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Todd Dills

Truck safety flames fanned in Ind.; columnist banks dinner with police chief

| April 23, 2012

When Jerry Davich, columnist at the Post-Tribune of Chicago-area Merrillville, Ind., wrote about the case of an Indiana truck-car accident in which a death occurred recently, an area police chief challenged him to sit for an hour at the intersection of U.S. 30 and County Road 500W between Valparaiso and Merillville and count the number of trucks running the red light there on 30.

If the columnist didn’t count “at least five trucks per hour” running the light, the chief said, he’d treat the columnist to the “best dinner that money can buy.” At least that’s how Davich reported the exchange in this interesting follow-up column, written after he took up the challenge.

Davich only counted a single tractor trailer blowing through the intersection as the signal lights flashed from yellow to red, but: “I am convinced it happens much more often after hearing from many daily commuters and neighbors who see it on a daily basis,” Davich wrote.

Not that he’s charging truck drivers with all the safety problems U.S. 30 in Porter County, Ind., may see. In fact, he talked to several about the accident his previous column mentioned, and some of their thoughts on problems in the area led to a dissection of the timing of the lights on the roadway and other factors there contributing to safety. Give Davich’s story a read here, and if you run U.S. 30 regularly, give us your two cents.

  • Brad Coddington

    When I use to run east a lot I always ran US30 and there is no mistaking its a dangerous road. This is a road that should be made into a limited access road in the towns so there are less intersections that need to be controlled with traffic lights I believe this would remedy a lot of what this officer was talking about.Or maybe they could do away with the Indiana toll road this could also remedy the problem without much of a cost to the taxpayers.But I no longer go into Indiana anymore so I’m not sure you would like my two cents worth.

  • Todd Dills

    Yes of course, Brad. Take the tolls on the toll road away, fewer trucks on U.S. 30, eh? Thanks for the commentary, well appreciated.

  • John Sokol

    I haven’t run that way in a while, but I know the area. US 30 and 41 is bad enough, but what I also see is the 4 wheelers coming out of those county farm roads and not even pausing at the intersections. Wake up people, we have over 3 Million people in the US now. The old days are gone. None of the old roads ar adequate. Most of the US highways should be a minimum of 4 lanes wide, preferably divided, either by a median or a wall. If it’s not work related or some kind of emergency, ask yourself if the trip is even necessary!

  • Don Lanier

    Ive run that route fairly often and I agree with John, Its not the old days, there is more traffic, I believe the INDOT spokesperson was basically covering his Agency but those lights arent timed well at all, Ive sat in long traffic jams with backed up cars there during rush hours and its no wonder there arent more crashes. I think longer lights with the flashing warning light saying slow down, giving timing may not be the best way to do it, But at least a driver would know. Cars are just as at fault on this stretch of road as trucks, were always blamed for all Highways Ills, but yes take that toll off the other larger highway and Ill go that way, especially when lots of my deliverys and companys I service are found in this corridor, I want to know if anyone has sat there with a time lapse video camera, maybe a short time investment of survelliance would pay off in a safer road. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.