only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated areas

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only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated areas

Postby wino2012 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:18 pm

Managing an art car? Only allow experienced, qualified drivers to drive it in populated areas. How do I know this is important?

Last year, I was standing on a 14' high platform when it was narrowly missed by an art car barreling straight towards us at high speed. Apparently, the driver of the art car had decided to impress an attractive young woman (who seemingly had no experience driving a stick shift or large vehicle) by letting her drive the art car on ring I. Bad idea. Then he decided to let her park it next to the platform 15 people were standing on. Worse idea. Then she popped the clutch and it roared straight towards the platform. Potentially fatal outcome for me and many others averted only because the authorized driver seized the wheel at the last second and fortunately was able to dodge into the bar area of the camp where, equally fortunately, no one was standing.

Moral of the story: use common sense. People without experience driving large vehicles should not be allowed to drive them in areas where potential victims are present. Ditto for people who don't know how to drive a stick. I'm not advocating the use of any part of the playa for newbie driver training, but if you absolutely must, do it in the *deep* playa in broad daylight after making absolutely sure that no one else is anywhere near.

Art cars are one of the most common causes of the (relatively rare) fatalities at Burning Man. Don't make the problem worse. You can't attend next year's burn if you're spending time in prison for vehicular manslaughter. This has been a public service notice.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:31 am

You did report this to DMV and the Rangers at the time, I hope. These reports go into the MV database, and would be an issue before issueing another license.

Oh, and I don't think that the number of on playa fatalities is large enough for us to make any real statistical conclusions.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby trilobyte » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:31 am

All anecdotal cautionary tales and scare-mongering aside, mutant vehicle builders/owners should only allow experienced, responsible, and safe drivers operate their vehicles ANYWHERE on the playa, period. Vehicles (especially larger ones) should also have spotters, including spotters on the ground where necessary, assisting the driver in navigating through the city (either on the streets or the open playa). That's not only common sense, but it's part of the guidelines all MV's agree to in getting a license to operate on the playa.

There have been fatalities related to mutant vehicles, but it is not one of the most common causes.

As always, if you witness a vehicle driving above the 5mph limits or operating unsafely, do something! Say something to bring it to the attention of the driver/crew. If they ignore you, take a picture. Ideally, try and grab a picture of the MV license tag, which should be on the rear of the vehicle. That info can be shared with Black Rock Rangers or the DMV, who will then investigate and proceed from there.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby BRCDMV » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:01 am

All,

As Trilobyte noted...if you have ANY negative interaction with a Mutant or Disability Vehicle at Burning Man, PLEASE report it to the Ranger and DMV. If possible, get the MV or DV License number (on the reflective sticker on the rear left bumper of the vehicle) to help in identifying

The DMV takes Mutant Vehicle safety on the playa VERY seriously. One of the core rules of licensing is that Mutant Vehicle owners operate their vehicles safely. If they don't, their vehicle can be (and have been) impounded for the duration of the event and denied licensing in the future.

If you have any incidents to report after the event, you can do so by sending an email to dmv@burningman.com

Sincerely,

-Chef Juke for the DMV Council
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:26 am

I have to second ground spotters. We had a large bus MV in '02. People would ride their bikes toward the moving vehicle then veer away at the last moment. I had to pull one out of the way who did that, skidded and laid the bike and herself down about two feet in front of the rolling front wheel. Most MV drivers I found very responsible, but you have to anticipate very erratic behavior in everyone around you. Ground spotting can be stressful, rotate your spotters and make sure they are in the clearest of mind. Give the driver a break or rotate too.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby maladroit » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:13 pm

Allowing your mutant vehicle to be driven by someone under the influence will get your DMV license pulled, not to mention whatever the police will do on top of that.

If you don't have someone whom you trust completely already lined up to drive your MV, then at least make sure that any random strangers you allow to drive your vehicle are ones that you've kept under constant observation for the previous 12 hours so that you know whether they've been altering their body chemistry.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby VultureChow » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:34 pm

some seeing eye wrote:I have to second ground spotters. We had a large bus MV in '02. People would ride their bikes toward the moving vehicle then veer away at the last moment.


You couldn't PAY me to drive an MV out there. Sat in the passenger seat for a few trips and the behavior you described, the retarded chicken game people play? I though people were genuinely trying to kill themselves a few times.

