Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book: Rumble Strip by Woodrow Phoenix

I wasn't expecting to find Rumble Strip - a graphic novel about road safety - so grimly captivating. It is so effective in highlighting the dangers of driving that I honestly think it should be read by all road users.

In this little masterpiece Woodrow successfully conveys how the emotive aspects of driving mask the reality, how we are led down a path of recklessness as a heady mixture of marketing, comfort and cultural acceptance overrides our concern for safety, dulling instead of heightening our sense that we are hurtling around the roads at crazy speeds, feeling safe and cozy in our expensive tin cans when the reality is anything but. When we step in a car our outlook and sense of balance changes.

I found this book far more effective in promoting sensible driving than a speed awareness course that I recently "participated" in. Since reading the book, the imagery and central message have come to mind pretty much every time I have stepped into my car.

**** 1/2


- If you really want to murder someone and get away with it .... don't shoot them.... don't stab them or feed them poison...just get behind the wheel and ... run .... them ... down.
When you are driving a car, killing other people is not murder ... or even manslaughter... it's misfortune.

- Suppose a car could run on sunshine and its exhaust fumes were birthday cake, cut grass and ponies ... at 40 miles an hour it would kill you just the same.

Some of the facts in the Sources were pretty eye-opening:

- In the US, almost 175,000 pedestrians dies in all motor vehicle crashes between 1975 and 2000.

- In the US, 80% of road traffic deaths occur within 25 miles of home and at speeds under 40 miles per hour.

- A pedestrian hit by a driver operating a sports utility vehicle (4x4) is more than twice as likely to be killed as a pedestrian hit by a passenger car at the same speed.

(click on the images to see them in full size)

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