Truckers advised to use caution before entering protest area

May 28, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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This past April marked 28 years since Reginald Denny was pulled from the cab of his truck and beaten nearly to death during the 1992 Los Angeles protests and riots.

The disturbing footage serves as a reminder for truck drivers to take necessary precautions before entering any areas where the potential for violence is high.

Protests in Minneapolis regarding the death of George Floyd erupted into violence on Wednesday, May 27. Meanwhile, hundreds of protestors shut down the 101 Freeway near downtown Los Angeles during a demonstration over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being pinned on the ground by a police officer in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called the situation in Minneapolis “extremely dangerous.”

Doug Morris, OOIDA’s director of safety and security, said the first step for truck drivers is to avoid these areas if possible. If that can’t be avoided, Morris said he suggests calling the local police beforehand and provide them with the address of pickup or delivery to see if they can provide the safest route or any other assistance.

If a truck driver still comes across a protest or violent situation, Morris said truckers should keep their doors locked and windows rolled up, and they should stay in the truck if at all possible.

Retaliation should be the last resort 

Using violence should be a last resort, Morris said.

“If you have a tire checker, and someone jumps on your truck and starts breaking your window, you can use force if necessary,” he said. “But if you do, you need to be able to demonstrate to a jury that the force was necessary.”

Morris also reminded truck drivers who carry guns to make sure they have current permits for the weapon.

“Make sure your permits are up to date,” he said. “You could get jammed up pretty quickly if you are carrying a gun and the permit is expired. An expired permit means you don’t have a permit.”

Driving through violent areas also could have financial ramifications. While individual policies may vary, many insurance policies carry exemptions for vehicles being operated in an area with a state of emergency declaration or exclusions for riots or civil unrest.

 

Related topic:

California trucker faces misdemeanor charge for ‘reckless driving’ during protest.

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.