Seven Citizen Drivers recognized by TA

By Bill Hudgins, Land Line columnist | 4/3/2014

Do you have a favorite truck stop where everybody knows your name – where you spend so much time you feel they ought to name it after you? That fantasy is coming true for six individual truckers and a trucking couple who are the grand prize winners in Travel Centers of America’s inaugural Citizen Driver of the Year competition.

The winners were announced last week at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

TA will be naming seven TA and Petro truck stops after the winners, who were chosen from 88 nominees, including many OOIDA members. The name changes will take place the week of April 14. The winners, and their truck stops, are:

  • OOIDA Life Member Norman Knight of Watkins Glen, N.Y. – Columbus, N.J., TA: “Norman Knight Columbia Travel Center”
  • OOIDA Senior Member Jimmy Ardis of Sumter, S.C. – Manning, S.C., TA: “Jimmy Ardis Travel Center”
  • OOIDA Senior Member Shawn Hubbard of Victorville, Calif. – Ontario, Calif., Petro: “Shawn Hubbard Ontario Stopping Center”
  • OOIDA Members Linda and Bob Caffee of Silex, Mo. – Petro North Las Vegas: “Linda and Bob Caffee North Las Vegas Stopping Center”
  • OOIDA Senior Member Henry Albert of Mooresville, N.C. – Laredo, Texas, TA: “Henry Albert Laredo Travel Center”
  • Charley Endorf of Fairbury, Neb. – York, Neb., Petro: “Charley Endorf Stopping Center”
  • OOIDA Life Member Jerry Fritts of Cordova, Tenn. – West Memphis, Ark., Petro: “Jerry Fritts West Memphis Stopping Center”

TravelCenters’ President and CEO Tom O’Brien first announced the competition last year at MATS, and in a video played at the lunch last week he said the competition will be an annual event.

Collectively, the 88 nominees have logged more than 100 million accident-free miles. They included a number of Trucker Buddy participants, a Highway Angel of the Year, a Highway Hero finalist, volunteer firefighters, former police officers, volunteers in a wide array of community endeavors and at least one member of his town’s city council.

O’Brien said The Citizen Driver Award is designed to help dispel the stereotypes many outside the trucking industry hold about truckers. Drivers not only keep America moving, but also serve their communities at many levels. Truckers and those who work in other aspects of the industry know that. Now it’s time to educate others.

“The professional and personal standards held by this year’s Citizen Driver Award recipients are the same standards held by thousands of fellow professional drivers across this nation,” O’Brien said. “We are looking forward to awarding Citizen Driver status to as many of these fine individuals as we can for years to come.”

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