Guy slams into arrow signboard in tunnel, drives off

State Police report this happened early this morning in the O'Neill Tunnel northbound just before the Storrow exit. Look familiar? Call Troop E at 617-946-3008.



Free tagging: 



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- some piece of the arrowboard that broke off and landed on his hood/windshield


- thinking "better leave behind the beer cans at the scene instead of being visible rolling around the floor if I do get stopped"


Possible scenario # 2 is unlikely

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However, it reminds me of what happened when my brother's best friend took his driving test in 1976. He had borrowed his older brother's car (IIRC, a 1972 Chevy Impala) for the test. So he and the examiner get into the car and start off. All went well until they came to an intersection and had to stop for a red light. As he slowed to a stop, several empty beer cans rolled out from under the front seat.

The examiner's only words to my brother's friend were "OK, you've failed. Let's turn around and go back to the Registry."

For the younger people on here, in 1976 the legal drinking age in Massachusetts was 18, and the older brother was responsible for the empty beer cans.


Open containers? No big deal

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Early 80's my friend had an old 70ish Biscayne. He used to clean his dirt weed on a Burger King tray and dump the seeds into the back. Also threw his empties back there. Well, when the weather turned nice he had pot plants sprouting in his bak seat.
It was either this car or another one that had the floorboards rust out and we'd pitch empties through them.

Different times.


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Are not HD and provide a very poor image quality at low resolution.

Also, unlike the 'pay by plate' cameras at the toll gantries

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the general surveillance cameras within the tunnel system and elsewhere are not set up to provide a straight-on view of a vehicle's front or rear bumpers, thus limiting their effectiveness in identifying specific license plates.

IMO, a better idea would be to review camera images showing the front of the car to determine the possible extent of damage, and then issue a BOLO to police departments and auto body shops - similar to what they do in other collisions. After all, trailer mounted arrow boards normally weigh between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds, so it's highly unlikely the SUV survived the collision either unscathed or with insignificant damage.

OK, why not HD?

Why, given the money that was spent to wire the tunnel for cameras, install the cameras, wire and construct a monitoring facility, are the cameras not HD?

Not just the camera

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Not just the camera resolution, but the storage.

The capacity to store how much video from how many cameras and keep it for how long?

Probably cheaper and/or more feasible now, though still not a small matter.


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...they really gaf, they could take the item the individual placed on side when he exited the vehicle and get prints from it. Something tells me this is not a huge priority for them though.


Bet it's a big priority for MassDOT though

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Tracking down the owner of the vehicle will allow them to pursue reimbursement for the destroyed arrow board from the person's insurance company.

And the chartreuse color tells me this was one of MassDOT's boards, and not a private contractor's - which are normally orange.

And your theory about getting prints only works if the idiot has actually been fingerprinted at some point.


It certainly will be for their affirmative recovery department

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Town counsel firms, corporation counsels, city solicitors, and other types of government law departments usually have an affirmative recovery division to file claims against those who damage public property. When someone, say takes out a street light, control box, or tree, etc. as a result of a car accident in Boston, if the info on the driver/accident is available to the City, the affirmative recovery division in the Law Department will make a claim against the driver (usually through the driver's insurance).

At MassDOT, it's called Accident Recovery

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Each of the six District Offices has an Accident Recovery engineer, as does the HQ Office at 10 Park Plaza in Boston.

Most claims are usually handled by the applicable District office. Boston HQ typically doesn't get involved unless the insurance company disputes the circumstances of the collision or the value of the claim.

Per state law, Accident Recovery can only file a claim for the exact value of the highway equipment or fixture that has been damaged or destroyed. Exact value can sometimes very difficult to ascertain, especially in cases of older items like overhead sign trusses that have been in place for 20 or 30 years.

Unlike other states (such as New Hampshire), damage to highway equipment or fixtures in Massachusetts is normally included in a vehicle owner's comprehensive coverage.

Shouldn't it be included in

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Shouldn't it be included in liability coverage -- "damage to someone else's property"?

Comprehensive is if your car is stolen or catches fire.

Does this happen a lot?

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Oddly enough, the one time I had jury duty and was actually impaneled on a case, it was for the exact same thing - someone hitting an arrow sign in a tunnel (this was in the Pru tunnel IIRC). The Commonwealth did not exactly bring their A game to the trial.


Was the driver uninsured?

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Because unless they also injured or killed somebody by driving into the work zone, that's the only way I could see something like this going to trial.

He was accused of drunk

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He was accused of drunk driving. But there was no roadside sobriety test, only the testimony of the trooper who pulled him over - the jury was not convinced. At the last minute I ended up being pulled aside as an alternate juror so I didn't get to deliberate with the others. But I would have agreed. No one was injured.