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Transportation: Caravan?

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Yah, all things in moderation, eh?   Traveling together can be a much safer way to go up here on remote roads in the winter time (or for you folks in hot desert areas in da summer). One vehicle th

Personal story - actually happened. The troop I served prior to my current one convoyed. Period. Until...we were on our way to Shiloh, TN and approached a four way intersection with a stop light. Scout cars 1,2,and 3 go, light turns red. Scout 4 car runs red light and almost gets broadsided by a semi. Scout 5 car was me - tail-gun Charlie, so to speak, stopped at the light with gaping jaw.


When we next pulled over, scout 4 car driver says, "I was concentrating so hard on staying with the car in front of me, I didn't even see the light."


I don't know what they do now, but for awhile they quit convoying.


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Convoying to me is what I used to do when I was a kid. I had a job during the week that was 150 miles from where I lived. I came home on weekends and returned to work early Monday morning. The speed limit back then was 75 miles an hour. A convoy consisted of a line of vehicles traveling closely together at speeds of 90 miles an hour and above. We were like a long snake that sometimes consisting of 20 or more vehicles all equipped with CB radios. We did not pass each other but stayed in line. I now look back on it and realize it was not the best thing to have done, but it was a common occurence and people did not have the distraction of cell phones and texting. When you use a CB radio you just pick a the "Mic", press the button and start talking to anybody on that frequency. Of course a certian channel was used by all those people in the convoy. I think it was channel 19. Everbody traveling used it. You did not have the distraction of having to have to dial up anyone. If you had to pull over or make a pit stop you simply keyed the "Mic" and let everybody know what you where doing.

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Convoy - Caravan...


The problem, as Vicki described, and as I've personally experienced, is trying to keep up with (or keep in sight) other vehicles. This is how accidents occur.


Vehicles will inevitably travel at different speeds due to road conditions, other vehicles, driver habits and abilities, and a host of other variable factors. Trying to keep up with other vehicles, or even to keep them in sight, can force the driver to put road conditions and other vehicles as secondary considerations.


I understand the issues of breakdowns and accidents and the need to support each other. We usually have an "omega" car that stays behind everyone else, including the trailer, just in case anything happens. But we do not worry if we loose sight of each other as we all have maps and know where we are going.


Better than trying to keep everyone in the group within sight, have per agreed upon meeting points along the route such as a rest area or fast food joint just off the highway. This way the group can stop and ensure everyone is ok before heading off again.


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Trying to keep up with other vehicles, or even to keep them in sight, can force the driver to put road conditions and other vehicles as secondary considerations.


Yah, seems like this is a problem with da driver's judgment, not the notion of the buddy system. I reckon that a driver that uses that kind of poor judgment or is so easily distracted by tryin' to keep a car in sight is also going to be distracted by the things kids do in the back seat, etc. Sometimes yeh just need to choose not to use bad drivers for longer trips, eh?


I understand the issues of breakdowns and accidents and the need to support each other.... But we do not worry if we loose sight of each other as we all have maps and know where we are going.


Thing is, even people with maps get lost or make a wrong turn and such, especially when yeh get out on rural or forest service roads that aren't all that well marked, eh? Lots of places like that in my state, and lots of those little roads will take the lost car somewhere bad this time of year. No cell coverage. Little other vehicle traffic. No fast food joints to hang out in while yeh wait for da lost vehicle that never shows. Those are da areas with great wilderness for scouts. In the western states, it's even better.


There's a reason for da buddy system, eh? ;)


Now, if all you're doin' is drivin' to an easily accessible campground near the major roads with solid cell coverage for every carrier, it ain't as big an issue. Yeh still should probably give each driver da health and permission slips for every boy, and put at least one older boy who can deal with a driver problem in each vehicle. But then I've been around long enough to have heard all da stories of drivers gettin' sick, having heart attacks, getting in accidents, having kids develop appendicitis or have flare-ups of underlying medical conditions and the like. And I've had friends on a couple of scenes where families gettin' lost and stuck in our winter wildlands almost didn't make it.


Just a month ago, heard of troop where the adult driver started havin' a heart attack. Scout with only his learner's permit took over and drove the car to the hospital. Good for the lad, eh? But pretty scary. Sure would have liked to have seen some other support for him handy.


I'm not in favor of convoys, mind. But there are lots of areas in da country where it's worthwhile stayin' together. Drivin', after all, is the most dangerous thing we do in scoutin'. It's nice to have a buddy nearby.


Beavah(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Whether you call it a caravan or convoy, its not a good idea. Each driver should be focused on the road and not with keeping up with the group. The safety of the scouts come first. There may be benefits to a traveling in a convoy, but these are outweighed by the risks.


As a leader, I discouraged traveling in a caravan and instead tried to give out good driving directions. I learned that this information needed to be in three forms: a visual map, written direction with mileages and a reference to visual landmarks. I paid particular attention to the last mile or so, where people needed the most details.


Not that everyone followed my directions to the letter: some drivers don't like traffic lights, interstates, certain bridges, toll roads, etc. People have the favorite way of getting somewhere.


Sometimes, even after taking our own routes, we would all arrive at our destination within five minutes of each other. Even with making pit stops along the way - go figure.


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