Road safety campaigners are celebrating today, after the first roadside display sign to show the intelligence of drivers came into operation at a notorious stupidity black-spot on the A40.
The device, which displays the IQ of an approaching motorist on a bank of LEDs like that of traditional roadside warning signs, calculates the figure by monitoring their driving pattern over a preset stretch of road. Vehicles that stay roughly within the speed limit are scored highly, while those travelling at excessive velocity score lower. Other factors, such as whether the car is overtaking or tailgating, the quantity of 'amusing' bumper stickers and the bass setting of the vehicle's music system are also taken into account.
Speed Indicator Display (SpID) signs have long been used in speed restricted areas to inform drivers of the speed at which they are travelling, but, according to Department of Transport official Trevor Webb, quantifying the mental capacity of motorists is a more effective method of traffic calming. 'Public information films from the 1970's onwards have been telling us that only idiots speed - these new signs can now show road users just how big an idiot you are.'
Rigorous trials have already proved the device's effectiveness: 'we followed a middle-aged sales rep with an average IQ of 100 along a stretch of the A365,' revealed Webb. 'The individual in question was already a bit tired after entertaining clients the night before, which dropped him down to 95. After failing to indicate at a couple of roundabouts and getting particularly irate whilst being stuck behind a learner driver for twenty minutes, he was at 75. By the time he'd reached his destination, speeding down a stretch of straight singing along to Steppenwolf's Born to be Wild at the top of his voice had reduced his IQ to a moronic 47. He was none too please when confronted with this information, and I daresay will change driving pattern and his playlist accordingly.'
However officials have admitted that some work still needs to be done at the extreme ends of the intelligence scale, after another trial device on the M1 oscillated wildly and then exploded when a coach load of Milwall fans was overtaken by a minibus full of people on their way to a MENSA convention.
In addition to this new scheme, the Department of Transport has also revealed that plans are afoot to further improve road safety by introducing yet another device, which will be used in conjunction with the IQ indicator. 'The Penis Size Estimator will not only inform motorists how stupidly they're driving,' said Webb, 'but, by using a special length/attitude inversion algorithm, also how big a dick they are.'