Roses & Razzberries – November 2020
ROSES to the Television Academy for saluting essential workers during this year’s Emmy Awards show back in September. Among the usual celebrity presenters, the broadcast featured presentations throughout the night from workers – including teachers, emergency room workers and, of course, truck drivers – who have helped keep America going through this difficult year. Representing truck drivers was Jacinda Duran, a third-generation truck driver, who spoke about the crucial need for truck drivers during this national crisis. She then presented the nominees for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie. It was nice to see – amid all of the usual fluff and phoniness of a Hollywood awards show – some real people being recognized.
ROSES to the FMCSA (yes, you read that right) for creating a panel comprised of truck drivers that will be part of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee. It’s about time that the agency created a panel solely comprised of the people behind the wheel who can provide direct feedback on safety, hours of service, training and driver experiences. The panel will have about 25 drivers from all sectors of the industry.
Say what you will about the FMCSA – and we’re sure we will in future editions of ROSES & RAZZBERRIES – but the agency has done a good job of reaching out to the industry in recent years.
We’re grateful that drivers will have the opportunity to make their voices heard on all of these important issues. And we’ll be even more grateful if someone actually takes the time to listen.
RAZZBERRIES to the Nebraska State Patrol for a series of surprise inspections carried out in that state throughout the summer. We lost count of just how many they did, but it seemed like every other week we were getting more news releases detailing their latest exploits and how many violations they handed out. Thankfully the inspections resulted in very few drivers being put out of service. But at some point, given that there were so many, this started to sound to us like it was about something other than safety. Has anyone checked to see if the patrol has been short on cash lately? Maybe instead of going through all of this we can just spot ’em a fiver until payday.
ROSES to the Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics for tackling the problem of truck parking head on.
The commission last year identified four key freight issues in the state that needed to be addressed, and truck parking was right at the top of the list.
In September the commission held a meeting featuring elected officials and representatives of the transportation industry including the state DOT to discuss the issue. The DOT provided a thorough analysis of the truck parking situation in the state – prompted by Jason’s Law. It was no surprise that there is a massive demand for parking in Georgia, just like there is everywhere else. But what is surprising is the way Georgia is taking it on. Here’s hoping other states follow suit.
ROSES to Valerie Trueblood, site general manager at the TA Travel Center in Brunswick, Ga., for her efforts in helping a man who was reported missing get home to his family. It happened earlier this year when Valerie spotted a frail-looking man sitting at one of the tables at her stop. After noticing he had been there for most of the day, she asked if he was OK. He said he was trying to get home to his sister in Florida. Valerie called the sister, who said her brother had been missing for about six months and cried when Valerie told her he was OK.
But the story doesn’t end there. The sister was unable to drive and couldn’t come get her brother, so Valerie got the woman’s address and said she’d help. She got the man cleaned up and gave him a meal and began making phone calls. After having no luck, Valerie paid for a cab to take the man to the local Amtrak station and paid for his train ticket home. His sister was able to meet him at the station, and he got home safely. In times like these when we hear so many stories in the news of awful people doing awful things, it’s nice to know there are still plenty of good people like Valerie out there doing the right thing. LL