I've always seen Bruce Wayne as this guy who thinks he's hiding the world's deepest secret, but really, a penchant for muscle tees, bruises, bats and the color black blew his cover with the fine citizens of Gotham long ago.
The bat signal is seen by most as a wholly unnecessary stroke to Wayne's inner child, a 10,000W beam of pure adolescent enabling. But the people of Gotham, so helpless without the limitless resources of Mr. Wayne, aka Mr. Potter, have accepted such silly inconveniences, such a collective white lie, to live in a marginally safer society.
Why Wayne cannot donate a fraction of the billions of dollars he spends in secret lairs, experimental cars, and bat-shaped planes—most of which don't even fly, btw—so that the police force can obtain something as simple as adequate bulletproof armor, no one knows. They're just happy that someone is equipped to safely chase down the occasional painted-face purse snatcher, even if it's a rarity when said "villains"—generally drug addicts who are emaciated from years of methadone abuse—are making their escape via jet engine.
So let me be the first to say, when Bruce Wayne cruises into some Wayne charity golf open all late in this mini Tumbler, the groan is audible. And by the time he marks his ball with a tiny bat insignia, I mean, no wonder the Penguin is just itching to rip the guy's throat out.