Fighting road rage: Electronic roadside boards with ‘nice’ messages to be tested

fighting road rage electronic roadside boards with nice messages to be testedEither driving standards are slipping in Australia, or people are snapping more easily.

Whatever the truth, road rage incidents in the country are apparently growing at such a rate that one state — New South Wales — has decided to take a somewhat novel approach to tackling the problem.

The National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA), similar to the AAA, is asking drivers in the state, which includes the city of Sydney, to suggest upbeat “courtesy messages” that it will put up on giant electronic roadside boards in the hope that it might encourage motorists to drive with more care and attention.

Drivers can suggest messages through social media sites like Twitter or at forthcoming public meetings, an ABC report said this week.

The courtesy campaign, launched this week, comes following recent news of an NRMA survey which found that 40 percent of motorists in New South Wales have been the victim of verbal abuse by other drivers, while 21 percent have been threatened or even physically attacked. Looking at these road rage statistics, perhaps the sooner the highways are ruled by self-driving cars, the better.

“We have carried out surveys for many years now right across Australia….and motorists are telling us that it’s becoming a growing concern,” said NRMA president Wendy Machin.

She added, “We want to put positive messages on these signs that are encouraging people to drive a bit more courteously.

“We’re asking the driving public to be part of that, to tell us what they think might make us a little bit happier and a little bit nicer on the roads, and we’ll put some of those ideas up on these big signs.”

As part of its campaign, the NRMA has released a driving etiquette guide (pdf) that gives helpful advice on how you can avoid a situation which could ultimately end with a visit to the nearest hospital. It suggests drivers “give a friendly wave when someone lets you in” and also to “refrain from obscene gestures and verbal abuse.” Ah yes, the ol’ flipping of the bird, so often the precursor to a spot of wanton roadside violence.

If the messages on the giant electronic boards prove to have a calming effect on the short-tempered drivers of New South Wales, we might well see the idea rolled out around the world.

[Parking lot image courtesy of ARENA Creative/Shutterstock


Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.