Should have read the signs. . .

I BELIEVE I know why the Bears were beaten so emphatically at Glasgow recently – they didn’t read the signs.

Have you travelled on the M8 recently?
If you have, you’ll be aware of the helpful tips flashed up from roadside gantries for passing motorists to read and digest.
I personally take extreme offence at “please drive carefully” signs as the inference is clearly that, had this helpful piece of advice not been prominently displayed, I would rampage through the neighbourhood with callous disregard for pedestrians, property and fellow road users.
Having been a regular user of public highways for many years now, I’m pretty certain in my own mind that a degree of care and caution is required when in charge of what could, in the wrong hands, be a powerful and potentially lethal killing machine. Or car to you and me.
Mr sign-maker, I do not feel the urge to erect notices in your place of work telling you to be careful when operating the machinery required to create your piece of public information, so you’ll excuse me for driving with precisely the same level of circumspection and attention whether or not your lovingly crafted sign is strategically placed on the route of a speedway journey of my choice.
That road to King’s Lynn was a particular haven for such signs and I was glad the Stars went up to the Elite League for that reason alone as it meant my apparent reckless nature would no longer be held to ridicule every 100 yards or so at least once a season.
‘Baby on board’ signs are another one. I’m considering displaying a sticker in my car stating ‘baby NOT on board, please ram’.
But, like Simon Cowell or traffic wardens, they are part of modern life and we just have to put up with them.
The people in charge of the illuminated signs on the M8, however, take their responsibilities to a new level.
Don’t forget to put your seatbelt on, don’t drive tired, keep your distance, don’t drink and drive. . . we were bombarded with so many demands that I thought we’d have to pull over onto the hard shoulder in order to take it all in.
My favourite was the message which told us and our fellow M8 users to “drive courteously”.
Did this mean doffing our hats and proffering a cheery “thank you, my excellent fellow motorist” every time we were given entry to an adjoining lane?
So, you see, there were so many pointers to what we should and shouldn’t be doing, that by the time we’d taken the A803 turn-off towards Bishopbriggs we’d completely lost the ability to do anything without be told.
And that clearly was the Bears’ problem. Had there been a sign saying “make sure you get out of the gate first and watch out for turns three and four because they’re a bit tricky” it could have all been so different.
Fortunately it proved a minor blip and last Thursday’s come-from-behind win against Leicester was entertaining and well-merited.
It’s Scottish opposition again this week for the Bears this week though when Edinburgh come to town.
I wonder if they’ve been given any helpful roadside tips before heading across the border…


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