Most local newspapers or television stations will play up a bad wreck involving an 18-wheeler no matter who’s to blame. The pictures are dramatic and a cheap way to grab viewers’ attention. And often not a lot of thought goes into airing the story.
But good news is harder to come by, despite all the great things being done by hardworking truck drivers. Consider the story of trucker David Dunham of Fitchburg, Mass. In December 2002 Dunham, carrying a load from California to New York, was traveling on Interstate 40 in New Mexico when he heard a report on his CB about another eastbound truck that had crashed. Dunham spotted the trailer of the rig sticking up from the median. He stopped his truck, grabbed a flashlight and headed toward the wreckage.
Dunham pulled the driver, Azem Rizvanovic of Arizona, out of his truck as flames consumed the cab. Dunham saved the driver’s life, and for that he was honored, along with three other trucking heroes, by being named finalist for the Goodyear North America Highway Hero Award.
Programs like Goodyear’s – including the Truckload Carriers Association’s Highway Angels and the American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road Team – seek to shed light on the good things that happen in this industry. Each of these programs tries to balance the bad image of truckers often portrayed in the media with reality – most truck drivers are good, hardworking people trying to make an honest, professional living.
When we started the Truckers News Great America Trucking Family award a few years ago, it was with this goal in mind. At the Great American Trucking Show in September, we will honor a family that fits that profile and has deep roots in this industry (See page 9, for information about nominating someone). They’ll have a great story, and we’ll share it with you.
But programs like ours are just part of the solution. You’re the other part. If you know a great story about a trucker who has gone above the call of duty, don’t just forget it. Get the word out. Call your local newspaper or television station. Or call us at Truckers News, and give us a chance to tell that story.
Sure you’ll be blowing your own horn, but as the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Truckers need recognition for the good they do and we need to shout it to every media outlet in the country.