Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES to Love’s Travel Stop employee Kristen Spencer for her quick actions in saving the life of a customer at the Phoenix area store back in late September. According to a company news release, Spencer was working with three other employees when the customer – who was not named – had a heart attack in his vehicle, which ended up in a ditch near the store’s parking lot.

Spencer and two other employees – Ruben Romero and Steven Ramirez – rushed to the car and pulled the man out, whereupon Spencer began performing CPR. She kept up until paramedics arrived and the man survived the ordeal. Spencer said she wasn’t scared and advised others to “just keep your cool” and “don’t overreact.”

We don’t think it’s overreacting to say that ROSES aren’t enough for this good deed.

ROSES to OOIDA Member Jon Wilbur of Phillips, Maine, for his actions in battling a bus fire on the New York State Thruway. Wilbur spotted the smoke coming from the tire of the bus – which was hauling 18 passengers, including high schoolers and some children – and stopped to help.

He jumped out of his truck and ran to the bus with his fire extinguisher. While he didn’t completely put out the flames, he did keep them at bay long enough for everyone to get their belongings and exit the bus out of harm’s way.

Wilbur was named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association. While we don’t have any award to bestow beyond these ROSES, we would like to simply say thank you to Jon Wilbur for a job well done.

ROSES to the 300 trucks who made their way down to Joplin, Mo., in September to set the unofficial record for the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics. The official Guinness record was set back in 2002 in Orlando, Fla., with 248 trucks. The truckers in Joplin, who were there for the Guilty By Association truck show put on by the Chrome Shop Mafia and 4 State Trucks, also raised $67,000.

And while we’re at it, ROSES to all of the truckers who participated in convoys everywhere this year, making dreams come true for Special Olympics athletes everywhere.

RAZZBERRIES  to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for moving forward with its plan to raise the minimum insurance requirements for trucking operations – despite the fact that the overwhelming evidence shows there is no need for it.

The FMCSA floated an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in October, signaling that it intends to go forward with the rule, which would raise the requirements from their current minimum of $750,000. What’s worse is it seems to be on the fast track as well.

Ironically, the same report being used by the FMCSA to justify the increase makes it clear that the increase isn’t needed. The report confirms that there are only about 74 crashes per year that cost more than the $750,000 minimum. Not only that, but in the majority of those crashes the trucker isn’t even at fault, so the number would be even lower.

If the FMCSA isn’t going to let the facts stand in the way of a rulemaking that will negatively affect the lives of millions of truck drivers, maybe the drivers themselves need to stand in its way.

RAZZBERRIES  to author Stephen King and the producers of a TV movie based on his story called “Big Driver.” It tells the tale of a woman who is brutally assaulted by – you guessed it – a truck driver and left on the road to die. She doesn’t, of course, and immediately seeks revenge.

It’s not a bad story, per se, it’s just that the killer truck driver thing has been done. And the fact that it’s being made into a movie for the Lifetime Network does not bode well for the image of truck drivers in the media.

We don’t expect much out of a network that gave us movies like “Co-ed Call Girl” and “My Stepson, My Lover,” but at a time when we’ve got real-life lawyers taking out full-page ads calling truck drivers serial killers, this is one stereotype that – excuse us for saying so – needs to die. 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.