Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Misc. Foolishness

I was reading Wombat's http://limousinelife.blogspot.com/ the other day and he suggested that the average age in the Tampa area was 241. He's probably close. I get a kick out of folks like the ones in this photo. It's a new motorcycle club - Hell's Grandparents.

What are they thinking? First of all, motorcycling isn't generally an old person's sport. If either of these people dropped their bike, even in a parking lot, they'd need a crane to help them pick it up. Then, of course, there is the lack of helmets. The law in Florida says they aren't required and actually I prefer that it be left to the individual whether they wish to wear one or not. However, I also think it's pretty dumb not to wear one! These folks are riding on a heavily traveled road. Three lane in each direction and traffic moves between 50 and 60 mph (that's almost 100 kph) though the speed limit is 45. It's just not the place to take chances.

The second photo is of a new 'safety' feature our local government has purchased. It is a new kind of walk-don't walk sign that has a countdown timer to tell you when the light is going to change. This was taken a couple miles away from the previous photo but on the same road. Here the speeds are, if anything, a little higher than there. There are VERY few pedestrians in this area however I think the drivers really like the new signs. It gives them warning that they have to speed up to make the light! I don't think that was the intention but you know how these things work.

Drive safely until next time.

13 Feb 08 - Found these statistics from 2001 - the most recent I could find in the USA Today newspaper.

The metro areas are ranked by the number of traffic deaths per 100,000 residents in 2000.

1. Orlando 18.8
2. Tampa-St. Petersburg 17.6
3. West Palm Beach 16.6
4. Austin 15.8
5. Las Vegas 15.4
6. Phoenix 15.2
7. Memphis 14.7
8. Jacksonville 14.6
9. Fort Lauderdale 14.5
10. Kansas City 14.2

Sources: The Road Information Program, NHTSA

The article suggested several reasons for the number of Florida cities in this list. They included elderly drivers and the number of visitors. There was no information about motorcyclists. I would include the fact that many Florida cities have a large number of high speed streets. In New York you might get hit by a cab but it'll only be going 30 mph not 60.

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