News
Opinion-editorial
A matter of national economic survival

By Mark Reddig
Host "Land Line Now"

 

A trucker recently called us with a concern. He said that if tolls were added to highways across the country, RVers would disappear and truckers would be the only ones left on the highways – and paying the bill.

I’m not so sure the truckers will be there. When Ohio raised tolls, truckers did not stay on the turnpike; they went wholesale onto the side roads. To get the truckers back, they had to lower the tolls.

Pennsylvania’s tolls are already far higher than those in Ohio, or Indiana, or Kansas, and on and on. And officials have indicated that if they toll I-80, they’re looking at similar costs.

Does anyone honestly think truckers will pay those rates when they have alternate routes? I sincerely doubt they will.

But this problem is bigger than one highway, or even one industry. DOT Secretary Mary Peters’ plan to toll the nation would virtually cripple the U.S. economy.

How many towns depend on trucks for everything they have? Federal figures show it’s the majority of towns in the United States.

How many towns depend on tourism traffic for a considerable portion of their economy? Even towns many of us have never heard of depend on traffic like that.

How many towns have hotels and convenience stores and restaurants just because they’re near an interstate exit?

They depend on traffic. Cut the traffic, and you cut their business. Cut their business that much, and you cripple the economies of the towns they’re part of.

How many towns have factories and warehouses located there to take advantage of transportation? Well, that won’t be so much of a worry. With all the other economic damage this will spawn, there won’t be enough customers to support keeping factories and warehouses open.

This is a trucking issue. But it’s more. It’s a matter of national economic survival, a matter of doing all we can to ensure our nation’s continued prosperity. LL

mark_reddig@landlinemag.com