Talking Buses and More
Wednesday, November 24, 2010 4:44:46 PM
Many vehicles, from 18-wheelers to dump trucks to commuter buses all travel DC streets and negotiate turns. The editor doesn't recall many, if any, local news reports on the drivers hitting pedestrians on a regular basis. Perhaps the drivers have been paying attention.
The editor has noticed that government vehicles all have the "we're the most important vehicle on the road" attitude. Buses have those yellow lights on the front roof saying "here I am". DC police always leave a light on. If this talking bus thing survives, then the local Polizei will have to blast "support community policing" twice a block. Perhaps they could change the message every other block.
The editor has a problem with the lights. He frequently drives downtown. There are often sirens and sometimes fast moving traffic and some guy changing lanes unexpectedly and an other guy crossing in the middle of the block. You hear the siren and try to figure where it is and if you have to get out of the way. You look for the flashing lights and still keep your main focus on the road and traffic around you. Then you spot a red or blue light in the mirror for a fraction of a second. You pay more attention and that light disappears behind a truck. Was that the emergency vehicle? After trying to see it again, you see it's just a scout car with the Ramsey lights on. But the siren sounds closer. Another flashing light. It's dusk, so driving is not quite as easy as broad daylight. Again, the light goes in and out behind traffic. Oh, it's just one of those Metro buses.
Emergency lights are there for a reason: There's an emergency. The "hey, look at me" lights are often a serious distraction, and they should be turned off. If those talking buses drive by the home of the Metro Board members at all hours of the night maybe there will be some satisfaction. They should still shut up. Spend the money on driver training.