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Roses & Razzberries

ROSES to U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR, for his comments during a hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee earlier this year.

The representative criticized U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters for not appearing at the hearing to defend her positions on privatization and tolling.

DeFazio said he “would have loved to have her come and defend the indefensible,” including Peters’ support of privatization, congestion pricing and tolling. DeFazio said those solutions are not “in the national interest” and that Peters’ support of them was not a rational argument.

DeFazio finished by saying that “luckily, when the next Congress sets a path for the future, we’ll be dealing with a different and hopefully more enlightened administration.”

A howling mad bushel basket of RAZZBERRIES goes out to a resident of Bucyrus, OH, who made a rather bizarre claim in an area newspaper involving coyotes and a truck driver.

The story in The News Journal in Mansfield, OH, was about how folks in Bucyrus are worried about the growing number of coyotes in the area.

One resident, a deer hunter who claims coyotes have been eating the deer, said that the coyotes were supposedly brought there years ago by a trucker, who said he had to drop them off “because of the high number of car-deer accidents.”

What makes the claim even stranger is that the story quotes an expert with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as saying that coyotes generally don’t attack animals larger than themselves.

We can’t say how the coyotes got into the Bucyrus area, but we feel confident in saying that this is one time the phrase “a truck brought it” doesn’t apply.

And speaking of bizarre claims in the media about trucking, here are some RAZZBERRIES for WESH-TV, a local NBC affiliate in Orlando, FL.

Following a pile-up on Interstate 4 in January that involved trucks and four-wheelers, the station aired a story about the dangers of vehicles following too closely behind other vehicles in order to save fuel.

Nothing new there, right? Except that this story claimed it was the truckers drafting behind four-wheelers.

One alleged “professional truck driver” said he sees trucks doing this all the time. The story also quoted a commercial driving instructor who said that the consequences from a wreck caused by following too closely far outweigh the amount of fuel you save.

In any case, common sense says an 80,000-pound Peterbilt isn’t going to cut out much wind resistance by tailgating a Honda Civic.

OOIDA member Steve Beecher of Canton, OH, sent me a dump trailer full of RAZZBERRIES to share with member Timothy Quimby for an item that appeared in this column in the February issue.

In that item, Timothy sent out RAZZBERRIES to, as he put it, “middle-aged adolescent drivers with their big, fat, shiny un-muffled straight pipes” and their indiscriminate use of their exhaust/engine brakes. Tim meant to single out those who abuse their exhaust brakes in residential areas (thus drawing the ire of city councils that then pass restrictions on said brakes).

Steve says “razzberries” and said he will gladly deliver them with his “big shiny piped truck.” There you go, Steve; consider them delivered.

After dishing out so many RAZZBERRIES, I guess we’re bound to get one back every now and then.

This came from Linda Goodrich, a driver from Cadillac, MI, and was supposed to be a RAZZBERRY against a trucking company, but we thought it was a better ROSE for Linda and her husband.

The two of them came upon an accident on an icy stretch of Interstate 40 near Santa Rosa, NM. They pulled over to help and found a young man trapped in a pickup truck pinned beneath a tractor-trailer. The man’s brother was frantically trying to get him out.

Linda and her husband stayed with the brothers and did everything they could to aid them until the police arrived.

Linda wanted to give a RAZZBERRY to the company and its driver who stopped on an icy road because he wasn’t used to driving in those conditions, thus causing the pickup truck to slam into him.

While that RAZZBERRY may be warranted, we think Linda and her husband deserve the ROSE not only for stopping to help, but also for staying with the two men until the police and paramedics arrived. LL

Terry Scruton may be reached at