A Matter of Safety

Several months ago I was enjoying an early morning drive in my 1955 MGTF. The weather was perfect T-Car weather, cool but dry and sunny. As I started to brake to a stop at a set of traffic signals I heard a screech of brakes behind me. I immediately glanced in my rear view mirror and braced for the impact. Fortunately no impact but my rear view mirror was filled with the image a large pickup truck. The next thing I knew the driver jumped out of his cab and started to berate me yelling "Your brake lights don't work", with a few expletives thrown in for emphasis. Of course they worked as I check them in the darkened garage before I go out for a run. Clearly 'Truck Man' was not paying attention. By the time he approached my MG I was in neutral with the hand-brake on and my foot off the brake pedal as the particular lights had a long cycle-time and had just turned red. This reinforced his theory that my brake-lights didn't work.
'Truck Guy' was a large guy so I thought it was not sensible to start to argue with him and eventually he retreated back to his truck after his tantrum subsided.
The incident did concern me at the time as I know that the T-Car brake lights are not too bright and on a sunny day are not easily seen. So when I arrived home I did another check of the brake-lights, both still working of course, but decided I needed to add a third brake-light as a Matter of Safety. After searching on the Internet I didn't find anything that appealed to me and was easy to fit. I went for the Third Brake-light in the MOSS catalogue. It duly arrived and I put it in a drawer in the garage with the intent to install it within a few days.
After several months passed I got out of bed one morning and thought "What can I work on on one of the MGs today". The third brake-light came to mind. The first problem was where have I put it. I had totally revamped the garage with new draws and cabinets in the meantime. I spent a couple of hours searching and eventually found it. How do I fit it? Perhaps I should have thought about that before I spent my money. My T-Car is positive ground, will the LEDs work?
Looking at "T-Car" it seemed that to hang it from the Luggage Rack made sense but in a manner that does not interfere with any items on the rack.
So as a temporary setup I hung it from one of the bars on the luggage rack as shown in the photograph. The power supply is tapped into the appropriate two connectors feeding the rear light cluster. The power cable is threaded up the tube supporting the rack and pops out at the vent hole in the rack added during manufacture to vent out the gases during welding. The setup is clunky and temporary. I will drill the cross tube on the rack and thread the power feed through the cross tube, drill and tap the tube for longer screws and make a more professional job of mounting the light. I will drill and tap the light mounting pedestal and make a more professional looking setup.
Of course it will likely be several months into the future before I get around to the refit! In the meantime I am very happy with the result. The 'Third Brake-light' is as bright and as easy to see as those on any modern car so I feel a little more safe when I hit the brakes in traffic. Hmmm, should I duplicate the light on the other side of the rack? Perhaps when I run out of things to work on.
My 'fantasy project' is to fit a high power laser that will evaporate any vehicle that appears not to brake in time and is considered a potential fender bender. In the meantime my Third, very bight, Brake-light will be my immediate safety feature to forewarn vehicles behind that I am braking and try not to rear-end me. Sadly, it doesn't generate sufficient heat to vaporize the dangerous drivers who like to stop, foot ready to slip off their brake pedal, one foot away from my rear bumper when sitting stationary in heavy traffic!
I added a nice safety feature in a few hours. It is a trivial project but I believe well worth the cost and effort.
Update: I decided to add a Second 'Third Brake Light' on the other side of the rack bar and tied the lights in to work as Directional Indicator lights. The two 'Third Brake Lights' now work effectively as both Stop lights and rear Directional Indicator lights. To alert unwary road users to my driving intentions I now have four operational Stop lights and four operational Direction Indicator lights arrayed on the rear of my TF.
Safety Fast!
The Webmaster.

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