SVC instructor speaks out for safety and the future of trucking
August 28, 2008 · Updated 1:26 PM
What does it take for all of you to drive a little safer and be more careful on the roadways? Ive been training entry-level truck drivers for almost 21 years and am concerned about how you, the motoring public, operate your vehicles. You see the large yellow Caution: Student Driver signs on the back of the trailers announcing to the motoring public that a rookie or novice driver is at the controls of the vehicle directly in front of them. We have taken the precautions to warn the public of the dangers, but the sad part of the overall story is that no one seems to care about safety anymore.
Everyone fails to remember how scary it was for their parents or their driver-training instructor at school when they first started driving. The general public operates a 2,000-pound vehicle while my students operate a 60,000-pound vehicle that starts slower and takes longer to stop than an automobile. These vehicles need more room to turn through corners and intersections. Even younger commercial drivers seem to forget the dangers as they sail around in their large units and putting up with an entry-level driver seems even worse to them. Shudder at the thought when it come to safe operation of their large unit, because theyre out there truckin and theyre cool, just ask them. Boneheads.
Everyone is in a big hurry and theyre not taking any precautions to protect themselves. Vehicles are constantly cutting us off, driving directly in front of the tractor-trailer unit and then slamming on their brakes. Law enforcement is coming down hard on all of you who do not play by the rules. Cmon, drive alone in the car pool lane, cross the double white lines while entering/exiting the freeway, tailgate a big truck or better yet, get caught operating your vehicle illegally and then being cited for it. The court systems are beginning to come down hard on you law-breakers. Cell phone users (young parents are the worst) herd their vehicles down the road, not paying attention to the traffic patterns, light or signs, the cell call, the children in the back, and the urgency in which they drive and conduct themselves are a hazard for us all. There are too many obituaries caused from car crashes that destroy lives and families. Im asking all of you out there to talk to your children; children talk to your parents and families talk to each other. Thank you.
Gary L. Thompson