Did you know Australia is considering placing traffic lights in footpaths to stop tenacious texters who don’t look up from walking into traffic?
The city of Augsburg in Germany is already trialling the in-ground traffic lights along tram lines.
Seems like an interesting way to spend tax dollars when schools, welfare agencies, and hospitals in this country are in desperate need of funds.
After an increase in road deaths this year – 29 involving pedestrians – NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay has decided to trial the footpath lights for six months. The trial is expected to start in December. It is unclear which parts of Sydney will feature the lights.
Mr Gay said if it meant saving just one life he would do it.
But why can’t they just look up?
SOME SAFETY RULES CAN ACTUALLY HARM US
Could our governments’ obsession with safety be killing us?
If you read my post How to Burst the Bubble and Embrace the Scrapes you’ll know some Australian schools have forbidden kids to do handstands and cartwheels for fear they will hurt themselves. As I pointed out in that article this is actually harmful to children.
Every time a government imposes new safety rules it takes responsibility away from individuals to be accountable for their own personal safety, and that of their kids.
It opens the door for people to blame and sue because there wasn’t a safety rule in place to protect them.
And some of the rules just don’t work.
According to news.com.au, an NSW Government report revealed violence in and around Sydney’s Star Casino is on the rise, despite controversial lockout laws designed to reduce violent crimes.
The laws, introduced in 2014 and currently being revised, forbid patrons from entering certain pubs and clubs around Sydney from 1.30 am. Ridiculously, the Star Casino is exempt from the laws.
The laws have had negative effects on the businesses involved and it seems the violence has not been reduced, just moved to other areas of the city.
In the early 1990s Australian states passed laws making it compulsory for cyclists to wear bike helmets. Guess what happened?
The rates of serious injuries among cyclists actually increased. No one is sure why but perhaps the extra layer of protection gave them a false sense of security.
CONFUSING SAFETY LAWS
Some of the laws make you scratch your head in confusion.
Most pubs are forced to serve wine in plastic cups after 10 pm, but your glass wine bottle is fine sitting on the table next to you.
Footie fans can only buy mid-strength beer (in plastic cups) at venues, yet a full strength rum and coke is fine, though also served in plastic.
Doesn’t really make sense, does it?
All pools – in-ground, above-ground and inflatable, must have proper pool fencing if they are 30 cm deep or more.
That’s fine. I’m all for saving kids’ lives. However, drownings in Australia are on the rise, including death or near-death of preschool-aged children in backyard swimming pools.
There is no substitute for diligence and the fencing gives you a false sense of security. It’s so easy to assume that pool gate has been properly closed.
The crazy thing is, there are no laws involving fencing backyard ponds – yet.
When my kids were young, I had all medications and cleaning products out of their reach. I still do, this time for the Goddesses.
Now all those bottles are snugly fitted with childproof caps. Again, I’m all for saving kids’ lives but I feel sad for the ageing population struggling to open their pain medication with arthritic fingers and have to wonder why cupboard locks have gone out of fashion.
ARE OUR RULES MAKING US STUPID?
Did you know it’s actually illegal to leave your keys in an unattended vehicle? Do we really need a law for that? How silly are we? What happened to good, old-fashioned common sense?
In Melbourne, there are certain times you are forbidden to vacuum your home, namely night time. Will we soon have laws for every piece of etiquette some parts of society has decided to throw out?
It used to be most people did the right thing because it was the right thing to do – not because it was law.
It seems now we are treated like mindless zombies or smombies (smartphone zombies) who must be told what to do at every step, secure in our knowledge Big Brother is looking out for us. So we don’t have to.
Still, if those footpath traffic lights stop a smombie from walking in front of the car I’m driving, I guess I’ll be grateful that Big Brother is watching.
What are your thoughts?
Have a gleeful week, Tamuria
Joyce HansenJuly 6, 2016 at 12:01 am
Wow! can’t vacuum at night. That’s pushing the limits. Every generation seems to lose more common sense. You’re right about personal responsibility, and it seems the more that is legislated the more the number of incidents. That’s a strange phenomenon.
tamuriaJuly 6, 2016 at 6:34 pm
I think the rules make us complacent, Joyce, and we rely on them too much, assuming they will keep us safe.
KristiJuly 7, 2016 at 11:19 pm
I totally agree… most rules hamper creativity.
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm
Absolute truth Kristi. We’ve had some truly amazing ones here in Austalia where certain artworks and books have been banned. Rather than banning them in our’free’ country, wouldn’t it be better to let people decide for themselves if they want to see or read them?
