Ducks are returning to our streets as of today. Ducks were approved for road use during World War 2, so due to inertia they remain street legal today. The fact that their new mission is to amuse tourists and that they’re going to crush Wallingfordians instead of Nazis and their allies is irrelevant.
The specifics of the accident on Aurora are being addressed, just like specifics from several previous fatal accidents have been addressed. These are the latest changes:
- The vehicles will take the Fremont Bridge and Ballard Bridge instead of the Aurora bridge
- There will be two vehicle operators instead of one- a driver and a separate narrator
- For now only the vehicles with newer axle designs called “Truck Ducks” will be used, “Stretch Ducks” like the one on Aurora are still be re-certified
- There’s new driver training- the vehicles started practice runs this past Wednesday, but it’s unclear when they’ll start back up with tourists.
It’s enough to prevent an exact repeat of what happened on Aurora, but should the things be legal at all? The vehicles still have no bumpers and visibility is lousy for congested roadways shared with cyclists and pedestrians. There’s no modern safety equipment or fail safe systems. It’s a lot of risk to take for vehicles that only serve to truck around tourists while contributing to congestion and pollution problems.