February 20th, 2008 at 06:54am
I was coming home along Coranderrk Street at about 5:15 this morning and noticed something which I can only describe as an act of stupidity. Next to the National Convention Centre a new building is being constructed and there have been some minor roadworks in the area (see the green mark on the map below)…as such there are traffic cones. Some dim-witted idiots (or probably the plural thereof, even if it is a partially redundant description) decided that it would be a good idea to move them on to the road in a haphazard manner, effectively blocking one lane, and turning the other into an obstacle course. The road was not in this state (and there were no construction or roadwork staff on-site) when I went past at 7:45pm yesterday, so these dimwits obviously did it during the night.
Map copyright: Google 2008. Map data copyright: MapDataSciences Pty Ltd. Green marker added by Samuel
Just so we’re clear about this, I am not talking about the “witches hat” type of traffic cone, I’m talking about the tall skinny ones which are about a metre high, so you can’t really negate the obstacle course by running over the cones.
The area was still navigable, but at a lower speed, and only for one car at any given time. If left in this state, this “generally busy during the day” road would undoubtedly have an accident before long. I live short distance away, so I stopped at home, then made my way back and called the police. A friendly lady answered the phone and I explained the situation to her, and she let out a sort of “some people are really dumb” moan when she heard that traffic cones had been spread across the road. I mentioned to her that I would have fixed it myself, but it most probably would not be safe for me to move the cones at night (especially as I was wearing fairly dark clothing), and if somebody saw me moving the cones and called the police about it, I would be the one getting in trouble.
I wasn’t quite sure if the lady on the phone wanted me to wait around for the police to arrive, and as I generally don’t like to leave the scene until they arrive when I call an emergency service, I decided to wait. A few minutes later a police car arrived, “the police officers activated their vehicle’s warning lights” as one of their press releases would say, and got out to assess the situation. I walked over and explained who I was and why I was there, and then assisted the police with the cleanup (which was now much safer thanks to the flashing lights on the police car). A security guard who was just leaving the nearby CIT campus also assisted.
I must say that the two police officers, who must surely have been wondering what was going through the minds of the people who moved the traffic cones, did not seem phased by the sheer stupidity of the situation. They were very professional and friendly, and I think the response of the police to this incident was absolutely fantastic.
It’s just a pity that, in all likelyhood, the chances of catching the dimwits who moved the traffic cones is almost zero. With that in mind, if you saw anything suspicious in the area during the night, I would urge you to give crimestoppers a call on 1800 333 000.