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Friday, September 3, 2010

GLAD I'M WALKING - NOT DRIVING

From South-East of Colorado, I have driven 500 miles or so to Yellowstone...stayed a night & half-day under the shadow of Old Faithful Geyeser...and driven another 7 hours to Boise, Idaho, and today, another 12 hours to Bellingham.

I have witnessed some of the most dangerous crazy driving in my entire life during the above sojourne.

I don't know where everyone is going, but I do believe that most of them want to get there first and be damned the other guy(s). Especially, the truckers.

I was driving at 70 mph. An 18-wheeler came up on my tail. I could not see the lower half of his front end and the upper half extended over the roof of my Van. He was all of 6 inches away from my vehicle ( at 70 mph), and PUSHING me out of his way. I slowed down to 55 and held him at bay for over 5 minutes. At a hill, he had to slog it up.

I, too, learned to drive in an 18-wheeler ( when I was 12 years old) and I know how they think. I am NOT intimidated by them or any-one-else on the roadways. I can safely put them in their place and it really pisses them off.

I have a suggestion for the DOT (Department of Transportation):

EVERY commercial vehicle and every new private vehicle must, within the next 6 months have installed, tested and operational subject to heavy fines:

A laser.

The laser will be mounted in the front of the vehicle, electrically connected to the speedometer, brakes, and gas pedal.

When approaching another vehicle from the rear, the laser will read the distance between vehicles.

The laser computer will be fed it's "host" vehicle speed and if the distance/speed ratio is under 1 vehicle length for every 10 miles per hour, the brakes are applied and the gas pedal is inactivated from the driver.; i.e., he / she, is FORCED to slow down and back off the vehicle being approached.

If one vehicle wishes to pass another, it MAY NOT approach the rear of the "overtaken" vehicle. It must begin it's pass the minimum number of vehicle lengths back (calculated by the laser computer).

If there is not enough room for all this to take place, then NO PASS takes place either.

TAILGATING is eliminated.

It MUST also be prohibited that two trucks pass each other on any hill more than 1/8 mile long. To do so, effectively blocks the entire roadway and stops ALL vehicles from moving in a reasonable manner.

ALSO, the maximum speed of ANY roadway MUST be lowered. relative to the roadway engineering, design, location, maintenance, weather and traffic load.

It is crazy to allow 100,000 pound vehicles ( and 7.5 litre brutes) to push around Grandma & Grandpa & Kids for the sake of a few extra miles before DOT takes them off the highway to rest.

I make these comments in all seriousness...both as a driver of 65 years and as a walker across America. There is no purpose in pushing pushing pushing all day every day. We all get to December 31 together and most would like to know when that happens.

I am well aware that the Teamsters Truckers Union would kill to keep such restrictions out of law (My Dad was a Teamster and associate with Dave Beck - before he was sent up the River)...they have been prone to such tactics in the past, so let's give them a chance to help make our roadways safe for everyone. Truckers are basically good folks and I believe they will support my Laser proposal.

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