Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES to the people who were instrumental in helping put together Land Line’s coverage of OOIDA history, including Frank Edwards of Raymore, Mo., son of OOIDA’s first president, the late J.W. Edwards. Thanks, Frank, for the photos and anecdotes. And ROSES to truckers like Tim Linn of Adairsville, Ga., who took the time to make a personal call to OOIDA President Jim Johnston to talk a bit of history and let us know his dad – early Board Member Frank Linn and loyal friend – had passed away.

ROSES to the Iowa Department of Transportation for its support of Truckers Against Trafficking. The DOT announced its partnership with the group earlier this year. As part of the partnership, the DOT will place posters and handout materials at all of Iowa’s interstate rest areas as well as scale sites. The DOT is also working with the Iowa Motor Truck Association to talk with truck stop operators and get materials into their facilities as well.

It’s good to see an official agency like the Iowa DOT getting involved with this important and very noble cause. Here’s hoping other DOTs will follow suit and the effort can gain traction across the country.

RAZZBERRIES to Hamilton Nolan, a writer with the Gawker website, for his colossal misunderstanding of the hours-of-service issue. Back at the beginning of July, when the new rules were being rolled out, Nolan wrote a blog with the headline “Truck drivers outraged that they’ll get more sleep soon.”

It gets worse. He goes on to echo the erroneous reporting from The Wall Street Journal and other publications that the hours were being cut from 82 down to 70 per week. The fact is, drivers are not permitted to drive after 70 hours of on-duty time. That part did not change. Even with the restart provision, it would not have been plausible to exceed 70 hours under the old rules week after week after week.

It is a pure fabrication that came from some spin regarding the change to the restart provision on the FMCSA’s own website (side note: the agency deserves its own RAZZBERRIES for that one) and was subsequently – and incorrectly – reported by the mainstream media.

But Nolan doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say “maybe those truckers wouldn’t be so touchy if they got more sleep.” Is this guy a laugh riot or what? Hey Mr. Nolan, maybe truck drivers wouldn’t be so touchy if for once – just one time – a mainstream media outlet could get its facts straight about the trucking industry.

ROSES to the Ohio House of Representatives, which passed a bill that would outlaw the use of automated red-light and speed cameras throughout the state. Though proponents of these devices claim it’s all about safety, we’ve seen far too many examples to the contrary and far too little evidence that shows these things actually make roads safer. The truth is, in most cases, they are a money grab, plain and simple.

You need only look as far as Elmwood Place, Ohio, to see that. About 2,000 residents live there, and during a two-week period about a year ago the village issued about 20,000 speeding violations. That’s 10 per resident, for those of you keeping score at home. State Rep. Ron Maag of Lebanon, Ohio, came right out and said it: “Their main goal is to generate revenue.” And let’s face it, they do that very well.

RAZZBERRIES to the city of Atlanta for its plan to tie pay increases for city workers – including police officers – to revenues from traffic court and ticket fines. In spite of claims from the police union and the mayor’s office to the contrary, it’s not too much of a stretch to say this raises a few concerns about the possibility of officers writing more tickets to guarantee pay raises.

A spokesman for the police union says the problem is that too many tickets are being dismissed because the officers don’t show up in court or because people leave court without paying their fines.

Why not require the officers to appear in court and issue arrest warrants for the people who don’t pay their fines instead of doing something that could result in officers writing more tickets that they still won’t show up to court for? LL

 

Got an idea for a ROSE or a RAZZBERRY? Email it to terry_scruton@landlinemag.com. You can also check out the official Facebook page at facebook.com/rosesandrazzberries.

March/April
Digital Edition