Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sun Glare While Driving – May 2016

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving, and traffic safety in general. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

RT Walk Toronto @Walk_TO It's time to take action on road safety: Keenan | Toronto Star

On Tuesday, according to the Twitter feed of the Toronto Police Operations Centre, at least seven cyclists and pedestrians were hit by cars. It seems like perhaps a traffic safety campaign of some kind might be overdue. 

Not the kind where we remind pedestrians not to cross on a yellow light or demand that cyclists wear helmets and cease rolling through stop signs. As Toronto Police, to their credit, seem to have noticed recently, based on their own safety information, that kind of safety warning doesn’t do much to keep anyone very safe as popular as it is with callers on talk radio.

It’s hard to know, for instance, what kind of “protect yourself” advice would have helped the woman who was unlocking her bike near a tree Tuesday in the cobblestone pedestrian zone of the Distillery District when a car jumped the curb, plowed her and the tree over, and came to a stop with her pinned beneath it. It seems pretty clear that no amount of reflective clothing would have saved the woman killed last week when an SUV crashed through the wall of a dance studio in the Beaches and mowed her down while she was taking a class. That was one of at least seven incidents — I stopped counting — in the past month where cars plowed into buildings…

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Sun Glare Blamed for School-Rush Traffic Accident | Big Apple Radio

Sun glare is blamed for an accident Thursday during the morning traffic rush for school.

Jesse Brown, 74, was driving a pickup truck west on First Avenue while Diane Schreiter, 55, of Nebraska City had her Jeep parked at the stop sign on 10th Street.

Schreiter told investigators she looked east, but did not see the truck approaching. She pulled out into the path of the truck resulting in a front-end collision on both vehicles…

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Turning into sun glare very dangerous >

Pedestrian hit by car via @WboolStandard

Sun glare is believed to be a factor at an accident at Dennington on Monday morning.

Warrnambool police Sergeant Pamela Nix said a 51-year-old female driver turned right from Lindsay Street into Raglan Parade and collided with an elderly man who was crossing the road...

“She turned with the traffic lights and as she’s turned there’s been sun glare,” Sergeant Nix said…

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RT Barrie Police @BarriePolice Motorists & Pedestrians must adhere to road signals. Safety is everyone's responsibility! Canada Road Safety Week

RT Ghana Road Safety @NRSCGhana Engineering and Road Safety are bedfellows

Despite their size, school buses seem to be involved in a disproportionate number of ‘sun glare’ related crashes.

RT North East Tribune @NE_Tribune 30 pupils injured in school bus crash

According to EMER-G-MED. upwards of 30 school children have been injured this morning after a collision involving a school bus and a light delivery vehicle on the corners of Lennox and Campbell in Waverley – north of Johannesburg. 

At about 7:30am EMER-G-MED dispatched multiple ambulances as well as response vehicles to the scene.

It’s believed that the delivery vehicle stopped at the stop street and when taking off failed to see the oncoming bus due to the sun’s glare. The two vehicles then collided…

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Marina Heights State Farm building causes blinding glare for drivers | via @abc15

Many have complained about it -- the blinding glare from the new the Marina Heights office complex, also known as the State Farm building in Tempe. 

Rush hour is the peak time for the intense reflection. It had traffic slowed to a crawl on Loop 202 Wednesday evening.

According to a city spokesperson, the transit and transportation staff doesn't believe the glass building causes hazardous driving conditions and there is no plan at this time to rectify it...

 Blinding light blamed for fatal crash at Rocky Cape in June 2014 | Mercury

Blinding sunlight has been blamed for a fatal three-car crash in northern Tasmania that claimed the life of teacher’s aide Gloria Theresa Thorpe.

In June 2014, Ms Thorpe, 57, was one of three passengers in a car travelling along the Bass Highway, at Rocky Cape, when the driver’s sight was affected by afternoon glare.

The car ran into the rear of another vehicle before spearing into an oncoming 4WD.

“Unfortunately, the crash causing Ms Thorpe’s death was caused by the unexpected sudden appearance of blinding sunlight,” coroner Olivia McTaggart said in her findings, handed down today…

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Sun glare suspected cause of helicopter crash >

Aviation safety investigations & reports

Collision with terrain involving Robinson R22 helicopter, VH-HRW, 63 km NNE of Mitchell, Qld on 28 May 2015 | Australian Transport Safety Bureau

On 28 May 2015, the pilot of a Robinson 22 helicopter, registered VH-HRW, was engaged in aerial mustering operations about 63 km north-north-east of Mitchell, Queensland. Late in the afternoon the helicopter’s tail rotor struck the branch of a 7 m-high dead and defoliated tree, the pilot lost control of the helicopter and it collided with terrain. The helicopter was destroyed and the pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. 

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that the pilot was appropriately qualified and flying due west in a serviceable helicopter at low level. The sun was to the north-west and about 13°–15° above the horizon at that time. The helicopter’s tail rotor collided with the upper branch of an isolated tree. That collision separated a portion of the tail rotor blades, leading to the remainder of the tail rotor and the helicopter’s horizontal and vertical stabilisers and tail rotor gearbox also separating. The pilot could not control the helicopter and it collided with terrain.

Given the conditions, it is likely that sun glare and the darkened backdrop of a tree-lined dry creek bed affected the pilot’s vision and perception, and therefore ability to identify the isolated tree…

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Read our weekly news summary “Sun Glare and Driving” at:

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – May 2016

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, and to specific projects with sun/shade issues in particular. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

The Last Great Debate Over Skyscraper Shadows - @NYMag

It's official: Downtown Brooklyn will soon look a little bit more like Dubai. Michael Stern's 73-story building at 9 DeKalb Avenue, designed by SHoP Architects and incorporating the air rights of the Dime Savings Bank, will reach 1,066 feet into the sky. Plenty of freaked-out Brooklynites have taken affront. But when Crain's wrote about it, one of the first commenters’ main concerns was simply whether "thought's gone into where the shadow's cast."

Ah, yes, the old shadow argument. It’s trotted out every time plans emerge for a tall tower — and has been since 1916, when the sunlight-blocking Equitable Building downtown led to the creation of New York’s first zoning code…

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Check out our weekly news summary

“Sun, Shadow & Urban Development” at

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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – May 2016

The following are miscellaneous sun, shade, solar and solar energy facts and comments. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

Our monthly sunrise/sunset tables have been updated.

Fort McMurray sunrise/sunset table for May 2016 showing rise/set times and number of hours of daylight

Need help planning your visit to the Olympics?

How much daylight will there be?

Sunrise & Sunset Times – Rio2016


Sunrise Time-lapse from the International Space Station | NASA

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RT Jeff Williams @Astro_Jeff: Good Morning! Sunrise bursting on the scene followed by beautiful ocean sun glint. We get 16 of these every day!

> @NASA @Astro_Jeff @Space_Station I'm quite happy with one sunrise per day. Can't imagine how cool 16 would be.

Cheers, Ralph