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Bored by pointless warnings
Feb. 2, 2018
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by Ivan Raconteur

One of the things that bugs me at this time of year is the multitude of useless warnings to which we are subjected.

The people at the Minnesota Department of Transportation are among the worst offenders.

I’m willing to give the folks over at MnDOT the benefit of the doubt, and assume they are conscientious people who are genuinely concerned about the safety of their staff and the public.

Frankly though, they don’t seem that bright.

Any time there is the slightest dusting of snow or a trace of freezing rain, I can just about guarantee we will be receiving a press release with a headline like this one I just got: “MnDOT advises motorists to slow down due to icy road conditions.”

What MnDOT doesn’t seem to realize is that anyone who lives in Minnesota and doesn’t realize the importance of driving based on existing conditions probably can’t read, and therefore will not benefit from this wise announcement.

Alternatively, they may be among those maniacs who are able to comprehend the warning, but simply don’t care, and are determined to exceed the posted speed limit regardless of current conditions.

In either case, the warnings will not help these people.

In effect, MnDOT insists on burdening the population who already know how to drive with messages intended for those who can’t or won’t heed the warnings.

If we must be subjected to pointless warnings, they should at least be entertaining.

The best one I have seen was recently shared by a North Carolina TV station.

WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, NC, shared this tip, which was posted on Twitter by someone going by the name Chad Sullivan: “If you rarely drive on snow, just pretend you’re taking your grandma to church. There’s a platter of biscuits and 2 gallons of sweet tea in glass jars in the back seat. She’s wearing a new dress and holding a crock pot full of gravy.”

This detailed description made me laugh, and I believe it is simple enough that anyone who is capable of operating a motor vehicle should be able to understand it.

If MnDOT were able to make their press releases as entertaining as that, rather than telling us for the millionth time that snow and ice make roads slippery, I might not mind reading them.

I’m sick of hearing the talking heads on TV telling us every time there is inclement weather (or even fog or darkness) that the weather or the conditions caused hundreds of crashes.

No. The weather didn’t cause the crashes. Human behavior caused the crashes.

Dealing with snow and ice are a part of living in Minnesota, and that’s not likely to change any time soon.

It’s time people started taking responsibility for their actions, rather than blaming ice for being slippery.


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