The Woman Who Drew the Line


You've probably never heard of Dr. June McCarroll, but she's truly a woman who left her mark on the world. Born in Nebraska, she was a general practitioner who lived in California. Interestingly enough, her claim to fame lies outside the world of medicine. An accident was the trigger that got her thinking about making our highways safer. Her car was sideswiped, and she determined to do something about cars that crowded others off the road.

Driving on a road that bulged down its centre, Dr. McCarroll noticed that the bulge helped to keep motorists on their own side of the road. That gave her an idea. She tried persuading the town council to "paint a line down the middle of the road" to set an example and "lead the nation in public safety."

She got the typical bureaucratic response. However, she was someone who would not take no for an answer. So she took her idea to the local women's club. The vote was unanimous in support of the project. Still, she continued to face bureaucratic stubbornness for seven long years before her idea was implemented.

In 1924 the California Highway Commission agreed to experiment with a centreline on two sections of Route 99. Accidents on both test stretches diminished dramatically, and soon the entire state boasted McCarroll lines on its highways. Most of the world has since followed suit. Message: When you conceive an idea in which you fervently believe, go after that idea, especially if people you respect believe it's a good one.

Author unknown. If anyone has a proprietary interest in this story please authenticate and I will be happy to credit, or remove, as the circumstances dictate.

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