Here's a novel approach to correcting some of the actions of these truck drivers that like to go belly up on our roadways. I think the city should pass an ordinance that levies fines of up to $5,000 per hour of cleanup or per mile of backed up traffic, whichever is greater, to be paid by the trucking companies, and $1,000 per hour of cleanup or per mile of backup, whichever is greater, to be levied against the truck driver.
I think that would ensure that trucks traveling through our city would be loaded properly, with no overage or misloads that cause a truck to tip, and it would also give the drivers an incentive to slow down and be more courteous while traveling our roadways.
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It's obvious Mr. Daniels has no clue that study after study shows an overwhelming majority of truck involved crashes are 'not' the fault of the truck drivers.
He may wish to look at the data available from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration).
Las Vegas, Nev.
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This in responds to Scott Daniels' opinion about charging truck drivers for causing back-ups and clean-up after an accident. I have been driving for 36 years. I have been driving a semi tractor trailer for the last four years. Before my driving big trucks I drove straight trucks in several different positions. I spend more time now in a big truck than any other. I have my motorcycle endorsement as well.
While I was taking my motorcycle classes I was taught what to look out for in other drivers. I now use that same training in my driving any vehicle I drive. I have had what we call four wheelers pull out in front of me, cut me off, cross several lanes to get to their exit and had them pass me just to slow down or even apply their brakes. Until you have driven or even ridden in a big truck or ridden a motorcycle. Then you will only have one point of view.
When a four wheeler does something that makes other drivers react to their action. It could make for a very messy recourse. Now the worst thing about it all. Is the one who caused the reaction is now running on down the road not caring what they may have made others do. Now that a wreck has happened and a big truck is involved everyone assumes it was the cause of the big truck. When in fact the accident was caused by someone no longer around.
As a CDL holder and talking to other drivers. We have come to the conclusion that if we were not held to the right lanes when going through and around towns. There would not be as many opportunities for situations to occur. Most big trucks are passing through and not getting off the express ways.
Think of this if all big trucks were in the left lane as you were going around on the bypass and you were exiting you could just get into your exit lane and exit. Instead of trying to get around that big truck and trailer and cutting it off just to exit.
Now you are trying to merge onto the express way. The right way to do this is either speed up or slow down to 'merge' into traffic. It is a courtesy for a big truck or any other vehicle to move over. But in reality it is not the responsibility of any vehicle to make room for that merging traffic. The only thing traffic is to do is maintain their speed. If you expect a big truck to move over your are assuming that there is no one on the other side of them. This causes a driver to take the action of running anyone who might be on the other side off the road or make them move over also. (If possible.)
If you really want safer roads and less accidents then petition your cities to create truck only lanes to the left. As smaller vehicles you are harder for us to see and you maneuver much quicker then a large truck can. When a big truck makes a quick move it creates messes. You may not see them on your roads but a shifted load can be just as much of a mess.
Please have a great day, and be safe.
Driver from Indiana
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Dear Mr Daniels,
It is obvious that you have never had any experience driving a commercial vehicle. You have A typical "four wheeler" mentality. Its a proven fact that most (approximately 75 percent) commercial vehicle accidents are caused by your 'kind'. Most of you are texting, yapping on the phone, reading, eating, putting on makeup, or just ignoring rules of the roads. I see it daily.
What you see is the aftermath of an accident, never the truck driver trying to avoid killing the teenie bopper that ran a red light/stop sign because she was busy gossiping with her BFF, or the unannounced lane change by the guy that realizes his exit is next to him and three lanes to his right.
The truck driver is a hard working family person, trying to put food on the table and pay their bills. And you want to take more money from their pockets? Oh and fining the companies will only fall back to you the consumer, so either way, you pay. So why don't you just suggest what you're thinking; make trucking 'illegal'. Ban all and every commercial vehicle from the roads so you four wheelers can have the open and safe roads.
Oh and if you haven't figured it out, I'm a truck driver. I have 25 years so far, and I see people like you every day. I think commercial vehicles should have video cameras on them so we can catch and fine all the four wheelers that cause these accidents, or violate the laws around us.
CDL Class A holder
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I think before you go and make a suggestion like that it may be helpful if you look at total accidents that are not involving commercial trucking. Commercial trucking makes up the lowest figure of accidents in all categories. The only problem is it just takes a longer time to clear them up.
