Last night I’m heading home from the gym, camera on the dash, and I see a white Subaru Impreza with NJ tags and a bunch of kids in it catching up. We pull in to the 55mph zone and are immediately stuck behind a farm truck with what looks like a loosely packed load of lettuce in cardboard boxes. A couple cars ahead of me just blast over the double-yellow and pass the truck. I get to the truck and a combination of blind curves/hills and oncoming traffic keep me from even looking to pass the 10mph monstrosity. So we get over to Big Island Rd and I figure I’ll just pull off and take the back roads home – NAY I was cut off.
What cut me off?
The farm truck, creeping slowly to the left with no turn signal. Now a big justification behind the speed limit drop on this road was rural traffic. Being a bicycle rider, I can fully understand the fear of having vehicles weighing 12-15 times what I do hurtle past me with little regard for my safety. To be honest though, I can’t imagine that many of these farm vehicles would be street legal outside of this road – nor would the drivers pass a simple driving test.
Every day farm trucks driving below the limit do so without the use of turn signals or hazard lights, even tractors do not have hazard lights. Heaven forbid the kids in the Subaru passed me to pass the farm truck and then ended up smashing into it because the driver didn’t use a signal before he crept left? Who’d be more at fault? Would I have justification for getting the signature of every driver who uses Pulaski Hwy to petition that all rural traffic must adhere to the same standards as the rest of us? I think we’d outnumber the residents who called for lower speeds in less than a day.
All that said – I still have no issue with the 45mph limit, just the lack of enforcement of the limit. Flash back to the same traffic yesterday, I’m now in the 45mph zone, the driver of the Subaru obviously frustrated with how I’m driving but ahead there’s a town Cop heading the same way I am. I giggle to myself hoping the Subaru will pass only to be confronted with a trunk-lid that reads POLICE. It didn’t happen though, as the Cop pulled off onto Mount Eve road instead of continuing down Pulaski. The Subaru never did pass, and definitely aired his frustration a couple of times, but either the presence of my dash cam, the previous Police sighting, or maybe just respect for the speed limit kept him from doing it.
This morning, on my way in, another Chevy Trailblazer – NJ tags, catching up to me in a hurry doing WELL over the 40mph limit stayed behind me all the way through the 45mph zone. Despite plenty of opportunities, they didn’t pass. I already knew they had no problem with speeding – so maybe it’s the dash cam, pretty cool if it was.
I’m hoping to wire my car up with a front and rear mount dash cam this weekend, figure a pair of web-cams attached to a laptop should do the trick. Then again I may just call it quits and just enjoy the drive.