It reminded me of the dash cam video of Russians trying to deliberately get hit by cars.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:16 pm

VultureChow wrote:You couldn't PAY me to drive an MV out there. Sat in the passenger seat for a few trips and the behavior you described, the retarded chicken game people play? I though people were genuinely trying to kill themselves a few times.

I agree. I've driven out there, but could hardly call it fun. And I'm not driving an mv. Sometimes I wonder what it's like to spend all that time and money to build one, and then get there and find out what a pain it truly is...
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby andy » Thu May 15, 2014 11:39 am

I actually left an art car one year because I thought the driver was semi-intentionally getting too close to peds and cyclists and didn't want to be on board if he ran someone over.

I've seen too many art cars where I wonder how the driver can even see people or bikes in front of him. Maybe large art cars should be required to have a "lead bike" when on city streets.

I would also like to see art cars required to turn off the sound when they stop within the city (and use no sound on city streets after some reasonable hour, like 1 or 2 am). I've seen many cars stop at intersections for 15 minutes with blaring sound, which is not fair to the nearby camps that are trying to create their own look and feel.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby Dr Helix » Thu May 15, 2014 12:05 pm

I stopped cruising my MV at night because it's just too crazy. Doesn't seem to matter how illuminated you are, people don't see you (or at least claim not to). If I go out at night it's usually deep playa and NEVER on city streets. I usually get up early and cruise around picking up zombies or folks just wore out. It's beautiful in the morning and WAY less folks to worry about.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu May 15, 2014 12:10 pm

There ARE rules about having spotters for large MVs that lack adequate visibility for the driver.
And as for requiring sound turned off in the city or after certain hours, where the hell do you think you are, a KOA campground?
It's just an issue of familiarity. In the regular world I maneuver huge crane trucks through crowded city streets full of pedestrians, bikes, cars, tree branches, power lines, etc. and I find MV driving in BRC easy and relaxing and stress free. If your normal experience doesn't include anything bigger than a passenger car, you might find piloting some large MV more intimidating.

But having said that, the general point is a good one.
Whoever let that incident happen needs to lose their DMV license privileges. I guess I'm guilty, I've let unqualified people drive mine (Elliot HAHAHAHA)
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby unjonharley » Thu May 15, 2014 12:16 pm

If there is a MV that is not acting reasonable.. Speak to the DMV.. You would be surprised how reasonable a MV can get after a bout with the DMV..

In years passed, I have seen MV with 6 flat tires.. You do not just pump up 6 truck tires..

The best story is.. I'm sleeping middle of the night.. Mv stops for a potty break right in front of our camp.. The music could be heard for miles around.. Grandfather (my camp mate) growls very loud.. "Shut that fucking thing off" Some smart mouth from the MV.. Grandfather,all 6 ft plus shinny old 80+, naked and mad.. Started out of his van.. I jump up figuring I would get my ass kicked backing him up.. He come flying out of that van saying some very unkind things.. ANd the music died.. I rolled over and went back to sleep..
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:10 am

Sure many of you have heard or will hear we have lost another burner to a MV accident. A friend of mine witnessed the accident in 2003 and it was very tough on them. Whenever this happens new rules will come into play for future years. Of course now we extend our hearts to her, her family, friends, lovers and campmates.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:31 am

The Lampman incident resulted in rules about hitch areas being well-lit, and this one may result in something after the details of what happened and how are made public, but unless I'm forgetting something (quite possible) we did go ten years without a similar incident. The existing rules about speed, driver visibility or spotters, lighting, and sobriety are pretty good ones.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby Canoe » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:30 am

some seeing eye wrote:Sure many of you have heard or will hear we have lost another burner to a MV accident. ...Of course now we extend our hearts to her, her family, friends, lovers and campmates.

http://blog.burningman.com/2014/08/news ... n-event-2/
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby Thecatman » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:30 pm

some seeing eye wrote: Of course now we extend our hearts to her, her family, friends, lovers and campmates.


I heard about it on KOH, the news station in Reno. Even the Pershing County S.O. expressed condolences to everyone.
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:22 pm

It really sucks... she will become part of Burning Man history, she will go out in fame and glory, but it still would have been better for her to go home with great stories and live another 50 years. I don't know what I'd do if the First Mate went up in the Temple...
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Re: only let qualified drivers drive art cars in populated a

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:47 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:It really sucks... she will become part of Burning Man history, she will go out in fame and glory, but it still would have been better for her to go home with great stories and live another 50 years.

Thank you, Captain. So much of my response to similar ideas in 2003.
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