Kristen WilsonJuly 7, 2016 at 12:17 pm
OMG.. this just makes me mad and your first comment in the picture just NAILS it.. we (or the govt) keeps making rules/laws for the idiots who will never follow them, not smart enough to notice it was meant for them or to follow it. So, we are constantly punishing those who do follow the rules with more ridiculous rules when… you just can’t fix stupid! urgh
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 4:41 pm
That’s the sad truth, Kristen. People who do the right thing are constantly made to put up with more intense rules because of those who don’t. The people who don’t do the right thing are unlikely to start because of a rule.
Karen GroszJuly 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm
I am not sure our rules are making us stupid, we have just lost the art of respect. Respect for others, rules, authority and even ourselves. Figure out how to develop respect and things would change. I think it is crazy and don’t have a clue when it will end.
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm
Respect would certainly solve most of the world’s issues Karen. Maybe we need a rule…:)
Sabrina QuairoliJuly 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm
Government has been getting more and more involved in everyone’s lives and it does give us as individuals a false sense of security. And it makes us more fearful that we may get into trouble because we don’t know about some law out there. We as citizens need to determine when enough is enough. Thanks for shaking.
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 4:44 pm
You are so right, Sabrina, it’s up to us to say “enough”. Time for people to start taking responsibility.
rozbeadsJuly 8, 2016 at 2:14 am
I did not know about these rules or pending laws in Australia. They sound like the dumb things US Congress would pass while important issues can’t get resolved. It is mind boggling to legislate, vacuuming, walking & texting & some of the others. I do worry about our future.
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm
Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and pray. It is so hard to comprehend the focus on these issues when, like you said, Roz, the important ones do not get resolved.
Beverley GoldenJuly 8, 2016 at 9:29 am
My thought is that we are generally becoming over regulated and losing our sense of independence and common sense. The issue with technology and pedestrians accidents is definitely being seen here in Toronto too. I heard that a ridiculously large number of people were hit crossing the road in one weekend! Is it all because of technology? I am not sure. I had this idea to write a post about “the girl who looked up”. The more I read, the more I see how addicted people are to their phones. People are holding workshops teaching how to “kick the technology addiction”. You shared a lot of silly laws and yet the big issues, cannot seem to find a common ground to get passed. I see this with the current state of gun regulation in the U.S. and the resistance to pass laws that actually might make a difference. Thanks for sharing, Tami. Love how you offer us so much interesting info and food for thought!
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 4:53 pm
I think quite often governments will make these rules knowing people will react and that takes attention away from the fact the governments are not tackling the really important issues, Beverley.The danger is we lose our common sense and become reliant on being told what to do at every step. It’s frustrating to have to pay the price in inconvenience and silly laws because of a minority of people who cannot behave themselves in a sensible way.
Liz Benoit CozbyJuly 8, 2016 at 9:33 am
Wow, and I thought Texas was getting bad. Several cities have put in cameras at intersections to take pictures of people running “yellow” lights, and they send those drivers tickets in the mail. The result? Instead of more people stopping, they have had a 30% increase in car accidents in those intersections. Sigh.
On another note, I am kind of thinking that if the people are dumb enough to walk into a door, a wall, or an intersection, or even an intersection, they may deserve the bruises they receive. Seriously, who’s fault is it that someone else is not paying attention? Nice article. You can see you touched a sore spot, lol.
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 4:59 pm
I think there are many people who find this one frustrating, Liz. I get really fed up with the amount of time, energy and money spent ‘saving’ people who are rude and clueless. The problem is, I guess those traffic light laws are a way of protecting the rest of us who would have to live with the guilt of hurting a smombie if one walked out right in front of our car. Maybe it would be better to spend those resources educating the smombies of the world.
Natasha BotkinJuly 8, 2016 at 10:45 am
Interesting take on rules. Rules have been proven for some to follow and others to break; it’s all in perspective. I found your post interesting via some Australian rules vs. American. xoxo
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 5:01 pm
I guess no amount of rules will protect us from people who refuse to follow them. With that in mind, Natasha, it’s a shame that those who do follow the rules are rewarded with yet more rules.
Vatsala ShuklaJuly 8, 2016 at 3:08 pm
Having rules is good but as with everything, too much of a good thing leads to disaster, Tami. In a way, I can appreciate the traffic signals on the ground of the road – we’ve had many road deaths with youngsters plugged into their mp3s and who didn’t notice or hear approaching vehicles at red lights. But the question is, would they see these images anyway?
We can create rules till the cows come home but they aren’t going to make a difference until the people for whom the rules are being made are willing to follow them.
tamuriaJuly 8, 2016 at 5:03 pm
Exactly right Vatsala, all the rules in the world will make no difference if people don’t follow them and that’s a bit discouraging seeing as many can’t even manage to follow the rules of common sense.
