (incorrectly) that is good enough.
MoreCowbell, Jun 13 2006

       What, not "amphetamine-in-a-biskit"?
m_Al_com, Jun 15 2006

       /Speed limits are more suggestions these days, it seems/   

       Not in the UK, [shapu] ... see link.
bibliotaphist, Jun 16 2006


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