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Painting lines on roads saves lives

FIFTEEN MINUTES into Alfred Hitchcock’s film “North by Northwest”, Roger Thornhill, the character played by Cary Grant, has a heap of problems. Having been mistaken for another man, he has been kidnapped by two armed thugs and driven out of New York City. The thugs have poured a large bourbon into him and put him behind the wheel of a car, which they have aimed over the edge of a cliff. Thornhill has another problem which heightens the drama. The road’s edge is unmarked.

When “North by Northwest” was released, in 1959, most American roads lacked painted ...

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