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Christopher Greaves

Belleville, No Brakes

So there I was, driving westwards from Belleville with the sun in my eyes.

I decided to get behind, and well back from, a large truck which was barreling along at the speed limit.

After about 20 kilometers I called him up on the CB radio, “Your brake lights aren’t working”.

“Do you see them now?”, he replied, as his brake lights lit up.

“Sure!”

“Why’d you think they weren’t working?”

Well I hadn’t see them come on in the last 20 minutes or so”.

“That’s because I hadn’t used my brakes!”.

I sank into silent-feeling-stupid reflection and continued to safely tail the truck all the way across the top of Toronto and down Highway 427 until he jumped off for the QEW, at which time I thanked him for the safe ride and continued on home.

Here’s what I thought:

Truck drivers generally get paid by the mile, so it is in their best fiscal interest to cover as much distance as possible in the shortest time, and this driver had taken me right across the top of Toronto in the express lanes of the 401 without ever tapping his brakes.

Two hours high-speed driving, without braking.

I figured that he knew more than I did.

And it certainly had been a pleasant trip, just bopping along in the right hand lane, sometimes slowing a bit, but never needing to brake, and certainly not coming to an aggravating stop in heavy traffic.

Hmm.

I began to observe truck drivers more closely on my daily trips along Ontario’s controlled-access multi-lane highways.

It seemed to me that the smoothest drivers, the ones who were the most relaxing to drive with, were those who rarely or never braked.

How could this be?


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Toronto, Friday, August 14, 2015 12:53 PM

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