Monthly Archives: December 2016

Merry Memories of Christmas Past Bring Comfort & Joy

Mary happily sung and danced her heart out, while AnnaLeah was content to be helpful in the background. Both full of life and laughter in their own ways. Both knew who was the best present of all.


Mary (dressed in a white pinafore with a blue scarf wrapped around her head and her long, long hair) was one of the chorus youth in Midland Community Theatre’s 2009 production of A Christmas Carol:

Mary as an angel singing Away in a Manger:

Mary (as an angel again) singing and signing Away in a Manger in a Christmas program the year before:

Mary, quite a few years, earlier singing, Jesus is the Heart of Christmas:

Mary singing and dancing in I Saw Three Ships Go Sailing By:

Mary singing and dancing in God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen:

And more tidings of comfort & joy:

Volvo Life Paint; An innovative way to protect cyclists

Now this is an innovative way to protect cyclists. . .

Volvo Cars presents LifePaint. Road safety shouldn’t be for the few. It should be for everyone. The ones not driving our cars, and the ones who prefer two wheels to four.

LifePaint is a unique water based reflective safety spray. Invisible by daylight, it glows brightly in direct glare of car headlights. Making the invisible, visible. LifePaint washes off, and will not damage the colour or the surface of your chosen material, lasting more than a week of normal usage. Volvo Life Paint

Crash Test of Innovative Large Truck Side Guard Could Advance Side Underride Prevention

Crash reconstructionist/forensic engineer Aaron Kiefer continues to develop his ideas for an innovative side/rear underride guard to protect all vulnerable victims from deadly truck underride.

Aaron has identified new materials to make his design stronger, more effective at preventing underride, and user-friendly for the truck drivers. The only thing is that he is doing this work on his own time aside from his regular job of reconstructing crash scenes. He turned to us to ask if we could help him raise some money for his upcoming side guard crash test so that he can prove that his invention will save lives.

You can help Aaron purchase the necessary materials for his next crash test. Our current goal is to raise $3,000* by early next year.

Donate at the ALMFTS website here which our family set up for traffic safety research through our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety.

We received our IRS letter of approval in 2015 and are listed as a non-profit with Guidestar:


* Crash Test Materials Include the Following:

  • $500 would buy the necessary polyester webbing  (12,000 lb/in), which gives Aaron’s invention unusual strength.
  • $500 more would buy the car to crash —  a Malibu
  • $500 more would buy the rear reinforcement aluminum plate and water jet cutting
  • $500 more would allow Aaron to purchase the aluminum extrusion for reinforcement/rear guard connector
  • $500 additional would pay for the FRP panel (2 x 190 ft rolls). Just today, Aaron had a sample of this plastic panel successfully sewn together with the polyester webbing — a good sign that this design, with these materials, could provide a strong innovative option for side underride protection on large trucks for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and passenger vehicles.
  • $3,000 TOTAL would allow Aaron to purchase the entire CRASH TEST SET: Panel/webbing/aluminum/assembly/labor (industrial sewing)

Please share this post so others can join in this vital effort to make affordable and effective side guards available to the trucking industry. Thank you!

“Tactical Transit: A Fast Path to Transit Infrastructure”; How about Tactical Traffic Safety?

We humans are innately creative. Surely we can come up with innovative ways to prevent permanent devastation from vehicle violence. Here’s a perspective which embraces that idea:

“If you know what tactical urbanism is, tactical transit is the same principle applied to transit.  So it means something like this:  Don’t just fight for giant infrastructure projects that take many years to fund, approve, and complete.  Try things now, with what you have, in ways that (a) make a measurable improvement and/or (b) inspire people to see what’s possible.  And often: Use temporary materials, as appropriate, to present things as experiments, so people can experience them before passing judgment on them. “

Read more here: Tactical Transit: A Fast Path to Transit Infrastructure

Here’s an example:

In Everett, Massachusetts, a pilot project recently transformed a parking lane in a heavily congested portion of Broadway/Route 99 into bus-only lane during rush hour. Requiring no engineering investment, the project merely relies on orange safety cones and temporary signage to demarcate the lane. Initial data indicates that commute times have been reduced anywhere from 4-8 minutes, and both bus riders and car commuters have embraced the project because it has improved traffic flow overall. According to City transportation planner Jay Monty, Everett has decided to extend the pilot indefinitely and is exploring ways to expand the route. Why Tactical Transit is the Next Big Thing


What would be some ways that this principle could be applied more specifically to preventing vehicle violence tragedies?

