'Truck Accidents and Traffic Jams': No Brakes on Debate

In response to J. C. Garrett's letter "Truck Accidents and Traffic Jams" (March 3), I am really sorry that Garrett cannot ride some day with my husband when he drives his rig on our local freeways.

After just one day of putting up with inconsiderate and sloppy drivers, I'm sure Garrett would have a different opinion about most truckers.

For some reason, most auto drivers think it is a disgrace the way truckers drive, when most of the time truck drivers are only driving in self-defense.

I have traveled many times with my husband, and I have seen how auto drivers treat the truckers. We were nearly decapitated when we had to make a sudden stop for a car driver who was stopped dead in the middle of the lane. The other driver leaped out of his car and started to pick a fight with us for almost hitting him.

Meanwhile, 80,000 pounds of lumber shifted almost a foot on the trailer behind us. These rigs do not stop on a dime like a car, especially fully loaded.

If reader Garrett would like to share the road with truckers, let him/her also share our license fees, fuel taxes and road taxes. My husband works approximately one week a month for these types of expenses.

Please, let's have some consideration for the independent businessman and for truckers.

And last of all, don't lump all truck drivers in one category--most are as decent and safety-conscious as the next guy.

Make a trucker's day--drive safely and give him or her some room.

TRACEY E. BOWLING

Garden Grove

I agree with J .C. Garrett's letter. I also drive the freeways every day and find that those tractor-trailer accidents can be avoided.

I drive in the slow lane doing 55 m.p.h., and most drivers of the tractor-trailers pass me doing at least 65.

The drivers of the rigs also have a tendency to push the car in front of them, causing the car to pull over to let them pass.

If the California Highway Patrol would issue more tickets to those careless drivers, I know we would have fewer accidents on the freeways.

SIDNEY K. THIGHER

Costa Mesa

Did it ever occur to J. C. Garrett that there are moronic, lead-footed overgrown juvenile delinquents driving souped-up automobiles too fast for existing conditions on our freeways?

How many times has he seen a car move from the fast lane to an exit in one swift move? Even at slow speeds, tractor-trailer rigs don't stop on a dime, they jackknife!

R. DeJARNETTE

Huntington Beach

We all have a right to be alarmed about truck accidents and traffic inconveniences, but J. C. Garrett's strident remarks contain as much ignorance of the problem as indignation.

How would the traffic be if we had no trucks to haul groceries to local markets or clothes to shopping malls?

Would Garrett rather we all have to transport ourselves to far away central distribution centers and haul home our own goods?

Not me, thank you. I enjoy just being a housewife.

As for his attitude toward a trucker's driving habits and ability, does he really think a truck can stop or change lanes as easily as a 1,500-pound car? The real jerk is the driver who cuts off a truck.

Laws are already on the books and are enforced regarding speed, cleanup costs and driver responsibility. An employer pays dearly in registration fees and road taxes every time a truck leaves their premises, more so if their truck is involved in an accident.

So, J. C. Garrett, maybe you should check your facts before you make such irresponsible comments, or cut in front a speeding 18-wheeler.

SUSI VINSEL

Huntington Beach

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