Friday, September 6, 2013

Big Rigs and Small Town School Zones....

For the first time ever, I'm letting someone else take over my blog for the day (well, I'm actually posting something that a friend of mine wrote, but it's kind of the same thing). My good friend Allen and I met over nine years ago when we were both working for a newspaper in the Dallas area (we don't discuss that newspaper, the publisher was terrible and ended up being a crook, but I digress). The good thing about working there is that I got a friend out of the deal. :) Anyways, Allen drives an 18-wheeler and with school starting up, he wanted to send this friendly reminder to everyone. I think this is some good advice to follow (for parents and anyone who will be driving through school zones). Feel free to comment below!

Happy weekend everyone!



I have been driving a big rig 18-wheeler for six years now and I would like to discuss school zones, primarily small town school zones. Trucks, as well as all vehicles, need to pay close attention in ALL school zones but especially in small towns.

Why especially small towns? Because truck lanes are often the main drag through town. These lanes are often the town's school zones as well.

Last week was the first week of school and as often is the case, my current load took me through several school zones. But this time I witnessed the aftermath of an accident. Don't worry, no one was injured. As a matter of fact, there wasn't even any physical damage to the car the trucker hit. That alone is enough to deduce that the trucker was not at fault. Even if the trucker had been going 5mph, the car would have shown some damage. But because a truck was involved, there will likely be a court case somewhere down the line and the trucker's livelihood and reputation will be damaged.

So the following two sections will address both sides of this debate: four wheelers and the big bad truck driver.

Four wheelers:

Parents: when you are dropping off your kids at school please remember that your responsibility doesn't end after they are safely on school grounds. Stay off the phone until you are well out of the school zone. I would say stay off your cell phone while you are driving anywhere, but we all know that's not going to happen, don't we?

Also, teach your kids about basic physics. It's very simple. It takes a lot longer for a 73-foot, 80,000 pound truck to stop than it does for a car to stop. So even if a truck is traveling the school zone speed limit, you might want to think twice about walking, or driving, if your 16-year-old just got his driver's license, in front of said truck.


Now for the advice for truckers. Ignore everything I just recommended to the four wheelers and their kids. It doesn't matter what you try to teach kids about cars, trucks, motorcycles or bicycles. THEY WILL FORGET.

You are the professional driver. It's your responsibility to pay attention and protect wayward drivers and especially wayward kids in school zones. Drive below the posted limit. Turn the radio off and roll down your windows so you can hear. Constantly check your mirrors. Because even if there is an accident, you will be responsible. I don't care what the investigation ultimately concludes. You are the professional.

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