Last Clear Chance- Driver's Ed Done Right

Driver's Ed

You know what’s the best thing about old Driver Safety films? It’s that they are typically filled with cool old cars. The other awesomeness they possess is their earnest and usually hokey dialog. This 1959 film, Last Clear Chance, by the Union Pacific Railroad is no exception. It’s felled with squeaky clean characters and peppered with lines like if everyone was that careful all the time, well… a lot of people in the cemetery wold be alive today. This admonition ignores the fact that those people’d still be buried and I think I’d take getting hit by a train over that.

Still, this film has a lot of common sense lessons for drivers, no matter how quaint and goofy thee presentation. Of course that’s not what we’re here to see, it’s all the awesome iron, and this flick is filled with it. From the opening funeral procession to even an Allis Chalmers Tractor, there’s pretty much something for everyone here. At just over 25 minutes, it is a bit long, but if you have the time, it’s well worth it for the trip down memory lane, just remember to stop at all the RR crossings along the way.

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Source: YouTube

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12 responses to “Last Clear Chance- Driver's Ed Done Right”

  1. frankiess Avatar

    Much better with the MST3K commentary.

  2. julkinen Avatar

    [youtube Naix-f6KSIg youtube]
    It's also pretty good as a MST3K version.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      "They're communists!" – great!

  3. Gooberpeaz Avatar

    Just wait until the kids get something called a "cell phone". Big fun for everyone!

    1. Joe Btfsplk Avatar
      Joe Btfsplk

      My daughter went to a safe driving class to reduce her insurance cost. The instructor said that "faxing" while driving is almost as bad as drinking. She has not faxed in her car since.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        But telexing while driving is still alright, isn't it?

  4. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Never find out if you can outrun a train. My grandmother used to live near a railroad crossing, for freight trains, with lights and automatic gates in a city. The trains weren't really going all that fast. There would be fatal accidents about every couple of months.

  5. FЯeeMan Avatar

    My step dad used to work for the Union Pacific. There are very few engineers who haven't killed someone because they thought they could beat the train, or that the train would stop for them.
    A string of 100 empty 100 ton hopper cars takes a mile to stop, even when it's moving pretty slowly. Load 'em up, accelerate (eventually) to 50 mph, and you have a 5+ mile stopping distance.

  6. Kris_01 Avatar

    That's pretty gnarly – EMD E8s when they were still in service. Love those twin 567s and that dual note air horn. That said, I'm more partial to an Alco PA.

  7. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    When you come to a railroad, stop and figger: "In case of a tie, the engine's bigger." A little rhyme that has stuck with me since long before I could drive.
    There were several givens when travelling in a car with my parents when I was a kid. At railroads, we would recite this little rhyme, and whenever we smelled a skunk, we'd break into a chorus of Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road."
    [youtube CxgagXVqZZM youtube]

  8. dukeisduke Avatar

    The cop is played by William Boyett, who played cops in the later Dragnet series, and Adam-12. He later played a guy whose body is taken over by an alien and then goes on a killing spree, in The Hidden, with Kyle McLachlan.
    In high school in the mid '70s we had to watch gory car crash films like the legendary Signal 27 (made by the Ohio Highway Patrol), as a part of our classroom part of Drivers Ed. Those films mixed dramatization with footage from the results of real fatal car crashes. Not my favorite part of Driver's Ed.

  9. mseoul Avatar

    Unbelievable collection of great cars in that film, from the Studebaker pick-up to an Edsel, 59 Buick, the AH 3000 (which everyone must gave thought would be the death car), etc.