Documenting the dangers of 'Blood Alley'

If anyone knows the dangers of the open road, it’s truck drivers. Professional drivers spend thousands of hours on the roads each year and they know, and have felt, everything the open road can throw at a driver.

But it’s not always the conditions of the roads that pose the greatest risk. Other motorists represent a significant danger to anyone who makes their living on the road. Some estimates place blame on the driver of a car as much as 80% of the time when it there is a fatality involving a truck.

Of course, crash fatalities involving trucks are just a portion of the overall fatalities on the nation’s roadways each year. Pedestrians are also at risk for a number of reasons, and they are much less protected than anyone inside a vehicle.

Despite this, our state and federal governments continually underfund highway budgets, allowing the nation’s roadways to fall into further disrepair and preventing communities from preventing needless deaths.

But one man, Michel Shane, is trying to change that.

Shane is a filmmaker. You might be familiar with some of his work, if not his name. He was a producer of Catch Me If You Can and I, Robot. But Shane is also a father; a father who lost his daughter to a speeding motorist along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, CA.

Shane’s 13-year-old daughter Emily was walking along the PCH, nicknamed “Blood Alley,” on an April 2010 afternoon, on her way to meeting her father at the designated pickup spot following a slumber party at a friend’s house. She never made it because a speeding motorist left the roadway, striking and killing Emily.

Shane is now trying to use his daughter’s story in a new documentary that will raise the awareness of highway safety.

“Documentaries have created movements, and in creating the documentary, we will identify workable solutions. I’m hoping Emily’s story and the stories of others who have died on Pacific Coast Highway will establish the template for every community cursed with a deadly stretch of highway,” says Shane.

To make the movie, Shane has launched a Kickstarter campaign (Kickstarter is a place where individuals can pledge money toward a project) to fund the project. As of Sunday evening, he had received pledges to fund 90% of the project’s $35,000 goal. The campaign runs through Tuesday, Aug. 20.

(More information on the project is available at Shane’s Kickstarter page here:

“I’ve tried the traditional routes to address the safety issues on the highway, and nothing has happened. Until a person experiences the excruciating pain of losing someone they love more than life, most think as I did – ‘It won’t happen to us,’ ’’ Shane says. “By sharing the story of this highway and the lives it has taken through the most powerful medium I know, we can begin to address every ‘Blood Alley’ in the country.”

Have you traveled down a “Blood Alley?” Let Fleet Owner’s readers know where the most dangerous roads you’ve traveled are. Leave a comment, or tweet them to @truckingtalk.

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