Blue, USA Greets Thousands in Vista, CA
At the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista, California,
visitors including students from local schools watch as a California
Highway Patrol car is placed in a truck drivers "blind spot"
near the tractor's drive wheels. This "blind spot" is a particularly
dangerous place for small cars, pedestrians and motorcycles
it is between the areas covered by a trucker's large rectangular
side mirror and the small convex mirror, this area is a danger
zone on both sides of the rig.
Taylor, driver of 'Ol' Blue'®, opens the door so a
teacher can safely assist student into the cab to take their first
look at the world through the windshield of a big truck. The Ol'
Blue, USA's "Big Wheels, Little Kids" campaign is dedicated to
showing, rather than telling, about the need for good safety awareness
around large vehicles of all kinds.
A student tries to find the California Highway Patrol (CHP) car
parked along side in the "blind spot" while CHP Officer Tom Kerns
stays just out of the driver's view in front of the truck. These
two "blind" areas can be extremely dangerous in real world situations
for both the truck driver and public. Students can see for themselves
the difficulty of spotting these hidden dangers and learn an important
lifelong lesson in safety about large vehicles.
Kerns shows the visitors at the Ol' Blue, USA safety demonstration,
that size doesn't help. Students see that being taller when behind
the wheel doesn't solve the problem of the "blind" spot. Even
Officer Kerns has to carefully check his mirrors to find his CHP
patrol car parked right beside 'Ol' Blue'®.
CHP Volunteer, Abe, operates the controls of a Roll-Over simulator
designed to show the effects of a rollover accident on a driver
or passenger not wearing a seat belt. "Showing" rather than "telling"
imprints a visual image on all participants of Ol' Blue, USA safety
demonstrations that far out weigh the verbal message alone. In
this scene the test dummy, Mrs. Whip Lash, is hurled out from
the cab because she was not wearing a seat belt.
The simulator demonstration ends with Mrs. Whip Lash lying injured
on the ground while the simulator cab returns to an upright position.
This injury was unnecessary. Had Mrs. Whip Lash been wearing her
seat belt, significantly less injury would have occurred. Ol'
Blue, USA and the California Highway Patrol urge every driver
and passenger, in any kind of vehicle, to "Buckle Up for Safety."
Students eagerly respond to questions posed during the Question
and Answer session of an Ol' Blue, USA's "Big Wheels, Little
Kids" safety demonstration. The lessons here will serve for
a lifetime in making safety awareness around large vehicles
a focal point with America's future drivers. Large vehicle awareness
training for navigating 21st Century traffic needs to start
when the formal learning process begins. This will ensure a
total educational package for young drivers. The show of eager
hands indicates this type of training is well received by America's
The Vista event was sponsored by Michelin
Tire Co., Shell Oil Co., Alcoa Wheel, Wilshire Insurance Co.,
Webb Wheel Products, Mid-America & International Trucking
Thanks to California Highway Patrol
Commissioner, D. O. "Spike" Helmick, Chief Lee Denno, Enforcement
Services Division Commander and CHP Officers Tom Kerns and T.
Reese along with CHP Volunteers, Jack Scott, Jim Basset, Abe
Mangrubang, Tom Benson, Paul Barnvm, Jim Becker, Darrel Beatty
and Art Tiscareno. We welcome Officer T. Reese of the Oceanside
CHP Office. She is the new Public Affairs Officers for Oceanside
area. We look forward to working with her in the future. You
can visit the CHP at their Website www.chp.ca.gov.
A special thank you to the Antique Gas
& Steam Engine Museum and its Director, Rod Groenewold and
volunteers for inviting Ol' Blue, USA to this marvelous yearly
event. You can visit them at their Website www.ziggyworks.com/~museum.
Photos by Don Rector
News Editor Gary