Monday, July 06, 2015
Reckless driving (and trucking and trailer hauling) and homeland security
Sunday, I drove to Philadelphia to catch the last day of LGBT50, and certainly got a lesson in infrastructure.
I took the I-95 route from the Delaware Turnpike, passed Wilmington, and even stopped at the Pennsylvania welcome area. When leaving, I immediately encountered a backup that stretched all the way to I-476, about seven miles. It took two hours to get through it.
When I got there, I saw that there was road work on the I-476 interchange, and a Hazmat crew cleaning up a spilled substance. Earlier one state trooper and a couple ambulances had separate the lanes. It appeared that a truck had been unable to make a lane change and overturned.
But there were no signs telling us what had happened. A call to 511 (which you shouldn’t do when driving) showed nothing.
In Virginia, at least, there are electronic signs on I-95 giving information after major crashes.
Today there was a similar accident, according to Philly, story here.
This is certainly dangerous to drivers, trapped in an area between jug handles without shoulders (although there were a couple of “weave” exits).
And I saw plenty of reckless driving. When leaving Philadelphia on the Whitman Bridge, with narrow lanes, a speeding car almost sidewiped me and forced me other. A lot of drivers cut in and out and leave very little margin.
Coming back, on I-95, there was a slowdown south of the Service Plaza itself south of the Susquehanna. I thought at first the reason might be a left-lane entrance from the Plaza. It turned out a mattress had fallen out in a lane to the right of me. No police had come by to pick it up. This could surprise a driver suddenly and cause a real wreck.
Without belaboring it, it isn’t hard to see that trapping drivers deliberately could be a strategy for an (enemy) attack. It’s dangerous if police can’t inform drivers as to what has happened.