This morning I was in my backyard when I heard a vehicle pass in the alley behind the fence. I heard the vehicle stop, accelerate, followed by crunching and banging noises. I quickly ran to take a look and found this scene: a large pickup truck was halfway into my property and had run over my garbage can and my "No trespassing" sign. The guy came out, I yelled at him and asked what he thought he was doing, and his response was: "Oh I'm sorry, I was trying to back into my yard and I didn't see that." You "didn't see that"??? Now I can maybe understand not seeing the little sign, it might have been behind the garbage can, but what about the garbage can you were also running over? What if either of those would have been my kid? Would you have seen him???

About a month ago, right here in town a little 8-year old girl was killed while biking when she was struck by a pickup truck. It is likely that the height of the truck compared to the little girl had something to do with it. Just last week, another cyclist was killed here in a collision with a pickup truck.

Now I don't want to generalize all pickup truck and SUV drivers, I'm sure there are some that drive very responsibly. But my experience with what seems to be the majority of them is that their elevation above the rest of traffic seems to make them feel invincible, superior--I don't know what exactly, but something like that. I'm not sure if the attitude stems from being in a large vehicle above the rest of traffic, or if they get such a vehicle because they have this attitude in the first place.

Pickup trucks and other large vehicles such as SUVs are known to have very bad visibility for small objects around them. Such small objects can apparently be signs, even tall garbage cans, and unfortunately also small children. Pickup trucks seem to be growing larger and more powerful all the time as well, able to crunch through/over whatever is in their path. Unfortunately, here in the US it also seems that every idiot who has managed to get a regular driver's license (which is extremely easy) can drive one of these things. You don't need a commercial license or any special training to take them on the road.

So you end up with a situation where there are a ton of these things on the road, many times driven by people that seem to only need such a large vehicle to match their ego, or who are are otherwise impaired when it comes to good judgement. You often see inexperienced youngsters, who can get their license at the "peak crazy" age of 16, barreling down city roads in these giant missiles.

And what's the excuse when something happens? "Oh sorry, I didn't see that." Well, that's not going to cut it! You may be able to get away with it if what you hit is just a sign, but not when it's a child. If you feel the need to drive such a thing around town, you better act responsibly and be as vigilant as possible. Recognize that you are piloting a powerful, deadly missile. Know and remember that there may be something around your truck you can't see. Take note about who's at the intersection before you get to it. Take note about the signs and garbage cans on another person's property before you go barrelling down that property. No, you actually shouldn't go barrelling down another person's property in the first place! You don't gain that right just because you are in a big truck. I really don't care that your vehicle is too big to easily turn into your backyard, that's your problem, not mine. It surely doesn't give you the right to trespass into my property and run over my "no trespassing" sign!

This blog post was posted to Personal Brain Showers on Monday June 27th, 2016 at 9:12AM

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My name is Patrick Van Oosterwijck. Welcome to my spot on the web where I will hopefully regularly dump some of my brain content for the benefit of whomever may find it useful.

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