But if you want something like that it should pertain to all motorized vehicles not just one group.
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Nice to see the trucking lobby out in full force. It's a little
curious to see so many responses so quickly after an opinion is posted
from areas other than Chattanooga.
I wonder how Mr. Buddy Wenners knows how Mr. Daniels drives when he
says, "I see people like you every day." That kind of mentality in
his diatribe is dangerous. Should we assume when he is driving that
he is under control or that his emotions that he has laid bare will
get the best of him?
I don't necessarily agree with Mr. Daniels, but his premise was "Make
Truckers Pay When They Cause Traffic-Clogging Wrecks". So any
argument about truckers causing few wrecks or wrecks involving
truckers only being their fault 25 percent of the time is moot. That
wasn't what Mr. Daniels posited. If a wreck is determined to be
caused by the trucker, then he would be held accountable.
Mr. Layne made a good point. If truckers are to be fined, then all
motorists at fault should be fined. I also appreciated Mr. Piersall's
thoughtful response and I think his idea of left lane truck traffic
through the city is something to seriously consider.
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It is apparent from the responses to Scott Daniels' comments that reading comprehension is not required to be a truck driver. The news article about the truck incident says the driver approached the curve too fast causing the truck to overturn. No reference to any, "four wheeler," causing the poor little innocent truck driver to turn over.
In addition to Mr. Daniels' suggestions I would recommend that any truck driver going less that 45 mph and not in the right lane going up the Missionary Ridge Cut on I-24 East be fined $10,000. You ever wonder why traffic backs up to the 27 split in the afternoon just see how many trucks are going 25 mph in the center lane going up the Ridge.
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I do not drive a big truck but I have traveled in one every day for the past seven months. I have driven a 4- wheeler for over 25 years also, so I know both sides. He wants to assume that because they drive the larger vehicle that they are at fault and discourteous, which is the exact opposite of the reality of it. If a big truck swerves over in front of you nine times out of 10 it is because a four wheeler has either cut him off or they are too busy being distracted by a cell phone, the radio, or something else.
I personally have seen a woman driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour plus texting on two phones and driving with her knees. Another time there was a state trooper operating at a high rate of speed on his cell phone.
I am not saying that there aren't some "bad apples " out there in the trucks that are causing accidents. But for the most part truckers are safe, courteous and attempt to avoid them at all cost. If you are wanting to impose fines on the trucking industry and the drivers then the exact same fines should be imposed on the four wheelers and the companies they work for if it is a company vehicle. No exceptions, no different amounts.
If the truckers pay a thousand dollars a mile, then a four wheeler operator should have to pay the same. Travel one week across country in a big truck and your opinion would greatly change.
You want to impose fines like the other gentleman said all it will do is raise the cost of merchandise and all the other luxuries that you enjoy such as food , electric, and restaurant visits. So instead of wanting to start fining them, you should really be thanking them.
Also, for one more bit of information, a trucker is fined $2,750 for the use of a handheld cell phone, calling or texting, for the first time and loses his license for up to three years the second. While for a four wheeler the fine is $100 and a slap on the wrist.
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I only have one question for Mr. Daniels. If your proposal were considered by your city, would you be willing to pay the same rates for an accident if you were involved in one?
I have driven a commercial vehicle for 16 years and I travel to all 48 states and all provinces of Canada. I am just an average guy with a wife and three children. My wife is about to graduate college. My daughter is attending college and my oldest son will begin college in the fall. I have a house with a mortgage, a pickup truck with a loan, and a semi truck with a payment. I am no different than any other man or woman on the road driving a truck through your fair city any given day of the week.
If most of those drivers are like me, they make about $50,000 per year. Now all of this being said, where on earth does anyone think that the average truck driver could or would pay $1,000 per hour or per mile of back up? Could you afford it Mr. Daniels? I couldn't.
Does anyone honestly think that trucking companies could afford the $5,000? Trucking companies have been going out of business right and left since the economic collapse.
So for Mr. Daniels and others like him, there are solutions out there. I won't go into detail here due to space constraints, but we can make the roads safer if we work together. However, fines that could possibly destroy someone's livelihood or bankrupt a company are in no way the answer to safer traveling.
Commercial Long Haul Driver