Hopes are high for the success of the new innovation, which builds on previous systems of roadside traffic monitoring that use LED displays to flash up the speed of each car as it passes through dangerous stretches of road. The new device also takes an estimate of the driver’s IQ, based on factors such as the presence of car bumper stickers of any description, whether the stereo system’s bass speaker is of greater value than the car itself, and if the driver is tailgating while simultaneously texting and eating an Egg McMuffin.
The new system has drawn criticism, however. Early reports suggest that many drivers are assuming scores of less than 100 are not for them, but for the car behind them, even when they are travelling on empty stretches of dual carriageway with a jacket on a coat hanger clearly on view through the backseat window. There were also indications that irresponsible motorists might take needless risks to test the technology, and it was rumoured that motoring show Top Gear was planning a challenge to see which of the presenters could deliberately record the lowest IQ score while driving in reverse through a school crossing zone. However the feature was cancelled, and the new monitors slammed by presenter Jeremy Clarkson as being ‘as pointless and boring as a feminism professor driving a 1980s Volvo to a Greenpeace mime festival with an engine powered by recycled mung beans’, after the sign kept flashing ‘MORON’ at him before he’d even started trying.
Despite the doubts, the Department of Transport insist that the new scheme is only the beginning of shame-based efforts to improve road safety. ‘Using its unique length/attitude algorithm, the upcoming Penis Size Estimator will not only inform motorists how stupidly they’re driving, but with its high definition Crooked Pinkie Finger graphics, will let everyone else know the driver’s other deficiencies’ promised a DoT spokesman. ‘We’ll have it on the streets just as soon as we can stop the whole thing breaking down whenever it registers a pony-tailed middle-aged man in a convertible sports car.’
23rd August 2010