I had to drive Small Person 1 Of 2 to see one of her friends the other day. And along the way, we came across some road works. Nothing unusual there, especially not in my town! However, the traffic was being controlled by good old fashioned “Stop / Go” boards.
I assumed by this that the road works were so temporary they couldn’t be bothered to set up temporary traffic lights. This was unusual! Normally when any sort of road works appear in this town, they are accompanied by the lights. And these lights seem to be around a lot longer than the actual works themselves.
Just a couple of days earlier, some temporary traffic lights appeared in my road. Nothing happened on the day they arrived; they were just put on the side of the road. However the signs informing the drivers of the expected delays were put up. The following day, the lights were switched on and work began.
They stayed there for a couple of days even though the works had finished!
So, back to my “Stop / Go” boards. As one would expect, there were two boards; one at either end of the road works. When I approached them, there was a man standing next to each board, again as expected. Perhaps I should call them sign operatives. Fortunately, my board was on “Go”, so I just sailed through, which was a bit odd because I was driving on tarmac! OK, you know what I mean. 😉
And because I went straight through the road works, I didn’t really pay attention to what they were doing.
I dropped Small Person 1 Of 2 off at her friend’s house and started my return journey. I thought about going another way home to avoid the road works but reasoned that as I wasn’t in a hurry I would take the usual route.
Once again, as I approached the “Stop / Go” boards, my side was on “Go”. However, there were several cars ahead of me, so I wasn’t sure whether the sign operative would be good and keep them on “Go” until after I had passed.
It was at this point that I noticed the sign operative at my end leave the sign and cross the road. Good, I thought, he can’t change the sign; I will be able to continue my journey without stopping. He then sat down on the grass verge.
Fortunately, I kept my wits about me and wasn’t completely distracted by the antics of this operative. I suddenly noticed the sign switch to “Stop”. There was a gap between my car and the car in front. A gap large enough for the operative to decide I should stop and let the cars from the opposite direction pass through the road works.
But how did he turn the sign round when he was on the other side of the road sitting on the grass verge?
Well, it seems that technology has moved on so much that now only one sign operative is required because he can operate both signs via a remote control!
That’s right. He was sitting on the verge with a little hand held device turning the signs whenever he felt it right to do so.
Obviously the latest health and safety laws don’t allow operatives to stand and turn signs anymore. Presumably in case they get deep vain thrombosis through standing in one position for too long. I wonder if he takes it home with him and puts it with his television remote. (See “Time Saving Vibrators!”)