Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton
Land Line Now senior correspondent

Some big, fat RAZZBERRIES go to The Trentonian newspaper out of Trenton, NJ.

It seems the New Jersey State Police released some statistics regarding accidents involving large trucks. Nothing we haven’t seen before. In fact, the study in question took place between 2004 and 2006, so it’s a good bet we’ve seen and heard it all before.

The issue here is not the study, it’s the way the Trentonian staff reported it.

The story speaks for itself. Here’s the lead: “Well, the figures are finally in, proving undeniably that trucks kill, even worse than suspected.”

Wow. If they had done any reporting on this at all, they would have found out that the majority of wrecks involving large trucks were not the fault of the truck driver.

Heck, even later on in the same story they quote officials from the state police and FMCSA as saying that aggressive driving in both passenger vehicles and big trucks leads to wrecks. Not one person they quoted singled out trucks as the main culprit, yet the Trentonian staff saw fit to decide for itself that trucks are homicidal death machines rolling down the highways.

If that “journalism” was any more yellow, you could fill it with cream and call it a Twinkie. It’s just about as good for you, too.

RAZZBERRIES to the Bay Area Toll Authority in San Francisco for its decision to more than double the tolls for trucks to cross certain bridges by 2012.

The authority announced that, starting next year, tolls for trucks on some San Francisco area bridges will go up by 60 percent, from the current $11.25 to $18. Then, in 2012, they will go up another 39 percent to $25.

But surely if they are doing this to truck drivers, then they must be hiking the tolls for cars too, right? Well, they are, by a whopping $1 in July of this year.

Wow. All we can say is, if you’re going to San Francisco, don’t worry about the flowers in your hair. Just be sure and pack some extra cash in your wallet.

We’ve done this one before, but we just have to give out one more big bunch of ROSES to Jazzy Jordan. Jazzy completed her run across the country in June by running right into Times Square in New York City.

When we first talked to OOIDA Member Lee Jordan about this story last year, months before she even started the run, we have to admit we thought these people were crazy. We still kind of think that, but in a good way. Jazzy has become an inspiration to truck drivers everywhere.

Congratulations from all of us, Jazzy. And by the way, it’s not too late to donate to the St. Christopher Fund if you haven’t done it already. You can find them on the Web at truckersfund.com.

OOIDA Member Scott Grenerth of Arlington, OH, would like to give out some ROSES to Pilot truck stops and to the state of Tennessee.

Scott was filling up at a Pilot in Murfreesboro when he saw a notice on the back of his receipt letting Tennessee truckers know that they could get up to 50 percent of the money for an APU with the state’s Idle Smart program.

The program is administered by the University of Tennessee and has about $1.73 million in grant money available for the purchase of APUs.

We don’t know if the information on the receipts at Pilot is a paid advertisement or not, but kudos for getting the word out either way.

Matt Slovack, an OOIDA member from Colona, IL, offers up some ROSES for the folks at Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.

Matt had some downtime in Green Bay, WI, and decided to check out the stadium and take a tour of the Packers Hall of Fame. He said the folks there were very nice and allowed him to park his truck at the stadium with no problem – although they did tell him that on a game day it would be a different story.

Matt said he enjoyed his time there and was even able to share his experience in a letter to his Trucker Buddy class. It may not seem like much, but sometimes even the smallest kindness can make someone’s day. LL

 

Terry Scruton may be reached at
terry_scruton@landlinemag.com

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