WHAT IS A ROAD-WITCH?
THE ORIGINAL ROAD-WITCH was my very first form of 'folk' traffic calming. We've put them to good use here on Beech Croft Road in Oxford.

Basically, a Road-Witch is just a dummy, made with old clothes stuffed with leaves, newspapers, or rags. The crucial difference is that the 'head' is a road cone. When laying on the street, they form an effective means of slowing down traffic.

If you live in Britain, it’s likely your local authority has failed to provide you with adequate protection from people who are too selfish or stupid to remember they're operating lethal machinery in public, so get to work and take a first step in creating your own Road Witch Trial.

TIPS ON "REPURPOSING" ROAD CONES
FOR ROAD-WITCH HEADS
POSITIONING YOUR ROAD-WITCH
Only select “unemployed” cones.

There are two kinds of road cones: those that are protecting motorists from a hazard in the road, and those that are just lying around forgotten.

Never take a cone away if it’s doing a good job protecting motorists (even though some of them dont deserve nice treatement, as many would gladly bully you with their machines if you dared get in ‘their way’).

Go for the unemployed cones. They’ll be glad to be working again, and for a good cause, too.

When your road-witch has done its job, it's up to you to decide whether or not to return the cone to where you found it. If you do, you’re a model citizen.

But if you decide to borrow it indefinitely, kidnapping a road cone is a much lesser crime than driving your car at speed down a residential street, and your just as unlikely to be prosecuted for it.

It may be tempting to stick a Road-Witch in the middle of the street and watch the cars stop in confusion. But some vigilante motorist will probably just push it to one side and ruin your work (see more about Room Rage).

Far better to leave it along the side of the road, with the cone about a meter away from the curb and the gown at an angle towards the curb. This way, more people will see it and it may stay there for days.

SEND US YOUR ROAD-WITCH
If you have a digital camera, take a picture and email it to roadwitch@wormworks.com.

Also send us notes on its location and any reactions people have to it.

The pictures will be posted on roadwitch.org.uk

Thanks for doing your bit for the Road-Witch Trial.

You may be killing a Road-Witch, but you may be saving a life.

THE CHANGING MEANING OF ROAD-WITCH
Although I haven't put a road-witch in the street for awhile, I have kept the Road-Witch name since it's engaging and has a variety of meanings. A 'Road Witch' could be someone who magically transforms a street into something completely different. Phrases like 'casting a spell' come to mind, and of course there's always the possibility of curses put onto selfish motorists (once again, I'm reminded of Room-Rage).

I'm also delighted that Googling the two words 'road witch' puts the site right at the top of the list.

Who knows, maybe I'll pitch a reality TV show to the BBC called 'Road-Witch' where an engaging cycling woman, the opposite of Jeremy Clarkson, travels the UK doing makeovers on residential streets and filming 4X4 owners in their cars making asses of themselves. Any TV producers interested? Let's talk.