Traffic question

Helen Marshall sent this in:

Driving around lately I have noticed that ambulances and fire trucks and even work convoy trucks carrying orange barrels have signs on the back saying “Keep Back 500 Feet.”  That’s close to two football fields….In order to read and act on said sign you would of course have to violate it.
Trying to picture the traffic maintaining 500 feet of separation with any such vehicle.  What is the fine for non-compliance?
Is there any sense to this whatsoever?  Do they just mean “stay out of the way, sudden stops likely”?
We deserve better
Brutus

4 Responses to Traffic question

  1. chucogeek says:

    The signs basically mean two things, 1) Don’t tailgate, and 2) if you rear end me, it’s your fault. Unfortunately idiots who run into work trucks and other emergency vehicles will try to weasel out of liability if the truck says anything like “stay back a safe distance” or something else that assumes that a driver isn’t an idiot so in the US we have pretty much settled on 500 ft as a large enough distance so that if you do run into the vehicle you can’t say that it’s their fault for suddenly stopping since they did tell you to stay back a “quite a bit”

    Also, the reason you are likely seeing a lot more vehicles with lights is that TxDOT requires that all vehicles working on their projects have and use white and amber flashing lights and people often forget to turn them off. If you are seeing a lot of those in an area it’s probably because there is a lot of TxDOT work going on nearby.

    If I see a work truck at a stop light with their lights on I will often get their attention, point to their lights, and 9 times out of 10 folks will turn them off right away once they realize their mistake. They aren’t trying to “pretend” to be anything they are not since pretty much everywhere in the world has restrictions on what colors of lights you may or may not use on different vehicles.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_vehicle_lighting#United_States_of_America

    Like

  2. John Dungan says:

    Yes! Way too many non-emergency vehicles with flashing colored lights on the streets these days. And, yeah, I’ve often wondered about those little signs that warn us to “keep back.” Maybe they could just say something like, “If you can read this, you’re too close?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike Schwartz says:

    Or the numerous “supervisor” trucks with flashing lights meant to be used when parked to indicate increased awareness. Instead the lights are continually flashing as they weave in and out of traffic, pretending to be law enforcement or something, rushing to a non existent “problem”.

    Liked by 1 person

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