Wikipedia on Road Traffic Safety: Road traffic safety refers to the methods and measures used to prevent road users from being killed or seriously injured. Typical road users include pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, vehicle passengers, and passengers of on-road public transport (mainly buses and trams).

Best-practices in modern road safety strategy:

The basic strategy of a Safe System approach is to ensure that in the event of a crash, the impact energies remain below the threshold likely to produce either death or serious injury. This threshold will vary from crash scenario to crash scenario, depending upon the level of protection offered to the road users involved. For example, the chances of survival for an unprotected pedestrian hit by a vehicle diminish rapidly at speeds greater than 30 km/h, whereas for a properly restrained motor vehicle occupant the critical impact speed is 50 km/h (for side impact crashes) and 70 km/h (for head-on crashes).

— International Transport Forum, Towards Zero, Ambitious Road Safety Targets and the Safe System Approach, Executive Summary page 19 {International Transport Forum (2008). “Towards Zero, Ambitious Road Safety Targets and the Safe System Approach”. OECD. Retrieved 26 January 2012. It recognises that prevention efforts notwithstanding, road users will remain fallible and crashes will occur.[dead link]} 


Tactical: adroit in planning or maneuvering to accomplish a purpose

“Managing Critical Truck Parking Case Study – Real World Insights from Truck Parking Diaries” ATRI

Hot off the press. . . a study of the truck parking problem in this country — from the American Transportation Research Institute:

Managing Critical Truck Parking Case Study – Real World Insights from Truck Parking Diaries

About ATRI

 The American Transportation Research Institute has been engaged in critical transportation studies and operational tests since 1954.

ATRI, part of the American Trucking Associations Federation, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

ATRI’s primary mission is to conduct transportation research with an emphasis on the trucking industry’s essential role in a safe, efficient, and viable transportation system.

Talkin together

Buck passing needs to stop! “Brussels and regulators under fire over ‘dieselgate’”

European authorities have been accused of glaring errors, including halfhearted application of the rules and buck-passing among officials, that led to their failure to uncover the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

See more here: Brussels and regulators under fire over ‘dieselgate’ Draft MEPs’ report points to failure to uphold EU rules that could have detected cheating, by: in Brussels, Financial Times, December 19, 2016


Could Vision Zero Rulemaking & Traffic Safety Ombudsman Prevent Dieselgate-Type Scandals?


IIHS Rear Underride Protocol from Trailer Testing Posted on Website

In September, IIHS posted protocol from rear underride crash testing onto their website. The semi-trailer underride protocol is located at the bottom of the page at this link:

A pdf is available here: iihs-underride-test-protocol

Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 168

Thank you, IIHS, for all of your important work to advance road safety!

Vehicles can become weapons — intentional or not. Death by Motor Vehicle

Vehicles can become weapons — intentional or not. Death by Motor Vehicle.


Truck plows into Christmas market in Berlin, killing 9

The New Tools of Terror: Vehicular Violence at Center of Recent Attacks

Irreversible tragedies




Road to Zero Coalition Announces $1 million Safe System Innovation Grant Program

At the conclusion of the Road to Zero Coalition meeting in Arlington, Virginia, on December 15, 2016, National Safety Council (NSC) CEO, Debbie Hersman, announced the Safe System Innovation Grant program funded by NHTSA.

NSC, as the leader of the Coalition, will administer a $1 million per year (for 3 years) grant program. Details are available at their website and here:


Road to Zero Coalition Safe System Innovation Grants Program. pdf


My ideas: Road to Zero Coalition Considers Priority Actions to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

Treasured Christmas Memories of AnnaLeah & Mary

For myself, and anyone else who cares to get a glimpse of Christmas with Mary & AnnaLeah, here are links to memories which I posted at this time in 2014 (Thanksgiving through New Year’s):