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Monday, July 20, 2015

Sign of the Times

Saw this sign on the back of at least one truck on our trip to Iowa last month. Seems we've raised a generation of philosopher-truck drivers. Who'd a thunk it? Trucks don't bother me much. Motor homes are more likely to be holding up traffic, mostly because most of them are woefully underpowered. You do get trucks competing sometimes to see who will be the last one to the top of the hill: I can climb this hill in 5th gear! Huh, I can do it in 4th! 3rd! 2nd! I win cause I had to shift all the way down to 1st gear! Considerable grumbling is heard in the line of cars stuck behind these two behemoths crawling up the hill side by side.
     Used to be, back in the good ol' days, back when I was running wild, truck drivers seemed to be more on the ball. For instance when one truck would pass another, especially when going up a grade, as soon as the passing truck was far enough in front of the other truck, the other truck would flash his lights to let him know if was safe to move back into the right lane. Often this distance was no more than ten feet. I didn't see any sign of this on my most recent trip. Trucks would wait until there was plenty of distance, like 100 feet, and the passed trucks never flashed their lights. You know how long it takes to cover 100 feet when you are only going one or two miles an hour (faster than the truck you are passing)?  It's like a minute, which is an eternity when you are having to crawl along at a miserly 60 MPH.

2 comments:

Ole Phat Stu said...

If you add both pulling out and returning to the slow lane and include the safety distances before and after overtaking , a typical truck overtaking at a speed difference of 2 km / h takes 3 minutes and about 4 km stretch of road. The colloquial name here for this is "Elephant races".

The law here in Germany requires a speed differential of at least 10 km/H (=6mph).
There is an 80 Euro fine and a point on your licence (which is withdrawn after 8 points) for this offence (less than 10 Delta-V).

A following vehicle would need to make a video showing the overtaking being longer than 45 seconds, to file a complaint. So the cops only give them a ticket if they observe it themselves :-(

OTOH, if I wheelie the bike to overtake in just a few seconds, I could get a ticket for that :-(







Chuck Pergiel said...

"Elephant races". I like that.