All That's Trucking

Dust storms as poetry

June 14, 2012

You're not a Jedi / This is not Tatooine, Luke / Pull over now, man.



Several haikus like this one grabbed my attention on Twitter this week. Haiku, composed of a mere 17 syllables, in three successive lines of five, seven and five syllables, is a poetical form perfectly suited to Twitter. It's a lot of fun, and you don't even have to worry about finding rhymes.

Now the Arizona DOT is using haiku as a way to raise awareness of the potentially deadly dust storms that plague the state during the summer months, known as haboobs (the Arabic word for strong wind). These blinding, blowing dust storms cause reduced visibility to near zero, creating unexpected and unsafe conditions on state highways. Dust-related crashes occur most years, particularly along the I-10 corridor between Phoenix and Tucson.

As part of its "Pull Aside, Stay Alive" awareness campaign, the state DOT created a "Haboob Haiku" challenge. If you're game, post your Haboob Haiku creation on Twitter with the hashtag #HaboobHaiku. Let's get some trucking-related ones out there!

Here's mine:




"The key message is pull over and come to a stop - don't think you can just drive through a dust storm," said ADOT Director John Halikowski. "Avoiding driving through a dust storm is the best safety tip. But we know these storms can strike hard and fast, reducing visibility to zero. In those cases, drivers need to pull as far off the roadway as possible and wait for the dust to clear."

UPDATE: My tweet made the top #HaboobHaiku list! Vote at bit.ly/PIw6dq

ADOT also has established the website www.PullAsideStayAlive.org with driver tips, and created the following video: