I still have to force myself to stay in a closing lane until the last second. I feel guilty every time I pull into the lane I know is ending at traffic lights. I don’t look at the faces of the people I pass as they sit patiently in line at road works!
But I do force myself! I push down my guilt and I think of the thousands of people who pushed past me as I waited patiently all those years.
Yes the new Sully who pledged allegiance to the closed lane is still going strong. Sure there’s been plenty of relapses. I’ve waited and stewed as a stream of cars pass me in the ever-increasing Gold Coast traffic. There’s one piece of road works for the new Light Rail System that gets me every single time. I pull up in the same spot every time only to watch five cars pass me every time. But it will be me doing the passing next time! mark my words! Or maybe the time after that… I’ll get there eventually.
I’ve just spent a week working with the Signals section at Richo’s. What an eye opener. Besides the misdirected abuse the guys get for doing their jobs I came to realise the a lot of drivers just don’t look for things out of the ordinary. Or even the ordinary.
My first lesson was upgrading the pedestrian buttons I hit the button to go back to the Ute for some gear, waited for the walking man and started to cross the road. I stopped just in time as a driver turning right nearly took me out followed by two cars following him. Not one of them even acknowledged me as the went past. I’m still not certain if they actually saw me.
I must be a slow learner because as I was packing up I was nearly taken out again. To make it clear I was the 1.8 metre tall, 120 Kilo guy in the bright yellow shirt with reflective tape carrying the bright blue 10 foot step-ladder! I’m pretty hard to miss!
My second lesson. There’s three of us working at the next intersection. We’ve closed a lane to allow access to the trench we’re digging. We’ve got three traffic controllers with us and one of their cars parked in the lane with a huge flashing arrow and a million witches hats and signs letting people know what’s going on and where to go. One guy decides he doesn’t like the route everyone else is using and underpasses the Traffic Control Ute drives over our witches hats and parks himself at the traffic lights in the middle of our work area. When we ‘politely’ quizzed to what he thought he was doing his only reply was that he wanted to go straight and that’s what he did when the light turned green.
Lesson three. The Traffic Control guys know their stuff. There are a lot of laws to follow and they are responsible not only for our health but the safety of the pedestrians and drivers who wonder in to their control area. They do a great job. But it’s amazing to see time after time despite the lane closed signs 500 metres up the road, Despite the flashing lights and signs, despite the witches hats and reflective arrow drivers getting within metres of their parked Utes before they realise there’s a traffic hazard in front of them.