As this year comes to end, I look forward to the future wherein roads and bridges are safer than they would have been, if not for the dedication and hard work of the Truck Safety Coalition’s (which PATT is a part of) vast network of volunteers.
Equipped with facts and driven by the desire to ensure that others do not have to endure the same grief we did, our organization successfully opposed corporate handouts, like double 33-foot tractor trailers, from being included in the omnibus bill.
The notion that increasing the length of double trailers from 28-feet per trailer to 33-feet per trailer would be safer was premised on the argument that longer trucks will result in fewer trucks. Looking back at the history of truck size and weight increases, however, it becomes clear that the promise of fewer trucks has never come to fruition. Additionally, those longer trucks would have been more difficult to operate due to longer stopping distances and wider turns; and more difficult for motorists to maneuver around due to larger blind spots.
Congress listened to the public and rejected that earmark. It reinforces the fact that advocating to make trucking safer, in the wake of my son, Jeff, and his friends being killed in a large truck crash, is not for naught.
Moving forward, I hope Congressmen will not use the appropriations process as a back door to advance industry-backed agendas. Policies that affect public safety should be subject to open debate, research and analysis.
Daphne Izer, Lisbon
Founder, Parents Against Tired Truckers