Line One
Roses & Razzberries

Car and Driver is truly one of the great automotive magazines. In the June issue, C&D's Brock Yates continues his loud whining about the arrival of E-Zpass. Yates has long predicted it's just a matter of time before Big Brother uses the system of tracking the movements of E-Zpass users from point to point to determine speeds. Now, he tells us, it has happened. Yates tells that a friend of a friend (a professional trucker) was just victimized, receiving a speeding ticket for doing 77 mph on a New York thruway. He got the ticket through the mail. Date and time of the offense were, it seems, duly noted on the ticket. The average speed of the truck from point A to B was beyond the legal limit of 65 mph. The trucker was fined and given points on his CDL. Yates gets a ROSE for predicting this revenue-raising source will "certainly be welcome in perhaps the most tax gluttonous and manifestly inefficient state governments in the county."

It seems that at least four state troopers in full SWAT regalia were using a weigh station on South Carolina's I-77 for a "good" cause the week of April 3. One OOIDA member told Land Line: "They had it down to a science; the troopers were waving every big rig into the northbound scales. The southbound scales are under construction. The four troopers waved us into two lanes, but not to be weighed. They were asking for donations for the March of Dimes. I gave them a twenty and hoped they would give me my change. All of us were afraid if we didn't donate, we'd get inspected and they would find something wrong." A ROSE to the troopers for the good-hearted effort, but RAZZBERRIES for the storm trooper technique.

Shell Corporation deserves a ROSE for their effective new ad campaign (both print ads and television commercials) that teaches motorists how to drive around big trucks. Shell also offers a "Sharing the Road" booklet free to the public. To receive a copy call 1-800-376-0200 or pick up one at your nearest Shell station.

Truckdriver Curtis Baker was hauling 146 puppies in a truck without air conditioning when his truck broke down in Nashville. According to news reports, Baker simply left his truck full of live cargo by the side of the road and took off. Luckily, mechanics at the Neely Coble Garage, where the truck was towed,heard whimpering coming from the truck. ROSE to the guys at the garage and employees from city animal control who saved all but four puppies.

ROSE to Kay Semion, associate editor of the Dayton Daily News editorial pages. Her recent column directed at truckers and four-wheelers stirred a number of truckers to write to her. Some sent copies to Land Line for a ROSE. They liked Semion's words - "Car drivers are three times more likely to be at fault in car-truck collisions," and her comment, "Frankly, I trust truckers as safe drivers a lot more than I trust most folks who drive cars." The latter probably stirred Ohio four-wheelers to write as well.

ROSE to Jim Kraus, a truckdriver for Wal-Mart and a member of Trucker Buddy International, for his ingenious method of teaching math to seventh graders using a real-life example. One of the problems he suggested to the class is this: How long would it take a truckdriver, driving at an average of 60 mph, to travel to Pennsauken, NJ, from Baldwinsville, NY, (a distance of about 300 miles)? Then, he hopped in his truck and drove the route. The answer is: Five hours, 45 minutes with two stops.

And a ROSE to Deborah Droke, the seventh-grade math teacher from Pennsauken, NJ, who waited two years for a chance to get into the Trucker Buddy Program.

Christopher Walton deserves a ROSE for his April article in the Detroit Free Press titled "Wrongly Accused." Walton cites a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) to inform readers that the four-wheeling public ought to be better educated when driving around big rigs.

ROSE to four-wheeler Danny Green for his daring rescue of trucker Mark Hurtado on California's Highway 101 on May 11. Green saw Hurtado's tanker overturn in the center divider, called 911 and broke a window to free the trucker just as the tank split open spilling more than 4,000 gallons of fuel.

A staff writer from The Washington Post gets a ROSE for his column "In the Company of Truckers." Warren Brown explains "road wander" and "No Zone," citing FHWA statistics and ends by asking for feedback from readers in his weekly online discussion.