Red means stop!

pedestrian signAdministrators in auto city are baffled at recent reports showing Detroit having more than twice as many pedestrian deaths per capita than it’s nearest competitor, New York City.

The high rate may partly result from drivers’ attitudes toward pedestrians, said Kelly Thayer, transportation project manager for the Michigan Land Use Institute, based in Traverse City. “There are some states where pedestrians come first, and Michigan isn’t one of them,” Thayer said.

Detroit is the first place I have ever encountered the mysterious “Red means stop!” and “Red still means stop!” signs, posted at nearly every big intersection in the city. I assumed they were an exaggeration to affect a local problem, not an attempt to address a plague.

I don’t mean to get all semiotic up in this mug, but what else could red mean if it didn’t mean stop? Perhaps these offensive drivers simply misinterpreted it as the color of blood. Who’s to blame here, bad drivers, or an overloaded sign system?

Detroit Free Press: Detroit tops U.S. big cities in rate of pedestrian deaths

2 thoughts on “Red means stop!

  1. i love those signs. everytime i saw them in detroit they made me laugh. and as a non-driver still to take her test, i found them very useful in reminding me about the rules of the road. so there.

  2. In Idaho, we have had many deaths due to people running stop signs. I have also witnessed many running of red lights. So, red may obviously mean stop to most people, but the small amount of arrogant people that don’t want to follow this simple rule for whatever reason, are causing serious problems throughout the country. Maybe it is time for an aggressive campaign to make everyone aware that red means stop, no really!!

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