Indicate when turning

A new addition to the signposts on the approach to the Kildare Rd mini traffic circle (traffic mini circle?) in Newlands instructs drivers that it would probably help those around them if they “indicate when turning”.


Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “But… but I do indicate when I’m turning. I mean… that’s what you do… that’s what they’re there for, isn’t it?”, and you’re right and that’s because you are a sensible driver who is probably not living in South Africa, where mind-reading on the roads is less of a staged fraud and more of a necessity.

But then, the drivers who weren’t going to indicate when turning still won’t indicate when turning, because they don’t look at signs at the side of the road. The only people who look at signs at the side of the road are drivers who were going to indicate when turning anyway.

And so, yes: the “indicate when turning” may seem a little unnecessary to you, but I have a feeling that it’s about to be joined by something even more spectacular. And that’s because sometimes a single sign simply isn’t enough.
And there’s precedent for this just down the road in the Access Park Shopping Complex:

Kenilworth - Google Maps - Google Chrome 2015-05-19 025651 PM.bmp

Yes, please enjoy this screenshot from Google Maps, containing what is still one of the most bizarre traffic signs I have seen in South Africa anywhere. For those of you with utterly appalling eyesight, just under the big red NO ENTRY sign (and just above the words “NO” and “ENTRY” painted 2m high on the road) are the words:


Who is this aimed at, exactly? Most people will not even have considered not obeying the traffic sign in the first place (although maybe now you’ve sown the seeds of mischief). And if the people who weren’t going to obey the traffic sign in the first place weren’t going to obey the traffic sign in the first place, what makes you think they’re going to obey the writing underneath it asking them to obey it? I’m not sure where the logic comes in “Let’s ask them to do as it says, and then they’ll do as it says.”
Or are you expecting some sort of selective disobedience? Has some sort of psychological assessment of the average wrong-way-up-a-one-way-street driver been done? And if so, was this really deduced to be the best policy to halt their errant behaviour?

And you’re asking them nicely too – none of that straightforward “do this” of the “indicate when turning” signage. Manners maketh the man and they apparently maketh the more polite and therefore better adhered to road signage as well.

Personally, I can’t believe it works, but assuming it does, there’s still plenty of room just underneath the “indicate when turning” sign for another, stating: “we’d really appreciate it if you took notice of this request, please”.

And then, when leaving the traffic circle, a “thanks a lot” wouldn’t go amiss either.

4 thoughts on “Indicate when turning

  1. I had always taken that sign to highlight that you should indicate your intention of turning before entering the circle, and not to indicate your intention to leave the circle as you would normally do with a larger traffic circle.

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