Media And Attorney Bias Continues Against Trucking

Once again, in the ongoing war against trucking, the media, this time in the form of The Dallas Morning News, this particular media outlet once again puts the onus against the trucking community, and raises the fear level of the average motorists in the region.

Reference: http://transportationblog.dallasnews.com/2016/06/what-truckers-know-about-driving-on-texas-highways-this-weekend-might-hurt-you.html/

or: https://www.facebook.com/dallasmorningnews/posts/10153895421643800  both posts were written by attorney Steven C. Laird, of the Dallas area, along with the article being posted in the star telegraph.

The article went on to discuss the 3 month warning that truckers receive via the DOT, about upcoming roadside inspections, and their purpose. What the inspections are intended to do, and then, how many truckers tend to take an “Inspection vacation” to avoid having to stop and be checked, and possibly shut down.  What the “Attorney” obviously did not mention, know, or Failed to mention, is that on average. even if the federal DOT sets these inspection dates, the Texas DPS does not always tend to follow those set dates, and sometimes preempts them by conducting either earlier, or later inspections.

So, I responded to their article about this, yet forgot to mention the above, which I wish I had.  Reason being, many of us know how the media likes to hype things up a lot, so here is the response I gave.

Why is it the media always seems to have a field day when it comes to “creating” stories about big rigs, and their drivers? When an accident happens,…. they go for the throat to find any negativity about the driver and/or the trucking company, even if the driver was found NOT to be at fault.

98% of the time, the media sensationalizes a story, and makes it out to be something it is not, and puts fear into the general public about operating around these rigs. It’s bad enough that the greater majority of these truckers try very hard to operate safely with other traffic, and have to deal with aggressive drivers in a huge hurry to get to an off ramp, or crossing multiple lanes, without warning, just to beat someone else to an exit, or to the high speed (passing) lane.

The DFW area has some of THE WORST drivers in the state, along with Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, and El Paso, for aggressive, dangerous drivers, (the majority of which are drivers of vehicles Other than tractor trailers) and what does the media do to say anything about them? Not a great deal.

How about starting a campaign in the local media to encourage motorists to slow down, and use courtesy around other drivers, including the big rigs, and to be safe. Statistics have been showing for a number of years that over 78% of all truck related crashes, and fatalities from such crashes, are the direct cause of motorists operating aggressively, texting while driving, driving distracted in a number of means, talking on the phone without a hands free headset, and driving under the influence. Yet, what is ever said about that?Texas has THE WORST accident fatality rate in the nation consistently. What was it, last year??? over 2,800 accident related fatalities in the state? All of them preventable due to the attitudes that people continue to carry in this state about driving.

Try going down IH 45 toward Houston from Dallas on any given day, and its like a race track with how motorists drive when they know or think there are no police around to catch them. I go the speed limit, whether in a car, on my bike, or in a big truck, and I can assure you that I have been passed like I was sitting on the porch, and people were doing 50mph in a 30 mph zone. That equates to around 100+mph on the highway in a 70mph zone.

Granted, there are those truck drivers out there that fail to properly maintain their equipment, and some companies that operate in the state that do not make sure their trucks are not properly maintained as well, but don’t go labeling every truck out there as a dangerous vehicle on the highways. You sound just like several accident following attorneys around the state, and the country, that are out for the “Big Bucks” when it comes to a truck related crash. You’re like a bunch of blood sucking leaches. Learn to tone it down, and work WITH the trucking community, and encourage safe driving on the part of Everyone! Who knows? You just might turn things around in the area, though I won’t count on that.

 

Maybe one day, the media, these attorneys (which it was an attorney that wrote the above article) the trucking industry, and the people will wake up to how messed up things are all around, and we can all work toward making our highways safer for everyone, and not just a select few.  Trucking’s image needs a positive boost, and needs it badly.  For too many years now, too many things, like movies, have given trucking a black eye, and too many money grabbers have been taking advantage of the industry, and its drivers, as well.

 

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Hal Kiah

Hal is a 20+ year OTR Veteran driver and a 12 year military police veteran. He has also served as a dispatcher and has been a trainer for new Over The Road Heavy Haul drivers. Hal has performed “FHWA” inspections (now called DOT Inspections) . He has been instrumental in the last few years, aiding and mentoring other drivers via social media and personal communications as founder of Truck Driving Career, on Facebook and has a passion and goal of seeing that drivers are respected and recognized for their efforts and sacrifices in the trucking industry, recognizing that trucking is a Lifestyle, and not just a job.
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