And no, we’re not talking a new stop-tail-turn lamp but rather one bizarro piece of a report from the Detroit Free Press about a roadside stop (well, the guy was already stopped, technically, I suppose) in Milford, Mich., of a man who was apparently “flashing truckers,” meaning he was standing at the trunk of his car “at the side of Maple Road near United Drive,” reported Laura Colvin, with “his shorts down around his knees,” according to a witness.
Worse yet, one of the truckers who reported him noted it wasn’t the first time he’d filed such a report on the guy. And: He’s still out there. According to Colvin’s reporting: “The man was released at the scene but was advised that someone with the police department would be following up with him.” Read more at this link.
‘I am truly sorry for how you’ve been treated’
Combined Transport’s Tony Keller offered that apology as part of the video below, which I came across via my colleague David Hollis’ recent post over at TruckersNews.com.
Keller says he sees companies around the country that “have the heart for their drivers” as the exception, not the rule, in the industry, and he’s made what he calls “the abused driver syndrome” diagnosis part of his routine discussions with drivers coming on with his company. It’s a phenomenon he says he came to an understanding of after beginning his work with Combined Transport and seeing job histories of applicants showing the hop from fleet to fleet to fleet, drivers ever in search of something better.
Here’s his recruiting message, detailing his perspective:
[youtube rzsB9lpUV-o nolink]
Website actively solicits fodder for truck-accident lawyers
Speaking of victims, if perhaps you weren’t convinced that truckers are a target for attorneys of the ambulance-chasing variety, this week’s press releases about a project of the America’s Watchdog group might sway you. The group’s “Semi Truck Accident Victims’ Center” site purports to link up those involved in accidents with large trucks specifically with “the best possible legal team to protect both the victim, and the family.”
The America’s Watchdog project principal contact is one M. Thomas Martin, or Michael T. Martin, or Michael Thomas Martin, all of which have been used to refer to him over the years. The issues A.W. claims to advocate around include a bevy of fraud-related ones, from renewable- and other energy-related claims and home construction materials health issues to real estate and other financial issues. Martin has done time for fraud himself, back in the 1990s, and as reported in this Guardian story and this 2009 report in the Florida Herald-Tribune newspaper, he views the watchdog project overall as atonement for the sins of the past.
The recent press releases, however, make it sound like the “Truck Accident Victims Center” is a new venture. But it’s not hard to find references and links to it online going back several years. Given all the head-spinning “tired truckers” headlines in the national media of late, it’s easy to see the org’s new push as no less than more of what we’re all familiar with — capitalization on grief for profit. Regular readers may well recall this one:
At once, to the organization’s credit, I suppose, they condition their claims to offer assistance in those recent releases with a caveat: “Our only conditions are the victim was not responsible for the accident, and the semi truck or commercial vehicle driver was cited at the scene.”
Fair is fair? Sound off, drivers. Keep the shiny side up out there…