Universal Symbols Aren’t Universal

See the two yellow lines in the image. The universal symbol that they impart is that a vehicle that fits can drive between the yellow lines up to the curb.

What is meant to be conveyed by the image of the young family is that young families and even expectant mothers can park here. What a non english reader may think, with only the symbols to guide him, is that young families may be driven over at this location. To his mind, as long as he doesn’t drive over the yellow lines, this might be what the painter has tried to indicate.

I know, I know, the carnage that might result is quite regrettable. Which is why I bring it to your attention so perhaps we can improve this universal symbol.

Wait, someone may say, we have all those handicapped spaces and everyone knows you don’t drive over a handicapped person. Well let’s look at such a space in the next image. Again there are the yellow lines. The handicapped imagery is in the centre of the space again. Again, I think it’s at least possible that some driver might think they are allowed to drive over handicapped people in these spaces.

Isn’t it more obvious here, what with each handicapped driver displaying the same image in their vehicle to let us know they can have this parking spot?

But here the newbie might think that this is like a notch on the gun of a wild west killer. It is only meant to show that they have killed for this spot and will do so again.

Fortunately we have full licencing systems and I hope every universal symbol is explained in whatever language the new Canadian driver gets their licence in. Still, the new parent symbol might not be, well, universal. I just hope we don’t have to go through growing pains having to learn this one.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet

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