Traffic

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

16 Oct 2006

As they say, the big difference lies in the little details. Take street signs, for instance. Oh, they have the usual iconograms here in the US, the strangely universal octogonal and capitalized STOP sign, the intuitive No Right Turn and the ever-popular Road Work sign heralding another highway slowdown. But in the US more often than not you’ll see verbal signs rather than pictograms. Not for the basic ones, but for many other common uses that in Israel would often get a cryptic symbol invented for them. Rather than use the like in Israel, you will usually find a , or a , or whatever informative text the local state/county/town decided would express their point.
You get a instead of a   and a instead of a .

 

So I’m wondering what this can tell us about American culture. There’s no question that as a foreigner, it’s very easy to read the street signs. I suppose it’s the same for new drivers – you don’t have to memorize a series of arcane symbols to get around, only achieve a basic level of reading comprehension.

A few weeks later, though, it starts getting annoying. Why do I have to spend that whole half second just to know that I can’t turn right here? I could process it in a quarter of that time if it used the proper symbols. It’s as if they cater more to the beginner driver rather to the experienced one. And it stands to reason that there are more experienced drivers than there are beginners simply because you STOP being a beginner at some point, while a veteran just gets MORE veteran. Surely a simple icon can express as well as a sentence the very simple fact that I cannot, in fact, turn right here during a red light – which actually brings me to my next thought in my next post.

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Traffic

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Anonymous

16 בOctober, 2006 בשעה 21:52

Not only…

It’s true for the internals of American made cars, too. Most the indicators and “buttons” are text-labeled and not iconed.
(How ’bout Amanda?)

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luckluster

17 בOctober, 2006 בשעה 14:10

I’ve noticed that too.

Israel is closer to Europe (and maybe the rest of the world) in the sense of of graphic representation of traffic rules.
I believe the Americans are aware of that as well:

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