Stop Cussing That Trucker
by Wayne Patterson
There are numerous new rulings that were placed
into effect September 30, 2002 that will affect
any trucker holding a Commercial Driver's License.
Most people are aware of the fact that truck drivers
are required to take specialized tests depending on
the type of vehicle that wish to drive. What they do
not realize that this requirement applies to church
bus drivers, school bus drivers, and various other
vehicles such as those carrying hazardous materials.
In an effort to increase safety the Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration has broadened the
reasons a driver may be disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle. We support
their actions since we all want unsafe drivers off
the roads. What we disagree with is the fact that
truckers are being singled out and other drivers with
much worse records are still allowed to drive.
Despite some of the publicity, the trucking industry
has an excellent safety record. In most cases
involving a truck, the accident is actually the fault
of another vehicle. Truck drivers are truly the
"Knights of the Road" and this country depends
upon them for almost every aspect of our daily lives
from food to shelter. If you look around you almost
everything you can touch was delivered by truck.
Truck drivers need to be aware of these new
regulations and how they can impact their ability
to earn a livelihood. The major change is that all
violations a person receives, even if they are in
a personal car, can result in the loss of their
CDL License. Many drivers exceed 100,000 miles
per year. If they receive three citations for
speeding in three years or 300,000 miles, their
license will be suspended.
Drivers also have to face the reality that they
are being targeted by law enforcement in some
jurisdictions. News articles and letters attesting
to the unfair treatment of truckers by judges,
officers, and politicians are online at
along with full details of the new regulations.
In addition many states are increasing the fines
and penalties for truckers. North Carolina has
enacted a law that doubles the fines and points
if it is a commercial motor vehicle. Will an
officer stop a truck instead of a car for the same
infraction when the city or county can charge
double for the same violation? Most officers
and judges are fair but they are still human.
The next time you are on the road be courteous
to that trucker. He is a professional and
deserves to be treated as such. Did you change
lanes in front of him going down a hill? Were you
so close behind him that he could not see you in
his mirrors? When he swung wide to turn right did
you try to pass on the right? Stop cussing that
trucker and just try to drive as safely as they