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Sun, Jun 16, 2024 10:58
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Teaching and Dash Cams

Teaching is an interesting profession. It gives the satisfaction of planting ideas in the heads of the kids that some day may bear fruits of progress. It also amazes me at the age of some of the basic facts and processes. For example, high end math (calculus) stems from basics that were envisioned in the 1670s, 350 years ago. By 1800 all the basic math principles we learn today for engineering and science had been developed. We've been refining them ever since.

Teachers also need help. Kids want to know the why of things that teachers sometimes can't provide. Some front row topics today are COVID of course, environmental issues, the economy of our nation, and drugs, particularly marijuana and vaping. The older kids want to know how to do taxes and manage money. Everyone reading this has some talent, knowledge or expertise that can be shared with the kids at school. Call your schools and talk to the principal or guidance counselor. They really do need you.

Now on to dash cam thoughts. Every vehicle you own should have a dash cam. There, I said it. I mean it.

We've used good dash cameras for several years with amazing results. We've not had an accident. But we have witnessed and videoed two accidents involving others and countless crazy acts of people not paying attention. Watching the latter gives you a lesson in defensive driving.

In the first accident, a pickup in the left turn lane was struck by a car pulling into the lane without looking. Damage was minor but the police appreciated the video we provided.

The second accident involved the end of a lengthy police chase. My wife happened to be the first car in the left turn lane at a light. She was too late to get a green arrow so had to wait a complete cycle. The light turned green for the straight ahead traffic. As the vehicles were entering the intersection, a speeding SUV being chased by the police came from the right, entered the intersection running the red light, and slammed into a truck. The truck hit two other vehicles flipping one completely over on its top. When the SUV came to a stop, the driver got out and ran out of view to the left. Police cars followed, stopped and the officers began a foot chase. All of this was caught unobstructed in brilliant wide angle 1080p color video on our dash cam. Watching the footage was like watching a movie. It was surreal ... except it was real. We gave the video to the local police later that day. The investigating officer called to thank us for the footage. It was better than anything the police dash cams had recorded.

My experience with inexpensive dash cameras has been poor so we're using ones that cost over $100 and record sound. They are permanently mounted (glued - not suction cupped) with the power cables hidden under the car's trim. A 64 GB mini SD card holds several days of daily driving video. Using the SD card in a computer to see the videos is almost plug and play.

Gene Canavan is a retired West Point Graduate and Paper Mill Utilities Manager and lives in Prattville, Alabama, USA.


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