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Falling Rock Signs found in Taiwan

(1) Shih-men Reservoir, 23.ii.2020;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
(2) Central Western Taiwan, viii.2002;
pict. D. Hodges
(3) Alishan Mountains, 01.iii.2020;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
(4) Dasyeshan Mountain Rd, 24.ii.2020;
pict. Baeten & De Dier
(5) Guguan Hot Springs Park, 26.ii.2020;
pict. Baeten & De Dier

Falling Rock Signs from Taiwan are European in shape and choice of colour. I wonder why the relevant authorities did not choose for the American diamond shape. It wouldn't surprise me if the yellow canvas of the U.S. roadsigns plays a role. After all, Chinese road signs also have a yellow background. The consideration may have been that reminding drivers of their big neighbour may not be good for safety on the road.
As a rule, Falling Rock Signs are adapted to which side of the road one is supposed to drive on, right or left. Therefore usually all signs in a given country depict the stones falling to the same side, left or right. Our samples seem to suggest () that Taiwan adjusts the drawing in order to fit the site where the warning sign is planted. The danger, the rocks, may come from a rock face on either side of the road, and therefore we have signs with boulders falling to the left, or to the right.

Find (1) brings some road signs from Spain and Portugal to the mind. Notice the boulder resting on the earth, resembling a sea anemone with its mouth wide open, ready to gobble up the stones which are coming down.

Find (2) is also inspired by a sign from Portugal and I must share a quote of Darren's with you. It illustrates the devotion of our people on the field to the project.

Lisboa, 1997
… the most terrifying trip of my life. A mad bus driver decided to make a 3 hour drive into an hour drive. Nearly 3 times the speed limit, wet roads, lost control twice, overtook over crests, around bends and through avalance shelters. Sorry this picture is not terribly good quality, I didn't get time to turn the flash off. …

His life is hanging by a thread and he still shows the presen­ce of mind to operate the camera. But there is room for impro­vement. Switching the flash off for instance.

Find (3) also radiates influence of the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal, Spain and related territories like Madeira, the Balearic Islands, …), but it lacks the line at the bottom and one boulder, and this sign may therefore be local breed.

Find (4) is very close to a constellation also found in Austria, but here without a line at the bottom.

Find (5) has the warning sign integrated in a larger panel. There are only four boulders and it comes with the text Danger – Sheer Drop. To me this textual warning combined with the pictorial warning is confusing. If you are standing on top of a sheer drop then the danger is not that rocks may be falling down; the risk is that you may be loosing your footing and then fall down. It may therefore be better to show a person falling down like they f.e. do on the Faeroe Islands, or Germany. You may object that the sign shows a situation that may result of you coming too close to the edge. Road signs, however, show the danger, not the result of a dangerous action; we should hence be shown a cliff with a person near the edge, like in Canada. The warning sign at hand would be better placed at the foot of the cliff where the danger really is boulders, or people, falling down. But then the text is of course irrelevant for the viewer, because a sheer drop in itself is not dangerous for people at its foot.

: We are not sure. There may very well be no rule about to what side the boulders should be falling, and it may all depend on chance (i.e. the way a template, or something, is put down).
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More road signs from Taiwan: Men at work - Children's Crossing Signs