Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

OOIDA Life Member Don Crouse of Bruceville, IN, sends ROSES out to those who participate in the Wreaths Across America project every December.

And while we are happy to hand out those ROSES, we can’t stop there. We have to give ROSES to everyone who participates in the program, placing wreaths on hundreds of thousands of military graves not only in Arlington National Cemetery but all across the country.

By the way, ROSES to Don and his wife Pauline for hauling wreaths from Maine to Arlington in this year’s convoy.

Here’s to hoping that this program continues to grow and one day no tombstone is left bare at Christmas.

ROSES to Canadian owner-operator Gene Michaud for challenging the constitutionality of that Canadian province’s speed-limiter law. The law requires trucks to have a speed limiter set below the speed limit in Ontario.

Michaud – an OOIDA member from Ontario – and his attorney, David Crocker, filed a statement in Ontario court this past December claiming that, though the speed limiter law was intended to create safer roads, it does just the opposite. Not only that, but Michaud said the speed limiter violates his right to operate in the U.S. where he routinely runs.

Michaud decided to fight after he got a citation during an inspection in 2009, and was scheduled to have his day in court in late January, after press time. Here’s hoping it was a successful day.

RAZZBERRIES  to the National Transportation Safety Board for its recent recommendations – and we can’t stress that word enough, recommendations – to ban all cellphone use, including hands-free in trucks.

But they didn’t stop there. They want to install cameras both inside and outside the cab of your truck. The sad part is these recommendations came as a result of an investigation into a wreck that, while tragic, was by the NTSB’s own admission in no way the fault of the truck driver involved.

It’s like they just decided this truck driver didn’t do anything wrong but we’re going to go ahead and punish all the truck drivers in the world anyway. We’ve got a few recommendations of our own for the NTSB, but we can’t publish them in a family-friendly magazine.

ROSES to a pair of anonymous truckers who helped save a couple of lives in late 2011. The first trucker helped rescue Ashlee Hoke when her car flipped into a rain-filled ditch on Highway 56 near Hanover, IN. According to news reports, Hoke was unable to reach her cell phone and spent 11 hours in the ditch crying for help. A truck driver heard her screams and called 911, summoning the rescue crew, but he didn’t stick around long enough for anyone to get his name.

The second unknown trucker rescued a 2-year-old girl whose father allegedly murdered her mother, then abandoned the girl at a shopping mall in Newport News, VA. The truck driver spotted the child, who was only wearing a diaper and a shirt, and took her into the store where he called the police. The father later surrendered to police and reportedly confessed to the crimes.

On behalf of both Ashlee Hoke and the little girl, we’d just like to say thanks to those truck drivers, whoever they are.

ROSES to the Maryland DOT for coming up with a way for truck drivers to find safe, secure parking on the go when severe weather strikes. The DOT launched a number of smartphone and tablet computer applications in December, which provide info on 45 parking locations within the state. With truck parking in such a critical condition anyway, it’s good to know some places are stepping up to the plate and helping out. Here’s hoping other states follow Maryland’s lead.

Trucker Larry Morehouse of Perrysburg, OH, would like to send out a double batch of RAZZBERRIES to singer Kelly Clarkson and talk show host/comedian Ellen DeGeneres. Clarkson appeared on Ellen’s show late last year and discussed her idea of the perfect man.

Clarkson said she didn’t like men who were dirty, unkempt, didn’t wash their hair and so on. To which Ellen added “OK, so if there are any dirty, unwashed men out there …” Clarkson laughed, “Yeah, any truckers …” to which Ellen readily agreed before both women urged those men to stay away.

Don’t worry about that, Ms. Clarkson. With talk like that, truck drivers are going to stay as far away from you as they can. LL