Dear truck-hating senators, we see you, and we’re taking notes

January 22, 2019

Wendy Parker

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Does anyone else feel a little beat-up this week? I mean, it’s hard not to after taking the slap from Georgia Senate Bill 23 and punch from Virginia’s SB1716.

At least Georgia Democrat Sens. Donzella James, Harold Jones and Michael Rhett had the sense to withdraw their hare-brained idea to “prohibit the movement of trailers or semitrailers on any highway unless such trailers or semitrailers are engaged in the pickup or delivery of persons or property or traveling to or from such pickup or delivery; to provide for related matters.”

Their near-immediate withdrawal probably had something to do with the outpouring of less-than-favorable response from the trucking industry. And when I say “less than favorable,” I mean “It got uglier than a bullfrog’s backside.”

Their proposal still begs the question of, “What the hell, y’all?”

I just have to know how a group of senators get into a conversation where someone says, “Hey – I’ve got an idea. Let’s impede commercial drivers in the stupidest way we can while overburdening our already taxed law-enforcement and possibly getting our pants sued off!”

Incredible as that seems, it’s almost inconceivable that two other people said, “Well that sounds awesome! Let’s DO IT!”

And then, when they’ve realized what an incredibly dumb idea it was, they can’t even apologize. Sen. James posted on her Facebook page, “We have another way to address the problem which will not require legislation.”

Uhhh. What problem are we discussing here, Sen. James?

No one was ever clear about anything other than thousand-dollar fines and jail time. Y’all were real clear about all that, but not about the problem you seem to think is extreme enough to impede commerce in the state of Georgia. I’d think that problem would be clearly defined and articulated, but it’s not.

I’d also think any of the three of you who have ever driven to your Capitol Offices would have seen the restriction on I-75 already for commercial vehicles. I’m sure you made yourself familiar with the rule that you’re not supposed to be traveling through the city of Atlanta on I-75 without a bill of lading that has an address on it within the 285 loop. You think truckers put themselves out on 285 because it’s a giant circus of fun filled with idiot drivers?

Well you’re wrong. And you’ve made the wrong impression on truckers. And guess what else?

We vote.

Now before anyone gets up on their partisan high-horse and starts with the name-calling, let’s be clear about the bipartisan efforts to kick truckers in the wallet any way they can.

Virginia Republican Sens. Mark Obenshain and Charles Carrico introduced SB1716. It allows for interstate tolling on I-81, but takes it one step further in assuring that truckers are forced into using the toll roads by implementing camera systems on alternate routes to facilitate fining truckers who attempt to use those alternate routes.

This reads like an attempt to strong arm you into either paying a toll or a fine. That’s called “extortion” where I come from, and it begs to be clapped back at. Hard.

Obershain and Carrico haven’t withdrawn their proposal, and I don’t expect they will. Because they see truck drivers not as human beings with small businesses and families to support, but as giant commercial piggy banks they can squeeze for every penny they’re allowed to.

Be diligent. Pay attention. Write these names down and if they work for you. Contrary to the popular belief that our elected representatives don’t work for us – guess what? They do. And if they’re working against you, fire them.

You have the power. Use it.

Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers.

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