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Roads (PART 3)

How our roads came to be

This week we’re talking about street lamps, road signs and road markings!

 

On the road, which is now made up of a carriageway for vehicles and a footway for people, we need to add some street furniture. This is road signs, street lights and boxes of various sorts. Post boxes, phone boxes etc.

 

Street lights, of course, make things safer as they help us see and there is a trend now to set them back away from the road in order to light the pavement for pedestrians. Where there are lots of people you’ll find more street lamps so you can see others and they can see you.

 

As more and more of us started using vehicles it became apparent that there needed to be rules, so we added road signs and road markings to the mix. Obviously, we needed to see these signs and road markings which is why it was important to understand what the eye sees. Yep, it’s not just a sign, it’s a science. First, the eye sees movement, like the flash of your indicators. Then it sees colour, such as red for danger and lastly the eye sees the shape.

 

With road signs and markings it is important that we all recognise and understand them. For example, in the UK our “L” plate has a standard format and all road signs and markings must conform to The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (commonly abbreviated to TSRGD). Our road signs also look much like the European ones. There is even a Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, what’s the point in having to learn a whole new set of rules each time your car crosses a border? The purpose of all this is a common understanding that binds us together for mutual safety.

 

We also started to write on the road. ‘Stop’ meant a hazard ahead. The sandy coloured road surface meant better grip and the red and green you still see on the road has no legal meaning but it does emphasise the white paint that does.

 

We’re not done yet, there’s more to come next week!

 

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