Rows of triangular marks have just been planted on roads in the Inner West. I had to do a bit of research to find out that they are Dragonâ€™s Teeth. To date no fully armed warriors have sprung from the asphalt.
The lexicon of official road signs continues to grow. The rollout of this latest addition apparently began in mid-2009, when the RTAâ€™s press release was dutifully rendered as a news story in the Sydney Morning Herald. These triangular markings are meant to indicate to motorists that they are entering a 40 kmh school zone.
The indignant Mr Peter Olsen, on his School Zone Santa.Com blog, reckons that â€œthe Government has completely lost the plot on school zones. Static markings, including the proposed new â€˜dragon’s teethâ€™ achieve nothing because they do not distinguish between school zone hours and non-school zone hoursâ€, whereas if the school zone instead has flashing lights during the relevant hours â€œdrivers are instantly reminded and can slow down, but then of course the Government can no longer collect speeding fine revenue from themâ€.
Note to apostrophe pedants: Dragonâ€™s Teeth is the official New South Wales Government term for these road marks (see Technical Direction TD 2009 SR02). There is only one dragon involved. It is a particular toothy dragon.