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Roses & Razzberries

RAZZBERRIES to the law firm of Gary Eubanks & Assoc. of Hot Springs, AR. Not only does their TV campaign stink, their attitude sucks. Truckers report that Eubanks' TV commercials say, "Most (truck)drivers are safe." Then goes on to lump truckdrivers in a category with deaths from snakebites, tornadoes and violent storms. Trucker Michael Beatty tells us he gave the firm a call to complain. According to Beatty (and LL confirmed), Gary Eubanks said, "You can call the Tooth Fairy, you can call the president, we don't care."

ROSE to an alert trucker whose actions resulted in the apprehension of four suspected robbers, one of whom may be involved in a murder last year in Arkansas. Four persons allegedly assaulted a clerk at a convenience store and fled the scene. At a weigh station on Tennessee's I-24, it seems a truckdriver overheard a police scanner broadcasting a description of the getaway car. The trucker spotted the car and immediately notified police of its whereabouts and direction of travel. After a high-speed chase through downtown Chattanooga, the suspects were apprehended. It seems the driver of the car was also wanted in connection with the death of a liquor store clerk in Blytheville, AR. "We owe that trucker a debt of gratitude," said Grundy County Sheriff Robert Meeks.OOIDA member Steve Salter was cruising eastbound on Montana's I-90 on June 9, during the Roadcheck 2000's 72-hour inspection. Steve says when he arrived at the scale house near Hogeland (on 241) and Broadus (on 212), he was surprised to find a small, handwritten sign saying "Driver Appreciation Day" instead of the "jumpsuited, jackbooted truck inspectors" he expected. The scalemaster, says Steve, was actually grilling hot dogs and passing them out to all the truckers at the scale, along with their choice of coffee or soda. "I was completely surprised by this gesture," says Steve.

ROSES to the Montana DOT and to the local community groups who sponsor the event once a year. According to MDOT's Frank Murphy, "The event gives officers and truckers a chance to visit. They both are doing their jobs and they all have families."A major computer upgrade at CompuNet Credit Services has created a windfall for hundreds of students.

ROSES to Cindy Aldridge, president of CompuNet, for donating 33 Pentium-grade computers along with monitors, keyboards and modems to the Lake Havasu Unified School District in Lake Havasu City, AZ, home of CompuNet.A

RAZZBERRY to Kansas newspaper publisher, Steve Haynes, for his bright idea of how to get trucks off the highway. In The Oberlin Herald, Haynes presented an editorial proposing cutting back truck weights and paying railroads to haul some of the trailers "currently beating up I-70 across the state." For one thing, Steve, highway user fees do not fund trucks or terminals for trucking companies, so they should not be used to fund private rail projects. Two, more than 75 percent of the nation's communities have their freight deliveries made exclusively by truck. Cities and towns that are not served by rail today are not likely to get new service in the future. Rail investments are not going to replace the need for highways!Some newspaper folks are hip to what it takes to share the road.

ROSES to John Harrigan, publisher of the New Hampshire Colebrook News & Sentinel, who apparently is one of them. In his June 21 editorial, entitled "How pedestrians and traffic can get along," he notes this advice to walkers: "And if there's room in your pedestrian heart, step back and wave that slow-moving trucker on through. Truckers have a lot of gearing down and gearing up to do and are just about the most considerate drivers on the road."

ROSES to the Arizona Department of Transportation. The department's fair conclusions in a recent study will assure that the speed limit for all vehicles will remain 65 mph on all Arizona state highways and 55 mph on urban freeways, unless otherwise posted.

The study was required by a bill that would have limited big trucks to 65 mph on the rural stretches of some AZ interstates and would have limited trucks to the right-hand lane. The final bill depended on the results of the ADOT study. In a study released the first week in July, the ADOT concluded that differing speed limits for passenger cars and trucks would create even more unsafe conditions than having them travel at the same speed.