Obeying the Law Too Well

Q. What happens if you implement an anti-tailgating measure, and motorists obey it perfectly? A. Traffic jams. Last weekend, Washington State transportation officials enacted their 2 ...
by | August 16, 2006

Signtwodotsfinal Q. What happens if you implement an anti-tailgating measure, and motorists obey it perfectly?

A. Traffic jams.

Last weekend, Washington State transportation officials enacted their 2 Dots 2 Safety program, which uses large white dots painted on the interstate pavement to remind drivers to maintain a proper distance from one another.

But the drivers responded a little too well: The recommended two-dot distance is designed for 60-mph travel. But traffic was heavy, so cars were moving slowly. Drivers, however, maintained the distance they were instructed on road signs. That, in turn, led to even slower traffic.

Bottom line: the obedient driving led to massive traffic jams. The state is now deciding what to do with the program.

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