Dependable Erection

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

PACE Car followup

Would have posted earlier this morning, but i spent an hour waiting for an Animal Control officer to come by and pick up the dog i found wandering on Rand Street in the rain this morning. Eventually had to leave and head for work, so no idea whether or not this guy is going to have to spend another day of his life neglected by his owners.

Anyway, to followup on the PACE Car announcement below. I've known for a couple of weeks that the program was being re-established, but was waiting for an official announcement. I guess an officer handing out magnets at a public meeting counts.

The website sign up form is not yet functional. To me, that's the first priority. Second priority is publicity. I can help, and any other bloggers and neighborhood folks who support this program can as well. Talk it up. All it is is a commitment to follow traffic laws when you're driving on city streets. Speed limits, stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, etc. The yellow magnet on the back of your car tells other drivers that's what you're doing.

Third priority is to make sure that every city owned vehicle sports one of these, and that the people driving them are instructed in following the traffic laws while they're behind the wheel of a city vehicle. When you're working for the city, and you're driving through town in a car that says "City of Durham" on it, you're an ambassador. You represent the city, so you may as well make people glad to see you.

My goal in this is to start changing the culture of driving, which privileges those behind the wheel at the expense of those walking, biking, in wheelchairs, or otherwise moving from place to place without a car. No doubt it will be a slow process. Before the program was allowed to lapse last year, it had almost reached the level where you would see multiple PACE car stickers on every trip around town. Shouldn't take more than a year to get back to that. If you see three or four cars with PACE car stickers on every trip to the mall, the dentist, the grocery store, the vet, or whatever, you'll start to figure out that people in Durham want you to slow down when you're behind the wheel.

And we do.



  • Yes: motorized vehicles tend to be self-privileging, which sucks. They tend not to be self-privileging when they hit other vehicles or large solid objects, which also sucks. Good luck.

    By Blogger Joseph H., at 2:29 AM  

  • Mrs D. apparently had some difficulty posting the following comment:

    I'd like to see some of the major employers, as well as Duke and NCCU, promote pace car sign-up to their employees/students. They could do a "pace car drive" (lots of possibilities for puns there!) to sign people up en masse.

    I'd especially like to see Duke Medicine come out as a public supporter. If they shared statistics about how many people come through the ER at Duke and Regional every year because of scofflaw drivers, it would drive home (damn, another unintentional pun) the message that this isn't about being a goody-two-shoes but about saving lives and limbs.

    I know that Eric Hester, who got the program off the ground initially when he was with DPD, is now at Duke University police, and has expressed an interest in getting Duke involved in the program.

    By Blogger Barry, at 9:05 AM  

  • Glad you're happy about it. This always struck me as an easy way for the city to avoid doing patrols, but as one pulled over by Eric Hester yesterday, I can't say much.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 7:32 PM  

  • As mentioned above, Hester's now with Duke U. police. Wonder when the last time a Durham cop pulled someone over for the same violation you got hit with was?

    By Blogger Barry, at 7:37 PM  

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