For the signs they are a-changin'

| 9/14/2004

Put this one down under “government promises kept.”

Truckers may remember a sign in North Versailles Township, PA, that told truck drivers “PLEASE No air brake next ¼ mile.”

Land Line first reported on the sign in its July issue after being tipped by OOIDA member Bernie Linkhauer, who got such a good laugh out of it that he copied pictures of the sign to post at truck stops all around the area.

North Versailles Police Chief James Comunale, alerted to the sign’s wording, knew immediately that something had gone wrong on the way to the printer, and vowed that he would have it changed.

Linkhauer wrote to Land Line a short time after the story was published to let us know that Comunale had followed through, and that the sign now reads “PLEASE No engine brake next ¼ mile.”

Linkhauer hasn’t spoken to many of his fellow truckers since the change, but said the reaction he has heard has been good.

“They thought it was hilarious before,” he said. “And they think it’s great that it’s changed.”

Local officials said at the time that obviously, they weren’t after air brakes – they were concerned about the use of engine brakes, which often draw the ire of local officials. Comunale said the community was concerned about noise along the highway, which runs through a residential area.

However, not all the news is encouraging. Linkhauer says that most truckers won’t see the new sign anytime soon.

“They’re doing work on the road right there,” he said. “They have the sign up now, but they have a big electric construction sign in front of it, so you can’t see it.”

– by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor