Seemingly more often than the average person, I see a lot of people driving the wrong way on one-way roads. I’d say probably 80% of the time it’s in a parking lot, but there’s also a roundabout near my job where I see countless people go the wrong way far too frequently, because they’d rather drive 90 degrees to turn left instead of driving around 270 degrees; whether is is done deliberately out of laziness and selfishness, or because these people are complete imbeciles is irrelevant, because they’re still turning into the opposite direction of traffic and putting people at risk.
Shocker of the century, whenever I see people driving against a one-way street, it annoys me. To the point where the thought sits in my head long enough to where words begin to formulate in my head, and inevitably becomes a topic, something that I can write about in my brog that six people read.
Naturally, my first thought after annoyance is “how can this epidemic of wrong-way driving be solved?”
First, I thought if every single one-way street in the world had a gate of some sort, it might help a little bit. But then I think about the gates of the apartment complexes that people I know live at, and how they’re unreliable, break often, or deliberately broken by criminals in the night who take their frustrations on the world out on gates, and either sabotage the mechanics or straight up break the gate physically.
Gates, are far too unreliable, fragile, and require too much maintenance.
And then I thought about spike strips. The kind of spike strips pictured above. The kind of spike strips that exist at every single car rental lot, typically near the car returns lanes, so that thieves can’t steal cars and expect to get away, and to deter in the most severest ways, people from going in that direction. Spike strips, designed to allow for one-way passage ONLY, as even attempting to go the opposite direction only leads to severe and costly damage.
These would be the perfect things to install all over the place, to condition and ultimately deter people from even considering going down the wrong direction on the streets. And they’re vastly lower maintenance than gates; non-retractable spike strips could be bolted, nay, soldered, to streets, to eliminate vigilante removal of them by aggravated motorists.
Naturally, because people are dumb and do not pay attention to signs, there is bound to be an extremely steep and severe learning curve, as negligent motorists across the country fail to abide by street laws, go down a one-way street in the wrong direction, and then blow out their tires. Their now incapacitated vehicle sits immobile in the middle of the street, pissing off other motorists to whom their own route is suddenly obstructed by an idiot. And before the flatbed tow-truck can arrive to remove the car with the four flat tires, the police can come and issue a ticket(s) for going the wrong way and any other extraneous violations they might take the time to seek out.
You better believe this is a lesson that the example offender is going to learn, real fast, when they have to deal with this kind of humiliation and punishment.
As for the asshole drivers who deliberately go the wrong way to save time, this will be even more satisfying to know of it happening to them. They’ll likely learn even faster, to start abiding by the law, before Ruler Danny can think of more draconian methods to correct bad behavior.
Really though, I fail to see a downside to this idea of installing spike strips all over the place to regulate one-way streets. It’s an idea designed to efficiently correct a bad behavior through extremely severe punishment. Since they’re also speed bumps, it will get people to slow the fuck down, because lord knows there are a lot of maniacs on the road who think the real world is actually Gran Turismo and drive as such.
For the people who have a hard time learning or abiding by the law, their misfortunes will be a boon for the tire industry, as well as tow truck drivers, mechanics and auto parts, or anyone else involved in the process of getting a dumbass’s car back to driving condition after plowing over spike strips. Sometimes, there are cars that are on the road that are pretty obviously not either safe, legal, or in proper driving condition, but be it through poverty, negligence or just plain ambivalence, they’re still around; going in the wrong direction and paying the price all but guarantees being forced to see a mechanic, thus potentially making the roads safer.
Not to mention, one of the biggest drawbacks to seemingly minor offenders is that they get away with it, because police can’t possibly be everywhere at every time. When a car is immobilized by the the stupidity of their driver, the car is sitting there while waiting for a tow. At these times, police can more leisurely show up if they’re nearby, and upon seeing a car with a bunch of flat tires, the story kind of writes itself, as do the tickets they can issue to people for failing to pay attention to the road.
Police write more tickets, generate more revenue. Economic improvement here too!
But ultimately, the goal is to make the roads a safer place. Through draconian punishment, people might actually learn to respect the importance of one-way streets, and not endanger lives or risk making a whole lot of people unhappy with their negligence.
When the roads are a safer place, and a myriad of industries are flourishing economically, can anyone really deny the fact that spike stripes, just might, make the world a better place?