Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Roadside Memorials

Yeah, I know it sucks that somebody died. Yeah, I know a car accident definitely isn't the best way to go out. Yeah, I know you want to remember lost ones. Yeah, I know you want to send a message to other motorists to drive safely.

None of those things matter. Roadside memorials are distracting. If there's a sign on the road, it should contain useful traffic information, such as how far it is to the next city or what road is at the next traffic light, instead of depressing information. Drivers' minds are usually trained to read roadside signs to see if they have information useful for their journey. When it's a sign that simply says "Drive safely for Bob", it serves no other purpose but to distract the driver from their commute.

I almost ran into the back of a Comcast truck today because of one of these. Now, I would have gladly plowed right through the Comcast truck had I been driving something that could do it and win (a 1990 Honda Civic loses against pretty much anything that isn't a Mini or a Smart), because I hate Comcast. But that's not the issue. A roadside memorial almost caused a traffic accident. That's the issue.

Department of Transportation officials really need to stop these things. Our society's habit of perpetually mourning the deaths of loved ones is depressing. People die. Go through your grief. Get past the depression stage of grief and advance to the acceptance stage. They're gone. Nothing can bring them back. Once you accept that and move on, you'll realize that it's not worth staying in the depression stage forever, and that life is generally a lot brighter outside of the depression stage.

A certain portion of the population would decry everything I'm saying as "insensitive". That portion of the population is the portion I'm talking to here. How can someone that never knew the person that died ever be able to express the same feelings as those that were around them every day? It's simply not possible.

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