I haven't been on the forum in a while, but was prompted to come
look at all this by our picture-taking hero who I chat with on
a semi-regular basis. I think helped get him started on this
trend, since it's one of the things I tend to rant about too.
It's bad enough out there that I've come up with at least a
token means of defending myself, which some of you know about
already. It's called the yuppie button
, and has its own little
webpage describing the history, philosophy, and implementation
in a Prius. It serves me very well every day that I'm out on
the road, and I heartily suggest that anyone handy with their
car's electrical diagram dig in and build their own too. And
the lightshow doesn't actually cause any change in your speed.
I've got a pile of my own very similar shots from the road
taken over the years, several of which were used in emailed
reports sent in to company safety managers.
Hobbit's Wall of Shame
Sink Hole Repair Experts
Western Express Inc.
Escape way to close!
US Mail Hauler
Wiley Sanders Truck Lines
Express America Trucking Inc.
Need I go on? There are a few more in the "wall of shame" page
under the yuppie-button article. Safety people at companies that
employ professional drivers of any sort by and large do take this
stuff seriously, and I've requested and gotten several followup
callbacks that turned into really great conversations about safety
and traffic and the sorry state of so many peoples' attitudes in
this country nowadays. Calls, either good or bad, are the only
way any of these fellas get any idea about what's going on with
their people out on the roads. And yes, I've called in a few
congratulatory ones for drivers I can tell are really paying
attention, being mellow and unhurried, and doing the right
things especially around critical areas like on-ramps. There
are noticeable trends between different trucking companies,
as implied by the big post about Wal-Mart drivers from a
couple of years ago.
I also have a quick thing I did up to determine seconds' worth
of following distance from a still shot by looking at the lane
and have been a strong advocate of three seconds
years now, not that anybody's really listening.
Here's another minor triumph I enjoyed recently: tackling our
very own front-page nemesis in the form of AAA, I talked to a
guy in the office of the Southern New England club president's
office -- where he and said president were just about to head
off to the annual AAA Foundation
conference in DC, and they'd
mentioned that in the newsletter along with some of the issues
they were intending to bring up at the conference. Tailgating
wasn't among them, and I simply suggested that it's at least if
not more common as all the other issues they mentioned -- phones,
speeding, running lights, seatbelts, etc -- and not only did the
fellow completely agree with me, he had *just been rearended*
himself a few weeks ago somewhere near their Providence offices
and was feeling especially sensitive about such things! I think
I really planted a seed, at a very opportune time just before
these fairly high-profile gentlemen were about to head off and
hobnob at the national level. The AAA Foundation actually has
a bunch of good stuff at their website -- in-depth papers on
the "safety culture" ideas they're trying to promote, road
rage, and a host of other areas.
So, yeah, I'm all over this topic. There are a lot of links in
this post; have fun. We all need to support this message any
way we can, and I hope it has many trickle-down or maybe that's
trickle-up effects. Be safe out there, and make *them* be safe too.