Re “Truck Crash Prompts Call for Routine Inspections” (Dec. 24):
Rather than “a natural prejudice toward trucks,” as stated by Sheriffs Lt. George Johnson, a natural fear toward trucks would be a better choice of words.
Readers may be interested to know that, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one of every three tractor-trailers can be expected to crash in a year.
Nationally, federal statistics indicate that the involvement of heavy trucks in fatal crashes continues to be much higher than that of passenger cars when mileage is taken into account.
The number of fatal accidents involving trucks has increased 40% in California in the last six years. In 1987, there were 633 people killed and 16,310 injured in truck-involved collisions in the state. From 1982 to 1987, there was an 80% increase in the number of truck-involved deaths in Orange County.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspection bill (Sen. John Seymour, R-Anaheim, and Assemblyman Richard Katz, D-Sylmar) was passed in 1988. It sent a warning to truck drivers and owners of big rigs that trucking law violations will not be tolerated. It also allows the CHP to conduct 100,000 additional spot safety inspections in California.
Laws are good only if they are enforced. Strong action must be taken to crack down on commercial truck operators who do not maintain their vehicles. I ask our supervisors to look carefully at truck safety in Orange County.