You've driven over those rumble strips along the side of the highway.

You know what I mean. You're motoring along, enjoying the scenery, almost in a kind of a...daze. And then you hear it, the 'thump, thump, thump, thump' of that right side tire bumping along over the rumble strips.

You snap back to attention and get back smack dab in the center of your lane. Once again, those rumble strips have done their job. They've kept you safe. And you can largely thank a fella from right here in the Sioux Empire.

Ed Gritters was a guy from Woodstock, Minnesota. Now, if you're not sure where Woodstock is, think the Pipestone area. It's a great small town right over there. Ed left Woodstock and moved out to California to teach school, but in 1953, the school closed and Ed had to find a new job.

And find a new job he did, with the California Department of Transportation. And that was just about the time the Interstate Highway System was getting started.

Now, without getting all super detailed (you can do that here thanks to the Pipestone County Star)in the 1970's some experimental rumble strips were being tested, but they were way too expensive. And it was thanks to Woodstock, Minnesota's Ed Gritters that the decision was made to imprint them instead of constructing them. And while that may not seem revolutionary, it kind of was. It took the cost down from $100,000 a mile to $1,000.

And thanks to our Sioux Empire friend Ed, they became known as 'Gritters Jitters'.

And undoubtedly, they've saved thousands of lives. Maybe mine and yours.



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