What’s the value of a minute compared with the loss of a life? | TheUnion.com
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What’s the value of a minute compared with the loss of a life?

While driving to Beale Air Force Base yesterday, my wife and I observed a common but dangerous situation on Highway 20. A big-rig, 18-wheeler hauling logs was dragging about 30 feet of inch-thick coated cable behind it which, in turn, was attached to another 20 or so feet of braided steel cable. The truck driver was pulling a total of approximately 50 feet of lethal, whipping, heavy-duty, fishtailing trouble from his truck bed and he was completely unaware of it because of his rear view limitations.

Several cars pulled out to pass the truck, most of them passing illegally; but as we pulled up behind the truck, I started working my flashers to get the driver’s attention. Eventually he saw me, slowed, and finally pulled over and stopped. I pulled up behind him, got out briefly to point out the problem and left while he was securing the cables to his truck. No harm done, no headlines, and no evening news story about a couple whose car flipped over an embankment from causes unknown.

I would like to believe that because I took a minute, it not only didn’t happen to us, it also didn’t happen to any number of others who passed that truck, and primarily because we saw the danger in the situation and took a couple of minutes to correct the problem.



How important can a minute or two be when one considers a lifetime? What’s a couple of minutes’ patience compared to devastating a family or spending the rest of your life on medical support or in prison?

In short, doesn’t the driver’s license presume thinking and responsibility too? Think about that when you can avoid a potentially dangerous situation the next time it fills your face.




Bud Hermanson

Penn Valley


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