Ray Elliott of Los Gatos, California has been a tow truck driver in the Silicon Valley for more 20 years. He witnesses stupidity on the freeway daily.
Elliott has arrived on the scene of every kind of accident imaginable, sometimes before law enforcement personnel or first responders. He has seen fender benders and death.
As a former paramedic, Elliott has helped saved lives at accidents. He’s seen so much go wrong, he decided years ago to document much of his daily work life on a website titled. idiotsontheinterstate.com.
Elliott is our guest on Episode #60 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.
Co-hosts Bruce Aldrich and James Raia discuss with Elliott his website and its varied video content. The videos are raw and done with Elliott’s smartphone.
Elliott’s opinions often criticize the poor habits of drivers, the public to police officers. Some of the videos are less than one minute in length. Other videos last several minutes.
One video shows Elliott’s tow truck colliding with a van after the latter makes an illegal right-hand turn. Elliott’s reaction is “priceless.” The story behind the accident is explained in the podcast episode.
The Weekly Driver Podcast became aware of Elliott when he sent me a letter after reading one of my Sunday columns in the San Jose Mercury.
The letter began:
“I am a exceptionally experienced tow truck driver in Silicon Valley, and I am the publisher of the website idiotsontheinterstate.com. I see and write about all the crappy engineering that comes my way every day.”
In another section, while commenting on the smart keys/fobs, electric brakes and the overall poor quality of engineering, Elliott wrote:
“I could go on and on about the piss-poor engineering I see on a daily basis. Much of it actually can endanger my life. I have to figure out how to disengage or override theses gizmos in the most dangerous of situations in the most dangerous places. Things that were once simple are now overly complicated and can become very dangerous for both me, the tow driver, and the occupants of the vehicle.”
Elliott doesn’t have advertising on his website. He said he created the site as a public service. And it also provides a way for a veteran tow truck driver to vent.
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