I suppose that now winter is upon us and there is a decline in road repairs we will notice that one group of the drivers, the “late mergers” or LMs will go into hibernation. These are the drivers who, when a lane ahead is closed, insist on driving right up to where the witch’s hats close their lane before trying to merge into the open lane. You know the ones; they sit there with their signal on holding up the complete line while they wait for some kind soul to let them in.
The courteous and thoughtful people, like me and all my friends, who have been respectful enough to merge into the correct lane when they passed the “LANE CLOSED AHEAD” sign 2 km back are faced with a social quandary when they come across the stopped LM. Their “good” side, often reinforced by a pitiable smile over the shoulder of the LM, says “let the poor waif in”, whereas their “BAD” side says “let the bastard rot in hell. “
In this case I always let the really rotten corner of the bad side of my brain take prescience and pack up so close that I can catch the movie showing on the onboard DVD player of the SUV in front, with sound. It strikes me that there is a pretty simple solution to this traffic problem. I’ll give you the outline to my solution and ask that you submit any enhancements in the comments section below.
Here’s the plan…….. About 2 km before the merge point a sign is posted “LANE CLOSED AHEAD MERGE LEFT NOW”. These signs are posted two or three times before a line of witches hats start appearing on the lane divider. The witch’s hats would be placed such that no car could drive into the moving lane through a gap between them and they would be solid enough that even a Hummer driver couldn’t knock one down without inflicting serious damage to his ride (my kids tell me that’s the term to be used these days). The witch’s hats could morf into concrete barriers if necessary. In some instances the line of witches hats would then just peter out and the old system of “stupidest first” would remain but, and here’s the trick, once in a while the cars in the “you should have merged left” lane would be confronted with the welcoming face of Trevor Plod the local constable and a couple of his buddies who would issue them with a preprinted ticket for failing to merge. Once the LMs had had a couple hours to reconsider their actions and watch the nice guys whistle on by Trev would take it upon himself to direct them into the correct lane and on their way during a lull in the left lane traffic flow .
Now I understand that this might take a bit of manpower to set up and operate but, when the number of man-hours (person-hours I suppose that should be) wasted as a result of the actions of these no hopers are considered, there could be a substantial net gain, not to mention a lot less really mad drivers in traffic jams.
The great thing about this system is that it would quickly educate the LMs that there was a significant chance that their preferred method of inflicting their “me first” attitude on the rest of us is likely to result in “me last” and, like Skinner’s mice, they would quickly get the idea.
Anybody got worthwhile enhancements to recommend before I pass this on to the appropiate authorities for ignoring?