Line One
Roses & Razzberries

RAZZBERRIES to Missouri state Sen. Ken Jacob (D-Columbia) for his recent threat to hurl a beer bottle at a truck. The Columbia Tribune reported Jan. 31 that Jacob made the comment during a Senate discussion of a bill to ban open containers of alcohol in vehicles. While expressing his opposition for the bill, Jacob interjected his disdain for heavy trucks by saying the federal government should be more worried about slowing down the trucks than cracking down on open containers. He then added that such containers could be useful “because one of these days, when one of those big trucks go by, I’m going to hurl that beer bottle at a big truck.” Jacob is the key sponsor of a bill (SB946) that would lower truck speed limits and increase diesel fuel tax and other registration fees. If you want to tell Sen. Jacob you don’t like his bottle-throwing comment or his split speed limit bill, call his office at (573) 751-2131.

RAZZBERRIES to “Spike” Helmick, commissioner of the California Highway Patrol, who was recently reported doing a little name calling as well. Helmick announced California’s 18-month program to improve commercial accident reduction by 5 percent. Taking a wide swipe at truckers, he said “These clowns just won’t slow down.” His comments were reported by Tony French, etrucker.com. “There is not a day that goes by that we don’t have a (truck-related) crash,” Helmick was quoted.Later, a CHP spokesman said the commissioner was only referring to a small group of drivers.

OOIDA member Florence Anderson sends a ROSE to Jan McCoy of the Petro Truckstop in York, NE. She says Ken, her driver, was not feeling well and had stopped in York the weekend of Dec. 27. When Florence called the truckstop, Jan answered and said she would check on him. She called Florence later and said he needed to go to the hospital. Ken was down with a bad case of flu. The hospital told Florence if Jan had waited to call an ambulance Ken might not have made it. Then Jan made sure Ken’s truck and trailer were secure until someone could pick up the load. A trucker is back on the road thanks to a capable lady who went out of her way to help a trucker in distress.

On Sept. 28, the driver of a Dodge Neon collided head-on with owner-operator Donald Cote’s Freightliner on Route 17 in Robinsonville, New Brunswick. Cote, a resident of Grand Falls, NB, saw the car catch on fire with its driver still inside. Police later said they were amazed that Cote was able to bend the door and pull the driver — who suffered broken legs, arms and ribs in the crash — from the car, “ The man is alive because of him,” said Jeff Foster, investigating officer. ROSESto Cote, who was recently presented a certificate of appreciation for his heroic act by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Cote’s Freightliner also burned in the accident.

A big RAZZBERRY to the thief in the night who filched 120 gallons from OOIDA member Luis Russo’s right tank on Jan. 4. Luis says he was tired and didn’t take his usual security precautions, but just crawled into the bunk and fell asleep. Next morning when he asked around, no one at the Pilot Truckstop, exit 4 on I-74 in Covington, IN, claimed to have seen anything even though the truck was parked under lights only 30 feet from the fuel island. To balance his tanks, Luis had to take on more fuel. When contacted, Pilot’s fuel desk manager, Jay, said he wasn’t aware of anything like that ever happening and nothing was reported to him on that weekend. Luis suspects a white Freightliner LTD parked next to him was the recipient of the swiped diesel.

Jacob Richler deserves a ROSE for his Dec. 8 article entitled “The Joy of Rigs” in the National Post online. In the story, Richler writes about his son Max who lives and breathes semis. Max is a three-year-old expert on trucking, and has a room full of books about the industry.

A commercial currently airing on WHEC-TV in Rochester, NY, earns a RAZZBERRY for personal injury attorney Jim “The Hammer” Shapiro. After Land Line listened to a recording of the Shapiro’s commercial in which a bellowing actor describes truckdrivers as “vermin” who drive too fast and “take drugs to stay awake,” we were prompted to call the New York Bar Association. While they could not disclose if complaints existed against Mr. Shapiro’s advertising methods, they did say anyone with a grievance can write a letter to the committee (no calls) and they will look into the situation. The address follows. Attorney Grievance Committee 50 East Ave, Suite 404, Rochester, NY 14604.