I just read the lates release on the crash the other day. I am wondering what others think.. by having those pre-emptive devices installed, do they seriously think it will curtail the crashes? Notice I said CRASHES.. not MVA. MVC.
My opinion is this - traffic pre-emption devices are great if you have them, but there is a less expensive option for preventing apparatus accidents at intersections: stop at the damn red lights, wait to be given right-of-way, and proceed through with caution! Why rely on technology when we could just use some friggin' common sense??? (By the way, I realize common sense isn't common, but for cryin' out loud...........)
I would have to agree with you Jack. I would feel more comfortable going through a green light at an intersection vs. going thru a red one. But either way you cut it, if Joe Public isn't paying attention, our lights and sirens or a stop light isn't going to stop a crash from occurring. When we are at the wheel, we need to be cautious at any intersections. I've personally seen apparatus blow thru red lights without slowing down and cringe every time. One day, that rig is going to be in an accident. Not a matter of if, but when.
The only advantage that I see with the opticons is helping (sometimes ) to relieve the congestion at intersections beyond that an intersection is still an area of concern. Slow down ,wait to ensure right of way and adrenaline control are required. If the safe operation of a rig can't be accomplished between the operator and the officer, somebody needs to be replaced at their position.
Here is a way to stop this from happening. Install an air raid siren in the center of the district, and every time a call drops it goes off, sending the public running for shelter and leaving the streets clear for the apparatus. Oh wait then you'll just have more wrecks from people panicing at the sound of the siren. Well nevermind
No it may help but it is the drivers job to get to the scene in one piece and drivers out there can do stupid things even when they are looking right at you with lights and sirens going. We need to pratice defensive driving in all of our responses and don't assume anything when approaching an intersection.
The apparatus was traveling north (in the southbound lane) and took a right to go east. Even if the opticom was working it gave the apparatus a green light as well as the knucklehead that was going either straight or taking a right as well. It doesn't appear that the apparatus driver is in any way at fault, he did what he should do.
I'm just amazed at the number of people that seem to think the opticom isn't any good. I have to suspect that they don't have them in their one-light town. Unless you've run with them you really don't know what they are about. And I'm fairly sure that no one bothers to read previous comments either.
No one said it makes it safe, only that it may make it safer. Big difference, that -er. Like the difference between being stupid, or stupider.
the Opticom is still no excuse to speed through an intersection, due regard is still in order.
And that to me is the bigger issue. Even with a green light, we still need to drive with due regard. Our laws over here in Oz are such that if I go with the green light and someone runs the red and we collide, I still cop the blame as I didn't enter the intersection when it was safe and expedient to do so.
If the Opticom was working, meaning there was a green light, would it be necessary for the apparatus to contraflow into the southbound lane? I have a bigger issue with contraflowing than I do the Opticom. I also know that some places do not have a good track record for maintaining their pre-emption systems.
I am not finding fault with the EO, or the system in this instance, but I thought it was ironic that this topic comes up and this happens on the same day.
2. We give other drivers time to see us and react,
That - to me, is key! Giving the everyday joe schmuck and Mrs. Schmuck, the extra opportunity to see and - have it sink in, that there is an emergency vehicle within striking distance. With the everyday hub bub of a person's busy day, rush hour, and the other gazillion things that can distract, having that extra few seconds to see and hear (and determine what direction the siren is actually coming from) can - and probably has saved many lives in the past. Good answer in my books!!!!
Always, always take the third lane. By law vehicles are required to pull as far over to the right and stop. If an apparatus making a right turn (with traffic in the lanes) and takes the right lane, anyone that actually obeys the law and pulls right will pull right into the apparatus.
A lot of people keep saying the same thing about caution, due regard, etc and I absolutely agree with them, but you can take the oncoming traffic lane and proceed through an intersection, with the green (more safely, in my opinion) to either turn or continue on straight. Policy here is take the oncoming lane even when making a right hand turn. Only time you don't have to is when all the lanes are empty in your direction, then you have the whole lane (or all 3 or 4 lanes) and can turn but if there's a car in the lane you have to go left and around them. Sigh....slowly, of course, with caution and due regard (some people just don't get it.)