Readers Speak Out

Are truckers being profiled?
I know there have been a lot of stories done on the trucking industry and truck drivers. Most of it is negative. I would like to put my two cents worth in about speed traps.

Many drivers and their companies do care and are courteous, clean and professional. They keep their equipment clean and maintained. My husband is one of these drivers. He had never had a ticket or an accident until Feb. 19, 2002. He was coming through Childress, Texas, when an officer stopped him and said he was doing 80 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone. My husband asked to see the radar gun, but the officer refused. My husband tried to explain that the trucks are governed at 70 mph, and the officer still insisted he was going 80. Most law officials know that company trucks are governed between 62 mph and 70 mph for insurance purposes, safety, fuel consumption, speed limits, etc. Unfortunately there are still drivers that get singled out because of their profession or because their vehicle is very noticeable. My husband’s truck is bright yellow.

Yes, you can fight it if you have the personal transportation to make the drive there and back and can take time off work. From all indications my husband would probably end up paying the fine anyway even with proof that the truck is set at 70 mph. This has happened to many truck drivers. The end result: you pay the fine, let it go on your record for three years and hope some other small town doesn’t single you out to meet a quota or gain revenue.

Unfortunately this is why, or one of the reasons why, even good drivers get a bad reputation. My husband has always been a cautious, courteous driver and sometimes has even been accused of driving like a little old person. The ticket he received upset him greatly. He will continue to do his job as a professional and hope for the best. As for all the caring, law abiding drivers – keep fighting. Some people do listen and care.
Pamela Compton
Arlington, Texas

Acting professionally
Professionalism is something that we must earn, in much the same way as we earn trust and respect. If we in the transportation industry, and in particular those of us who operate commercial vehicles, desire to be considered as professionals, then we to must earn the right. If we also desire to be paid as professionals, that too must be earned.

How do we accomplish this? Following are some areas to consider:

  1. Stop tailgating and excessive speeding.
  2. Do not allow outside pressure to influence us to run unsafe or illegally. Be firm and resolved when safety is an issue.
  3. Act, and appear, like knowledgeable professionals, particularly in public. Clean up your act, language, etc.
  4. Stop making fools of ourselves with log falsifications, complacency and lack of concern.
  5. Stick together to demand improvements in safety, salary and working conditions.
  6. Govern and control our own actions so others do not have to.
  7. Quit speeding, particularly in areas of increased risk.

Charles Hall
Alex City, Ala.

Come Together
I am a driver. I have been driving for about 10 years now, and there are a few things I have learned about driving and truck drivers. I really feel I have to share them with you. It will upset a lot of you. Facts are facts, but I have to share them. First off I want to tell all of you that you are not as smart as you think you are. I am always hearing things on the CB that makes me think that all of you are not only professors, doctors and driving instructors, but lawyers and marriage counselors as well. If you had any real education you would not be out here. That’s not to say that all drivers are like this, but this is a generalization. If you were all educated I would not hear the bigotry and cruelty I hear. I hear a lot of you saying things you would never say in front of your mother or your father. The racism and ignorance is pathetic.

Second off, if any of you knew or really paid attention to politics you would know that the Republicans do not represent the working class. You don’t make enough money for them to pay attention to you. You have no say. You have no real views. Whenever I try to talk to a fellow driver all I get is regurgitated Rush Limbaugh. Do any of you have any real views of the world? Do any of you know what’s really going on out there? Do you know what’s happening in the Middle East? Or do you simply follow what Rush says? Have you been on the web and seen the other side?

Third, there is no respect for other drivers. Why is this? I wish I knew. A lot of the old timers think that all of the new guys are just steering wheel holders, and a lot of the new guys think the old timers talk a lot of crap. They show no respect for the new guys. Hey guess what old timers, you did not pop out of your mother’s womb knowing how to drive. The new guys are as only as good as their teachers. What does this say about all of you? Hmmmm??? I am also a driver, so I have to admit I am as guilty as all of you of all of these sins and behaviors. I wish that some of you could come together and realize that together we could be the kings in this county. Anything we want we could have. You want lower fuel prices? Come together. You want higher pay? Come together. You want higher rates? Come together. We could bring this country to its knees. I have an idea. Can we all stop the hate? Can we put aside the lot lizards and differences of where we come from? We need to help each other. Remember together we can all be one.
David Matthews
West Valley City, Utah

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