It appears that The Morning Call paper and a so-called journalist that writes for them want to blame professional truck drivers for the unsafe driving habits of anyone that uses a roadway. Paul Carpenter authored a vile piece of garbage for The Morning Call which attempts to vilify professional drivers and paint the entire industry as a bunch of unsafe money hungry hacks. Keep in mind that he cited DOT stats that stated 4,000 people were killed in truck related crashes in 2011 and that he somewhere pulled up a statistic that says 94% of all fatalities involving a commercial vehicle were suffered by someone who was in a passenger vehicle.
He further elaborates how he has driven across the country in excess of two dozen times and knows how to avoid becoming drowsy while doing so and that us drivers should know how to do it as well but wait he goes on to say that truck owners are only required to pay the same fuel taxes as people in commuter cars but we cause 9,600 times more damage to the roads. According to him this could be eliminated by moving everything by rail and eliminating these “40 ton monsters” from the road. Well now Mr. Carpenter I’m sure that you based this on you thorough knowledge of the trucking industry after having a CDL for oh, about……ZERO DAYS!!!
You see Mr. Carpenter what you fail to mention is that the stats that you decided to use in your high school attempt at journalism included the results from all commercial vehicles, not just class 8 trucks. That means any catering truck or cake decorator that has a vehicle registered as a commercial vehicle was included in those statistics as well which skews them just a bit. Another large chunk of information that you chose to omit from your rant is that of all accidents involving a class 8 CMV and a passenger vehicle, the driver of the passenger vehicle was found at fault in excess of 75% of the time. In some states the rate of occurrence put the fault on the driver of a passenger vehicle at as high as 93%. So did you just forget to mention that or was it just because it didn’t support your rant about how unsafe truck drivers are? Maybe it was because you didn’t bother to check your sources or maybe it was because you didn’t think that any truck drivers are intelligent enough to take you to task on your drivel.
Of course you threw out the cure-all to the safety concerns of the trucking industry and it was to move things by rail, well how do you think things would be with a rail spur at every Wal-Mart and gas station across the country, that would surely be safe right? After all having a railroad in every single community would help everyone and keep little kids safe as well because everyone knows that having tracks along their back yard is a preferred safety measure right? People like you disgust me Mr. Carpenter, you fly off the deep end with a rant and try to prop yourself up as an authority on the subject when in fact the basis of your writing was ill planned and thought out, it contains no real world experience and does nothing but blame professional drivers once again for things that are out of their control due to the restrictions placed upon them by government agencies. Are you another one of those people who actually believes a GPS unit and tracking device is going to assure a driver gets proper rest? Are you personally going to sit in every trucking carrier office to make sure that dispatchers are not harassing drivers and forcing them to either move their truck or be out of a job?
How about you contact Anne Ferro and the offices of the FMCSA and ask them why they used “data” that they cannot even produce to make new laws that require all drivers to rest between specific times of the day and while you are at it provide proof that every single person out there has the same sleep habits and schedule. Before you decide to fire back and label me as just another upset truck driver maybe you should know that I have about 40 times the amount of safe driving experience that you possess and never injured a soul doing it. There are many other professional drivers out there just like me who take safety seriously and don’t need more safety related parts of the job stripped from us because somebody behind a desk in Washington D.C. thinks they can save the world without taking an active part in it………or better yet, a pissed off writer in Lehigh Valley, PA.
If any of my readers out there want to read Mr. Carpenter’s snide comments you can find his article at the following link http://articles.mcall.com/2014-01-25/news/mc-pc-trucking-industry-20140125_1_trucking-toll-booth-passenger-cars
If you want to email him you can do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him via phone at 610-820-6176