JeremyJuly 9, 2016 at 12:12 am
agree with everything said here. Personal responsibility seems to be a thing of the past and we really aren’t doing anybody any favors with the constant hand holder of society #blogsharelearn
tamuriaJuly 9, 2016 at 8:14 am
That’s it Jeremy, time to stop the hand holding and let people take responsibility for themselves.
SuzanneJuly 9, 2016 at 5:07 am
Wow, and I thought California had the silliest rules (no vacuuming at night), but that’s probably because someone here hasn’t thought to regulate it yet… You are right, folks need to start taking responsibility for themselves and their own actions again and more rules aren’t going to make that happen.
tamuriaJuly 9, 2016 at 8:23 am
“Someone here hasn’t thought to regulate it yet” – love that Suzanne. It reminds me of a line in the Incubus song, Warning; “I suggest we learn to love ourselves before it’s made illegal”.Yes, time to start taking responsibility.
Reba LinkerJuly 9, 2016 at 6:10 am
Big sigh. I was counting on Australia to have more common sense than that! Great post. Couldn’t agree more!
tamuriaJuly 9, 2016 at 8:25 am
It feels like the whole world is going mad sometimes, doesn’t it Reba? I’m guessing no country is immune to ridiculous laws which only serve to distract attention from more vital issues.
Joan M HarringtonJuly 10, 2016 at 7:03 am
I would agree with you that for MOST of us it is just “common sense” to NOT do certain things, like txting while walking across a cross walk….people SHOULD be looking up lol
Very interesting post, indeed as I did not realize you guys can not vacuum after a certain time at night?
Thanks for sharing as rules are important but some just do not care 😉
tamuriaJuly 13, 2016 at 8:50 am
Yes, most of us use common sense, Joan, but are forced to deal with ridiculous rules for the minority who don’t and the sad truth is those people are the ones who don’t even follow the rules.
joan potterJuly 12, 2016 at 2:07 pm
Tamuria – Thank you so much for this. In nursing, I believe that young nurses are so inundated with rules that they are no longer able to think for themselves. I once heard a military leader telling the difference between the youngest soldiers who are literally told how to tie their shoes, and the Navy Seals who are taught how to think as conditions change moment-to-moment. I fear that we’ve over-“ruled” us to the point that we aren’t able to make logical decisions when needed.
tamuriaJuly 13, 2016 at 8:53 am
I think you are right Joan. Being over “ruled” takes away our ability to think for ourselves and be able to make logical decisions when needed. Your Navy Seal example is spot on.
Patty LoehnJuly 13, 2016 at 2:53 am
Tamuria, WOW!! Is my first response since many of these same things here in the US drive me nuts. I get so annoyed that the common sense factor is missing. When you talked about a law saying when you can vacuum – hello…people use common sense, if is 11 PM and you are in an apartment complex don’t vacuum – if you own your own home and people are sleeping don’t vacuum if you live alone in your home go ahead and vacuum. – Sorry for the rant. When I heard about the foot-lights I wanted to just smack the person in the head and ask them if they are serious. If you are crossing a road, train tracks, or anything other pathway where vehicles even bikes could be look both directions you were taught this as a child! One Halloween a mother and her son where hit and killed crossing the road – 5 feet from the cross walk and a crossing signal. The family and city folk were angry at the driver for not paying attention. I get it is was dusk, there were a lot of people but to sue someone when you chose to run across the road just a few feet from telling traffic you wanted to cross? Makes no sense to me…. I could go on and on as the more rules, laws and actions that allow people to be dumb is insane to me. Is your smartphone smarter than you?
tamuriaJuly 13, 2016 at 8:57 am
Your response to this made me smile Patty. I had the same reaction when I first heard about the foot-lights. I agree suing someone when you have been the one doing the wrong thing is crazy. Even crazier is the fact these people often win their suits, which means more rules are put in place to protect people legally.I am sure many people’s smartphones are smarter than them. 🙂
KimberlyJuly 13, 2016 at 11:33 pm
We do have a lot of stupid rules, and things that are put in place because common sense really isn’t common. I agree that too many rules can stifle creativity! More respect and care for one another would be a wonderful thing…
tamuriaJuly 14, 2016 at 10:04 am
Anything that stifles creativity has got to be bad, Kimberly and too many rules do that. Imagine a world where we all had more respect and care for one another, without being told to.
CherylFebruary 10, 2018 at 6:10 am
This is amazing! Truly, children of all ages need to learn to take responsibility. And it sounds like the government needs to as well – focusing on hospitals, schools and the disenfranchised that so need more strategies!
tamuriaFebruary 27, 2018 at 10:07 am
It is becoming easier and easier for people – adults and children – to avoid being personally accountable for their actions, Cheryl. It amazes me what governments will focus and spend money on when the obvious things are neglected.