Thursday, June 22, 2006

'Distance dots' may help curb tailgating, officials say

You may not think that this is "religious" subject matter. But I say, if it keeps me from fits of "Road Rage" when I am being tail-gated, why then it might be just as effective as a lot of religous practices!

Minnesota becomes one of the first states to use "distance dots" highway markers to reduce tailgating when officials this morning unveil a 2-mile stretch of the dots on Hwy. 55 near Buffalo.

Minnesota joined a short list of states using highway “distance dots” to reduce tailgating when officials this morning unveiled a 2-mile stretch of large white dots on Hwy. 55 near Buffalo.

At a news conference in Buffalo, state trooper Lt. Tom Schmitz said, “Tailgating is a serous problem on all Minnesota roads.” In 17 years as a trooper, he said he has seen hundreds of accidents in which tailgating was a factor.

The painted dots are accompanied by signs explaining how many dots should appear between vehicles to allow safe following distances so drivers can stop without rear-ending vehicles.

In Minnesota, crash reports indicate that rear-end collisions were involved in 28 percent of crashes in 2005, including 23 fatalities.

Public safety officials said cars and light trucks should have 3 seconds between each other in good driving conditions. That means when a car ahead passes a stationary object, 3 seconds should elapse before the next vehicle passes the same object. Allow more time in fog or when roads are slippery. [snip] StarTribune

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