Spring Means Share the Road! – One of the most important things we do as an organization is to educate drivers on how to share the road with big trucks. While we can do this in a classroom setting or assembly, nothing beats an interactive display featuring real trucks and passenger cars. For obvious reasons, we simply can’t conduct these outdoor sessions during the cold weather months. Spring is finally here and so is one of our best opportunities to reach students in high school driver education programs.
Setting It Up Right – The key to a successful Share the Road (STR) event is to use both a truck AND cars strategically placed in blind spots. Finding a space big enough to accommodate that many vehicles is easier said than done with a premium on parking spaces at schools. However, when you have the cars, you can use the truck’s rearview mirrors with great impact.
Magic in Mirrors – You can talk at students all day long about blind spots, stopping distance and following distance and make some progress. You can even use graphics and videos. But put a student inside a truck in the driver’s seat and the light bulbs really turn on. The magic resides in the rearview mirrors. To perform your magic trick, you must first conduct a walk around before putting the student in the cab. They see the cars parked all around the truck. They know for a fact they are there. But put them in the driver’s seat, shut the door and poof! The cars disappear. You can just see in their eyes the newfound knowledge and respect they have for the blind spots.
A Simple But Big Commitment – The ingredients for a successful STR event are pretty straightforward: tractor, trailer, driver, two helpers and a space. Coming up with other vehicles to park in the blind spot is pretty easy. We even have a how-to video demonstrating how to set it up. However, for the trucking company, it means taking those income-earning resources off the road for an entire day. Companies who have made this commitment have found it a worthy investment. They find it builds good will with their local school, generates pride among team members who participate, and tangibly improves the driving skills of student drivers.
ATA Road Team Coming to Minnesota in May – We are excited to have the American Trucking Associations Share the Road Truck and America’s Road Team Captains coming to Minnesota the week of May XX. They will be bringing their equipment and expertise to schools around the greater Twin Cities area in partnership with the MTA. If you want to see how a STR event works, this is a great opportunity to see how the best do it. We will be communicating their schedule via our social media platforms and in Weekly Dispatch.
Looking for MTA Carrier Members to Participate – The MTA Safety Council plays a leadership role in the MTA STR Program. It is recruiting carriers willing to commit to participating in a STR event one or two times each year at a local school or civic event. We are looking for six (?) carriers to commit for 2015. Are you willing to be one of the six? For more information, contact Jason Prasch at the MTA (email@example.com). I hope you will say yes. I know you will be glad you did!