Line One
Truckers Speak Out
Come back tomorrow

By Robin Fjelstad, Napa, CA

I am an ammo/explosive hauler and OOIDA member who would like to make an informed observation about ABC’s “PrimeTime” (Oct. 4, 2001) television news show.

I cannot tell you the number of times we have had to park outside a military base and guard a load for a minimum of overnight up to the entire weekend.

Our U.S. military is supposed to be on call 24/7 just like commercial carriers are, but if they were, companies would not need to provide safe havens for their loads. This is a major expense to these companies, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. They want the carriers to foot the bill to secure the government freight, but they are not willing to provide around-the-clock coverage to get these loads off the streets. Companies cannot have terminals next door to every military installation. We are not allowed to carry weapons for our own protection. All we have is a panic button, which is a joke. There have been many documented panic button tests where the local or state police never even bother to show up. If you are being hijacked, you may barely have time to push the button, and you sure aren’t going to be able to pick up the cell phone and call them, which is the first message you receive from the company on your Qualcomm after the panic button is pushed.

I just feel this investigation went with the wrong part of the problem. They should have had their cameras at the military installations any day of the week after 5 p.m. to see what the driver deals with in trying to gain access, and what options we are left with when security says “Come back at 7 a.m. tomorrow.”