With all of the Social Distancing. While most are following the recommendations to self-isolate for 15 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) there are those that this is not an option. If still are one of those who is driving to work, you may have noticed the roads are pretty empty. I’m one of the few that has not been impacted by the need to stay home. Our office is running at 50% and we are maintaining really smart practices.
This includes keeping our distance, washing our hands, wiping down surfaces and other hygiene that lets us do our work and stay a little safer balanced with common sense. I did just wrap up implementing 100% remote access for our employees so if we need to telecommute, we can do it at the drop of a hat.
My typical drive home takes about 45 to 60 minutes during rush hour traffic. However, here in Tucson most of the city is shut down and the new rush hour is 25 to 30 minutes. These idle times I’m sure gives us all time to think about random stuff. For me, my thoughts are only random but reflect on my surroundings. Even with the light traffic on the roads, I’m still amazed at those who are left driving. Now for the shift in my thoughts, last week we had a couple of days of steady rain.
The summer monsoons in Arizona can bring a lot of rain in a very short time period. Behind my house is a dry creek bed or ‘wash’. During a sudden rain event it can fill up in less than 10 minutes. Arizona has a law known as Liability for Emergency Responses in Flood Areas or the “Stupid-Driver Law”. The original law was passed in 1995. Because of flash flooding in Southern Arizona, this is a real concern.
If you are new to the region and when the you experience your first monsoon, you may not have any idea how much rain comes in 30 minutes. I can only say it is a lot. Most roads swell up with water quickly. More water than any type of storm system can handle. The downside, there really is not a storm drainage system in Tucson, most of the water surface drains. Flowing back to the desert as nature intended.
That dry creek behind my house crosses the main road into my neighborhood. There is a lot of traffic on the road with everyone using it to get to the main street and then the interstate highway. There is a ‘safer’ alternate route, but it takes some serious navigating to work your way around the neighborhood. If you do not know the route, you will get lost and stuck behind another wash that is not passable during the rain.
Now for the real though behind this. While I understand what the intent of the law is, don’t put others in a dangerous situation because of your actions. However, if there is a way to rectify the situation to make it safer then this is the course that should be taken. The real law should have been to increase road safety, get the roads out of the seasonal flood plains. Just like building codes, to make things safer for everyone. Or in the case of OSHA creating a safe environment in the workplace. As opposed to creating laws that fine those that are put into danger beyond their control.
Well, maybe that not always the case, there really are some “Stupid Drivers” out there. However, our roads are paid for but tax dollars in some form, spending a little extra to add to the safety make sense. Just like seatbelt law, it increases the safety while driving. Final thoughts… For me, I would love to see a culvert added to the seasonal water crossing, making the passage safer all year long.
…and now for something completely different.
If you’re a major league baseball umpire, you’re required to wear black underwear. This is so that if your pants split, you’ll still be somewhat covered.