Thursday, August 29, 2013

Orange cones: Should we all be using them?

Cones! See how they protect this truck?
There's been a lot of street construction going on around our town lately. I think it has something to do with stimulus funds.  Public works companies get money, their employees get money, their suppliers get money. It's all good.

But I'm intrigued by one beneficiary that we never think about, even though it's staring us right in the face: The people who make orange traffic cones must be doing one whale of a business.

I want to find out who makes those things, so I can buy a little stock.

This raises a curious question, though.  Back in the day, when a work crew showed up on your street, they simply parked and went to work.  Maybe someone put out a "Men Working" or, in later years, a more inclusive "Persons Working" sign, but that was about it.

Now it seems that a cop can't pull over a speeding motorist without pausing to place an orange cone behind the left rear bumper of her car.

What's up with this?

Back in the day, if we drove down a street and saw a truck parked or a construction crew at work, we didn't go, "Whoa! I almost hit that truck! Dang, I wish they had put out an orange cone!"

Nowadays, though, they'll practically surround any unusual activity with cones, a visual way to yell, "Watch out! Something is different here!"  I suppose if I weren't too lazy to call City Hall and ask, they'd tell me, "It's a safety thing. It's all about security."  (Do orange cones ward off terrorism? There's an interesting question.)

Anyway, now I'm starting to wonder if I should carry a couple orange cones, and set them down around my car when I park.  Would I be safer? Or would I get in trouble for impersonating an Official Activity?  What do you think? What would you do?