Police, trucker and motorist awareness survey

As it is taking a while for universities or researchers to commit to undertaking a definitive study on the Tri-Color Triangle ™ and its effectiveness under controlled conditions, Safety Psychographics has generated a survey to gauge the effectiveness of the T-C T in real-world situations. Hard copies of this survey have been distributed to select police departments in our area of Northern Indiana, and now we invite other police departments’ officers, truckers and regular motorists to also participate in this project. Real-world observations, while not quantifiable, do obviously count for something and can often be a truer reflection* on a development’s effectiveness than strictly laboratory conditions. We anticipate that some usable answers and observations from the hard copy and e-mail feedback forms of this survey will shed additional light on our product’s efficacy in use and aid in its acceptance and usage, as well as help to make clear our case in ongoing matters of regulation and standards.

Please open your email account in another window to “compose” and simply enter your numbered answers to our numbered questions, including any elaborations on your answers as they are relevant or you see fit.

Our email address is:    safetypsychographics@gmail.com

It would be helpful for any law enforcement officers doing this survey to also include your department’s name, location and your position in it. Thank you sincerely for your help in this and look on this site in the future for the answers we collect to appear for your information. Below, before the questions start, is the text that accompanied the hard copies of the survey as already distributed to various police departments.

Real-world criteria observational and anecdotal survey on the Tri-Color Triangle ™ in use by Amish buggies, as reported by law enforcement, truckers and motorists

This is a survey being taken among the law enforcement officers, truck drivers and motorists who traverse local areas where a percentage of Amish and Mennonite buggies are traveling that are displaying the new style of Slow Moving Vehicle emblem that is known as the Tri-Color Triangle ™… the new style that utilizes three extra wide yellow-green (“safety green”) stripes around outside of the regular red borders of these common farm and buggy triangles.

This survey is above and beyond (and will probably be more telling and useful than) any studies that are planned on the effectiveness of the Tri-Color Triangle ™ that have been proposed lately but have not yet come about, owing to typical slowness in undertaking formal research. Real-life anecdotal and specific reports on the usage of this triangle under actual road conditions will go far to support the common-sense claims of effectiveness of this safety development. As the majority of these new triangles at this point are being used on buggies, and additionally that these buggies are much less noticeable otherwise than large pieces of farm equipment, and are on the roads day and night under all conditions, the results of this survey that is geared to them specifically will undoubtedly be of more use than just the controlled conditions that will be encountered in the university studies when they occur. These buggies and the riders in them are arguably more vulnerable and are out there in larger numbers in this area than farm equipment, and protecting them in any way possible is obviously a priority for all involved.

We, the developers, makers and distributors of the Tri-Color Triangle ™ thank you in advance for your help and cooperation in taking the time to participate in this survey and can assure you that the results and the reports that will be generated from it will go far to promote safety thinking and practices in this area of traffic concern that, for buggies especially, has experienced far too many traffic accidents and fatalities to date that can be made more preventable from the use of this fairly simple triangle development. Thank you again for helping to advance safety among this vulnerable horse-drawn population by participating in filling out this survey. (Thanks also to the {Amish} Nappanee Safety Awareness Group for their having thrice invited us to participate in the annual Safety Day events)

Survey Questions

  1. Have you noticed any Amish/Mennonite buggies in this area (or others) for the last number of years that have had this new style Tri-Color Triangle ™ on it?
  1. If so, what areas did you see these new triangles being used in and were they seen on U.S. highways, state highways or county roads?

(please also indicate the general speed limit of those road types and what you were going)

  1. If so, was it during the daytime, dusk or at night (or more than one of these lighting conditions)? If you have observed these new triangles in use more than once, please go into as much detail as you can on for each instance (within reason).
  1. Did you see the new triangle from farther away than you would normally have if it had been just a standard triangle (in your opinion)?

(again, please indicate the road types and conditions if observed more than once)

  1. Did you notice the new triangle better than you would have had it been a standard triangle (in your opinion… did it stand out more visually, catch your eye more effectively)?
  1. Did you recognize either instantly or soon enough that it was basically a variation of the standard SMV triangles that you have seen before?


  1. When you first saw this new type of triangle, was it different enough that you did not realize that it was a new type of slow moving vehicle triangle… either at a distance or even up close? If this was the case, did this difference cause you to not slow down until you saw the shape of the buggy itself?
  1. Have you ever noticed a visibility difference between a percentage of buggies that are using a duller, reddish-orange plastic triangle versus those using a non-faded standard SMV triangle that is regulation fluorescent? (This difference would be a lesser visibility of the orange section by day and dusk, and a less-bright showing up of the red border stripes at night; both deficiencies revealing themselves most dramatically at a distance.)
  1. If you have indeed noticed these reddish-orange plastic triangles, were you aware that they are not only less effective but are actually illegal because they are not fluorescent in the center triangle area? (the fluorescence providing a needed extra safety element for visibility and required by standards; these plastic triangles also do not have an attached certification for meeting such standards)

for law enforcement only

  1. If you have been aware that these plastic triangles are illegal (and ineffective), have you ever stopped the drivers of such buggies to make them aware of the above facts and  told them how they are putting themselves, their passengers and the motoring public at unnecessary risk by using them?
  1. If not, would you consider doing so in the future in the interest of their (and the motorists’ safety?

*pun intended, especially considering the confusion on the part of the ASABE between “reflective” and “retro-reflective.”