Road rage on the letters page

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A recent back-and-forth in the Everett, Wash., Herald newspaper’s letters section highlighted the need for more than a little civility to be added to the public conversation between four-wheelers and their 18-wheeled counterparts. Responding to a letter headed “Semi truckers are the worst” in which four-wheeled writer Chuck Lambert of Marysville, Wash., pled to the stars for relief from truckers on I-5 occupying what he called the “hammer lane,” among other perceived offenses, trucker Jack Houston of Sultan wrote delivered this salvo:

To tailgate a driver is rude, and illegal. As a professional trucker with over a million safe miles in a big rig, I always leave as much room as possible between my rig and the guy ahead of me. The sad fact is by doing that, jerks take that space as quickly as it was created in order to jockey into the lane they want (stealing my “safe zone”).

Houston went on to suggest new routes around some of the more congested parts of I-5 in Washington, tolled truck-only lanes, perhaps. “Most truckers would pay tolls and gladly take another fast route,” he wrote, “around the ‘short–hop, latte-slurping, cell phone/texting, daydreaming and just plain ignorant yuppies’ that seem to think the fast lane is their entitlement.”

I’m all for calling out the four-wheelers for their misconceptions, but this sort of name-calling is more akin to road rage than any attempt to enlighten anyone.