At this airport baggage claim, the luggage is incredibly polite

Originally published at: At this airport baggage claim, the luggage is incredibly polite | Boing Boing


American suitcase having to wait its turn on Singaporean carousel…

But ma freedums!


The Canadian version will up the game by adding a speaker that says “sorry!” every time a bag has to wait.


Disobedient luggage will be caned.


But just think of the decrease in vehicular accidents if we adopt a system like this for US roadways…


Indeed. Systems like this are also the same as systems like roundabouts (traffic circles). Take turns and give way to those already on the roundabout.

They don’t work in the US. It may simply be because there aren’t enough of them for people to not consider them oddities - nobody ever gets enough experience with them to be confident.

Or it may be …

(I’ve told this story here before - here’s the very short version)

I’m in a tow truck in S.Carolina (over 20 years ago) after being swiped in a rental and tow truck driver clocks that I’m not from round there or even from USA. Mostly monosyllabic.

No exaggeration: baseball cap, red check shirt, hugely overweight, stubble - a stereotype if ever there was one.

I try to engage in conversation but it is really hard work. I comment that they don’t seem to have any roundabouts in the US. Silence. Eventually “You mean traffic circles?”

Yes, I do. More silence. Then “Well I figure they can’t work here 'cos people here need to be told what to do. They see a red light or a stop sign, they know they have to stop. If they’re not told to stop, they’ll just assume they’re free to carry on - and that wont work on traffic circles.”

A deep thinker - a man who understood how ‘mah freedums’ actually worked in many people’s minds.

We had a good old natter after that.


You can’t make me wear a tag!


To counter the opinion of the tow truck driver: This is what YIELD signs were invented for. So the traffic circles that don’t work are the ones that are poorly designed or come without proper signage. The ones I’ve used in my area seem to work fine (though I’ve seen/heard plenty of people complaining about instances where a traditional intersection has been replaced by a traffic circle).


The little roundabout I drove through the other day has yield signs all over. It works reasonably well for those who live in the area.


Yeah, we had that discussion. He wasn’t convinced anyone paid much attention to Yield signs in general and certainly believed that people approaching a roundabout would not have a clue as to WHY they should yield and would just sail on.

But I agree with you. Though maybe you need Yield signs that probably also say Yield to Left and have an arrow to the right pointing the way they should go. I’ve seen videos where people turn left at US roundabouts!

ETA “Yield to Left and have an arrow to the right pointing the way they should go” - probably too confusing. Arrows on roundabouts. I’ll find some UK pics if I can to show how we do it.

FETA here we go - I’ve flipped it horizontally so it looks like it would in USA. See the white arrow on a blue background and the black and white chevrons. Note that there is no Give Way sign. I suspect UK authorities figure these aren’t always needed here. But note that this roundabout had marking signs at 300m, 200m and 100m, from it to alert drivers to the fact they were coming to a junction. (Not flipped below)

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 15.23.46

And directional signage is very effective too. Note how the sign not only clearly says ‘junction you are approaching is a roundabout’ but also ’ you go round it this way’ by the missing bit of roundabout on the sign.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 15.24.58

I’m beginning to think I might have a thing about roundabouts. Time to go lay down in a dark room for a while. :wink:


This used to be a normal 4-way intersection, now it’s a traffic circle:

This on the other hand has always been a circle, but it’s much larger and busier and how you enter the circle depends entirely on which street you’re entering from. A couple streets have stop signs, a couple use yield signs and then there’s an outright traffic signal at one street that probably completely negates it as being a true traffic circle.

And here is yet another circle, north of the previous one, that fits closer to what most circles do, but the signage is still different still from the others, (note the yellow lights, these alternate):

I suspect one of the major issues with traffic circles in the US is there’s no standard for how they’re signed and signaled, not even within a given city! Much less throughout a state or the country at large!


This is imperative for road safety. Without consistency and managed/delivered expectations, mistakes - and thus accidents - will happen.


“It would be crazy to yield…”? /s

Martin Short Cuckoo GIF by tylaum

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