Why Massachusetts Installed ‘Plows Use Caution’ Highway Signs
I wonder about things. Lots of things. Sometimes I think I am just too analytical for my own good. I often wonder why we say and do some things that seem so logical to me that they need not be said or done.
Have you ever wondered about those signs on Massachusetts highway bridges advising snow plow operators to use caution?
Do they really need to be told?
One might think that to secure a job as a snow plow operator in Massachusetts, an applicant would have a pretty solid driving record, a first indication that he or she is a cautious driver.
As it turns out, I was not alone in wondering about those highway signs.
In December 2011, CBS News Boston devoted precious airtime by asking if the "Plows Use Caution" signs are "Necessity or Waste of Money?"
The station reported the signs are there to "remind plow drivers to be careful not to dump snow off bridges and onto cars below." That makes sense, but do they need to be reminded of that, and on every bridge?
Couldn't we just send them an email reminder before each shift or post it in the break room somewhere?
Reporter David Wade said that in the winter of 2010, a plow did push snow off a highway bridge, smashing the windshield of a car below on Route 128. Fortunately, the driver was uninjured.
The following year, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation installed the "Plows Use Caution" signs on bridges throughout the Commonwealth.
The station reported 200 signs were erected at $200 per sign for a total expenditure of $40,000.