Belisha Beacons And Zebra Crossings

Readers Digest UK

A policeman in Cardiff, capital of Wales, leads children across the street in the 1930s. By 1934, road deaths exceeded 7000 per year, so the transport minister, Leslie Hore-Belisha, introduced the striped pole topped with an orange globe.


I can’t say as I’ve ever heard of or seen a Belisha beacon (aka a pelican beacon), which began marking pedestrian crossings of roads, later painted in black and white stripes, and known as zebra crossings. Yes, like the one on Abbey Road!

abbey road

Don’t Mess With DPS


Today’s post is Part II in the ongoing bliss that is discovering the Dept of Public Safety’s pictorial heritage.  Pictured above is a badass Texas Ranger in an armored vehicle.  As I lack a penis, I have no desire to commandeer said vehicle or even go near it.  I will speak for most ladies who have no desire to appropriate or operate any sort of tankylooking thing.  But those of you who do might want to take a little spin in it.

Police officers have a noble history of enforcing the law, which often means sucking the fun out of your good times.  I would have let this guy go, since his car is so boss, but they have quotas to fill.


And don’t try to outrun them; they will go all Ponch and Jon on your bippy.


The Texas Rangers are part of a major division within the Texas DPS, who investigate serious crimes.  They also will suck the wind out of a criminal’s sails.  Cross the border to nasty swampland-subpar-highway-system Louisiana if you want to play craps; there’s no gambling in Texas.


And weed is still illegal, too–no matter what the dreadheaded, tiedyed-shirt-wearing potheads would have you believe.  I don’t have glaucoma nor a criminal history, so I don’t get up close with Mary Jane, but I didn’t think it looked so much like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.


And don’t think they’ll let you off with a warning.  This Amish guy just galloped in from Pennsylvania, and he is exhausted, so he won’t think twice about putting a bullet in your gut.    And he’s not the only one.


When Sergeant Guthrie smells something fishy, it is on.  It is SO on.


And Sergeant Hall?  Some say he’s certifiably insane, a bonafide 5150.  I heard he picks possums off the highway, and eats them snout and all.  Don’t sass him.  He may take you to a Mexican prison if he’s feeling ornery.  And that’s just for jaywalking.


And don’t let Officer Lowery fool you. Word on the street is he used to be the lethal injectioner at Huntsville.  He thought sterilizing needles was a waste of time.  So do I, for that matter.


Now look, they’re not all gruff.  Officers Turner & Powell run the night shift, so that might be the perfect time to rob a 7-11.  Just saying.


But you won’t run forever.  Justice will have its day.  They will see to it.  Once information is sent from the transceiver, all hope is gone.


And trust me, you do NOT want them sicking Investigator Padgett on your ass.  He’s a superhero, and I don’t mean his demon eyes.  His power is oft compared to that of Spiderman, only his wide lapel shoots out disco balls filled with elephant tranquilizer.  You don’t want to wake up from that sleep, ripe for interrogation.


Am I right or Amarillo?

You feelin' lucky, Punk?
You feelin’ lucky, Punk?

(All of the above is purely for humorous purposes and in no way meant to disrespect any officer of the law.  So please don’t sic Padgett on me…)

License & Registration Please


Memorial Day seems as fitting a day as ever to begin our weeklong (we’ll see about that) Texas Dept of Public Safety pictorial history retrospective, seeing as many officers lost their lives in the line of duty.  However, today’s focus is not on lost life, but on the superbadassness of the department from 1935-1980.  I realize this seems hyperspecialized, but these pics are a treasure trove of early law enforcement, as well as insight into the long-gone TWENTIETH CENTURY.  You will witness early outdated, inefficient ways of doing things, like searching for fingerprints by hand and how to confirm if someone is a doublecrossing liar.


See how people used to communicate with typing thingies and wirey boxes.



Experience the communications hub, the leader in advanced technology.


You will meet important characters, like Pop and Paul!



Shoot the breeze with Viola and Barbara, both fashioned from the hands of Jim Henson!


And FYI, Mr. Curb is not about to take any crap from you today.


So join me as we take a long stroll through the halls of public safety.  Drive safely!

%d bloggers like this: