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Don't make the cars slow down; teach those Amish how to drive safely!

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  • Raymond and Anne Keckler
    [Despite the obvious fact that this guy has never driven a buggy and doesn t know the first thing about doing so, this article is humorous. ~Anne] What s
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 26, 2002
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      [Despite the obvious fact that this guy has never driven a buggy and
      doesn't know the first thing about doing so, this article is
      humorous. ~Anne]

      What's Next? Buggy Driving Tests? by Les Troyer (The Budget,
      Sugarcreek, Ohio)

      This is one of those cold, drab, moist November mornings. Sitting at
      the computer I have to crank out and stitch together the 800 words,
      the quota for my Life Lines column, and I need to have it done by
      noon.

      Several ideas have been germinating, but none of them have really
      grabbed my attention like the following headline in the local news
      daily. "Pennsylvania works on safety manual for buggy drivers."

      Well now, that seems worthy to explore. State officials are creating
      a new safety manual for crivers of horse-drawn buggies and carts.
      They hope this effort will help reduce crashes with fast-moving cars
      and trucks out on the country roads and highways. Very noble indeed!

      The manual will focus on common sense and common courtesies to be
      expected of all drivers, and will also discuss the lights and
      reflectors required by law on carriages. The manual will be
      published in about two months, with officials still trying to decide
      how to distribute it.

      This brings interesting food for thought and a bit of burnishing of
      the imagination. To extend the issuing of a drivers' manual on to
      when they might actually demand drivers' tests and licenses for buggy
      drivers isn't that far of a stretch.

      Imagine with me buggy drivers' tests being given at the Sugarcreek
      police station. With the paper test finished, Chief Agler, or one of
      his officers, shuffles on out with the young thirteen year-old Amish
      boy to the buggy by the hitching rack. They will be doing the road-
      test part of the exam:

      Not accustomed to the driver sitting on the right side of the
      vehicle, the officer climbs up into the buggy on that side only to be
      told shyly to scoot over. (Why buggy drivers sit on the right side
      of the vehicle remains an unsolved mystery.)

      Seat belts? Well not yet, but they may have to have them by then.
      The officer, ill at ease, clutches the arm rest and watches with
      admiration as the young fellow clicks in Pennsylvania Deutsch with
      the edge of his tongue. The horse understands, picks up that giddy-
      ap signal, and away they go.

      They clip-clop around the block several times, to the surprise and
      amusement of tourists who happen by. Then, after stopping at a
      traffic light, they try parallele parking in front of the Swiss Hat
      restaurant. (After all, that the way you test young automobile
      drivers' relfexes, don't you know!)

      Gee-hawing back and forth a bit, the horse gets excited and threatens
      to deposit some "road apples" there on the street in front of the
      restaurant, much to the dismay of the young driver and shouted
      warning of the officer to the horse -- in English. But they get the
      buggy in place by the curb and then head back again to the station.
      The exam is over, much to the relief of the officer, the boy -- and
      the horse!

      And waht about seat belts for buggies? A fellow with a ripe
      imagination has suggested that some day you may find the following
      kind of regulation on the town books: "It is expressly forbidden to
      ride in a buggy within the town limits without a seat belt in
      Sugarcreek where it is expressly forbidden to ride without a fastened
      seat belt."

      Or as an alternative: "Attention all buggy drivers: Seat belts not
      needed if you keep all feet, arms, legs and heads inside the vehicle
      while it is in motion and while keeping the speed of your horse under
      50 mph and not tilting on two wheels while taking sharp corners at
      constant speed!"

      And an imaginary traffic award news event: "A furl-lined seat belt
      award was given to a 100-year-old buggy driver at a ceremony last
      Saturday noon for never having had a seat belt violation in all the
      years of his driving, although he hasn't been out of his house since
      1953."

      Another news event as might be reported in the local paper: "The nut-
      cracking sounds coming from the town council chambers the other
      evening came from the council members all cracking their knuckles in
      unison over frustrations encountered while trying to craft seat belt
      regulations that would fit equally for all buggy, surrey, cart, sled
      and wagon drivers, saddle horses excluded!"

      An idea that was said to have been roundly debated at council but was
      finally rejected: "A belt buckle that would automtically play
      the "Merry Widow's Waltz' for drivers who refuse to buckle up!"

      Well, there you have it, all the up-to-date news and ideas about the
      buggy drivers' manual, the buggy drivers' test and their seat belts.
      WE shall keep you informed of all the developments!
    • David Hansen
      ... If they do hope that then they are fools. If they want to reduce crashes then they need to do something to deal with those who drive so fast that they are
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 27, 2002
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        On 26 Nov 2002 at 21:24, Raymond and Anne Keckler wrote:

        > [Despite the obvious fact that this guy has never driven a buggy and
        > doesn't know the first thing about doing so, this article is humorous.
        > ~Anne]
        >
        > What's Next? Buggy Driving Tests? by Les Troyer (The Budget,
        > Sugarcreek, Ohio)

        > State officials are creating
        > a new safety manual for crivers of horse-drawn buggies and carts.
        > They hope this effort will help reduce crashes with fast-moving cars
        > and trucks out on the country roads and highways.

        If they do hope that then they are fools.

        If they want to reduce crashes then they need to do something to deal
        with those who drive so fast that they are unable to stop in the
        distance they can see to be clear.


        --
        David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
        I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
        government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
      • billt44hk
        ... deal ... David, Can you quote the specific source for the advice/directive to drivers that they shld judge their speed and behaviour according to the
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 27, 2002
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          --- In CarFree@y..., "David Hansen" <davidh@s...> wrote:
          >
          > If they want to reduce crashes then they need to do something to
          deal
          > with those who drive so fast that they are unable to stop in the
          > distance they can see to be clear.
          >

          David,
          Can you quote the specific source for the advice/directive to
          drivers that they shld judge their speed and behaviour according
          to "the distance they can see to be clear". Is it in the UK Highway
          Code?
          I've made a complaint of reckless driving about a driver who, (rather
          than slow down while i cycled, 'taking the lane' through a road-
          narrowing 'safety island') ignored the slow sign painted on the
          road, crossed the double white lines extending 20 metres either side
          of the island, overtook by going round the island against the
          traffic flow without slowing down.
          There was no oncoming traffic but i doubt if he could see that due to
          a bend ahead.
          He didnt come close causing me danger, it was the sheer arrogance,
          unexpectedness, illegality, and potential danger to other road users,
          of the manouvre that riled me-and the fact there happened to be a
          patrol 3 minutes further along the road so I made the report while
          still hot under the collar. Five minutes later i'd have been home and
          dropped it, just as I usually drop the crumpled piece of paper with a
          scrawled registration number of an attempted murderer of a driver
          every night when i get home.
          The interesting albeit predictable point is the line of questioning
          by the officer later detailed to take a statement from me, eg was I
          riding close to the side, how fast was I going...
          Obviously this boy racer, for it was such, will defend himself by
          saying I was blocking the lane and travelling slowly so he was
          justified in the manouvre.
          Relating back to the question, the road behind this incident is
          straight and clear for abt 500 metres, so he would/should have seen
          and anticipated me all that way....
          I dont know whether such reporting gestures are worthwhile or not.
          It's a paradox that I'm gravely intimidated and endangered by racing
          minibus, van and bus drivers accelarating to overtake then cut me up
          on my way home nearly every night, yet I'm campaigning to get more
          people on bikes advising them on safe vehicular cycling etc. If I
          concentrate on the dangers all will be lost.

          BillT
        • David Hansen
          ... http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/hc/15.shtml. Rules 142 and 143 in particular. And http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/hc/12.shtml#131, in
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 28, 2002
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            On 28 Nov 2002 at 5:18, billt44hk wrote:

            > I've made a complaint of reckless driving about a driver who, (rather
            > than slow down while i cycled, 'taking the lane' through a road-
            > narrowing 'safety island') ignored the slow sign painted on the road,
            > crossed the double white lines extending 20 metres either side of the
            > island, overtook by going round the island against the traffic flow
            > without slowing down. There was no oncoming traffic but i doubt if he
            > could see that due to a bend ahead.

            http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/hc/15.shtml. Rules 142 and 143 in particular.

            And http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/roadsafety/hc/12.shtml#131, in
            particular the bit that says, "You should not overtake other moving
            vehicles whilst in these areas."

            Also presumably there was an arrow on the island to indicate that
            people should keep to the left of it. Ignoring thsat is also an
            offence I gather, as is crossing the double white lines.

            > The
            > interesting albeit predictable point is the line of questioning by the
            > officer later detailed to take a statement from me,

            Indeed. You were on a cycle, therefore you must be in the wrong.

            > eg was I riding close to the side,

            I should hope not. Point out the relevant bits of Cyclecraft if they
            claim you should have been riding in the gutter.

            Perhaps the police think you are infinitely thin and therefore the
            diagram attached to rule 139 does not apply.

            > how fast was I going...

            Immaterial. You have a right to pass and repass on a public road.

            > Obviously this boy racer,
            > for it was such, will defend himself by saying I was blocking the lane
            > and travelling slowly so he was justified in the manouvre.

            Of course. The police are likely to agree as well, because they tend
            to be boy racers themselves. There are some honourable exceptions to
            this observation of course.

            > I dont know whether such reporting gestures are
            > worthwhile or not.

            They are worthwhile because without them the police and others could
            legitimately claim there are no problems cyclists face, because they
            have had no reports, cyclists are just a nuisance that should be
            banished to cycle "facilities".

            Of course the police still make such claims, but as long as people
            are reporting incidents like this then we know the police are lying.



            --
            David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
            I will *always* explain why I revoke a key, unless the UK
            government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
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