Thanks to those truckers

I wish to publicly thank all the truck drivers who labor long hours under severe government regulation to provide our daily needs. Lately, truck drivers have been taking a beating in the so-called “news” media for the disaster that is called “driving through Atlanta in the snow.”

Even the politicians have deflected their responsibility by blaming the truck drivers for government inaction and delays. Three facts are missing from all this inane radio and TV talk.

First, all goods, from groceries to the mayor’s spiffy clothes, are delivered by truck. Yes, that means everything needed by downtown Atlanta, including school food supplies and paper for the governor’s printer, have to be supplied by trucks. There are no railroad tracks to the State Capitol. There is no airplane runway on Piedmont Road. The Chattahoochee flows north of Atlanta, not through it, eliminating barge delivery. Marta has not yet begun package delivery.

Second, drivers, especially with 18-wheelers, are severely restricted in duty and rest hours. A large number of those pictured on the Atlanta expressways ran out of duty time while stuck in stalled traffic They were not permitted to move, period. To make sure they did not move, most are tracked by GPS. To repeat, it is against federal law for them to move unless they are personally directed by a law officer.

The number three fact is obvious. For about four months of every year, these truckers routinely drive through Chicago, Denver, Buffalo, Minneapolis and even Minot, North Dakota … yes, right straight through all that snow and ice and sleet and slop. How come they have a problem with Atlanta? Just a few thoughts to consider from a proud grandma and mother-in-law of two long-distance truckers who work darned hard for their pay.

Shirley Stagg


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