A reactive topic that prevails on the minds of each and every man and woman in the transportation industry every minute of every day is highway safety. Special interest groups are obsessed with it, the government is committed to it and motor carriers are bound to it. Professional truckers are ultimately entrusted with the responsibility of how it all plays out on the asphalt. With new attitudes and re-invented strategies emerging from Capitol Hill, this issue of Land Line focuses heavily on how the new game plan affects the one in the driver's seat.
Early this year, the Office of Motor Carriers & Highway Safety released their Safety Action Plan for the next three years. Online this month, OOIDA's reaction to the plan's proposals. Related articles are Jim Johnston's "Issues and Positions" , "Washington Insider", and the press conference story. Also in this issue, Land Line features an exclusive interview with Julie Cirillo, the new safety czar at OMCHS.
Also in this issue:
- Headlining our speed limit update is the passage of legislation that will eliminate split limits in Texas. OOIDA lobbied hard for two years to push this bill to the governor's desk and as we go to press, the champagne is in the fridge, awaiting that signature. The credit goes to all those who con tacted their lawmakers and to OOIDA's Todd Spencer, along with OOIDA members like Clifford Floecke, who camped in Austin to testify before legislative committees. There's also news from Michigan and Ohio.
- It's truly a trucker's worst nightmare. A car crosses the center line and there's nothing you can do. And maybe what happens next could mean the difference between healing and a lifetime of what-ifs. Staff writer Jason Cisper has the sensitive account of owner-operator Ray Shankle's per- sonal ordeal.
- Layovers are something all truckers avoid, but sometimes the load is just not there. Suddenly you've got time on your hands. What do you do? Senior Editor Ruth Jones steers you through a dozen great layover ideas.
This summer, OOIDA and Land Line staffers are looking forward to meeting truckers at a roster of upcoming truck shows. On June 9-11, we'll be in Las Vegas for the International Trucking Show (OOIDA will be at booth #1624 and Land Line nearby in booth #2237). On June 22 and 23, it's on to Joplin, MO, and July 8-9 we'll be at Iowa 80 in Walcott, IA. On Aug. 5-6 we'll be at Oak Grove 70 truck stop in Oak Grove, MO. If you're in the neighborhood, stop and visit.