Speed kills! The use of radar by the California Highway Patrol to catch speeding trucks (March 1) is long overdue. In 1986 our 27-year-old son was killed by a speeding, out-of-control tractor-trailer. In 1987 state Sen. Daniel Boatwright (D-Concord) introduced a pilot program (SB 756) to crack down on speeding trucks and buses. The bill passed the Senate and was defeated in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. The California Trucking Assn. supported radar legislation; the Teamsters opposed it.
According to the CHP, speed is the primary collision factor in accidents where truck drivers are at fault. Assemblyman Lou Papan (D-Millbrae) says, "The first duty of the Highway Patrol is to assist a distressed motorist." If that is so, then the priorities of the CHP need to be reassessed! Since thousands are killed or maimed every year on the highways, prevention is paramount and radar could obviously help. In 1996 California was No. 2 in the country for fatal truck crashes, 428 killed and 12,742 injured. If, as CHP Cmdr. Kent Milton says, the CHP has always had the right to use radar, then why not right now?
EDWARD SHANBROM, HELEN SHANBROM, Santa Ana