Line One

By Terry Scruton
Land Line Now senior correspondent

OOIDA Member Andy Butterfield of Riley, MI, would like to send out bunches of ROSES to Belinda, a stranger who walked into the restaurant at the Petro in Shreveport, LA, awhile back and made every trucker in the place feel special.

Andy was in there that day. He said that Belinda came in at 5:30 a.m. and offered to buy breakfast for every truck driver sitting there. Andy estimated the number to be about 10 drivers. Belinda said that a truck driver had helped her out of a tough spot years ago, and she wanted to return the favor.

Andy said he walked out of the truck stop that morning "with my head high and my chest proud." Belinda, we don't know if you'll ever read this, but your act of kindness did not go unnoticed.

RAZZBERRIES go out to the folks at OnStar who are, at this moment, working on a way to allow drivers to update their Facebook pages while they are driving.

This new system will allow drivers to post audio updates to their Facebook pages as well as hear e-mail and other status updates read back to them, probably with one of those creepy sounding computerized voices.

The folks at OnStar say this is all hands-free and is still in the early testing stages so it's still a long way away from being available on the market.

Which is good, because that means there's still plenty of time for them to realize what a bad idea it really is. Hands-free or not, it's just one more distraction that we don't need behind the wheel. Not only that, but can you imagine the status updates we'll start seeing when people are able to start posting their road rage online? Let's hope this thing comes with a profanity filter.

We need to throw a basket of rotten RAZZBERRIES to the idiots who seem to think it's a good idea to throw rocks at trucks – or any vehicles for that matter – from overpasses.

We had yet another incident of this in September in Indianapolis, and we will never understand it. One truck was hit, its windshield partially shattered, and the driver treated for possible glass in his eye. He's lucky it was just that and not blindness, or worse.

Who gets it in their stupid little head that, hey, I know what would be fun! Let's go stand on an overpass and throw rocks at passing vehicles.

Who does that? It's tempting to say kids, but as we've seen in the past it's not always kids. Even if it is, that's just no excuse. Whoever is doing it we know one thing for sure: They've got no shortage of rocks. They can just pull them from their head.

Let's give out a convoy of ROSES to both the World's Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics and to the Convoy for a Cure to benefit breast cancer research.

Throughout September and October, truckers get together and roll across the U.S. and Canada to bring attention to – and raise money for – two very worthy causes.

We know these things can't be easy to put together, so a special salute goes to all of the folks who dedicate their time and effort to organizing them as well.

RAZZBERRIES to former Illinois state trooper Matt Mitchell. Back in 2007, Mitchell was driving in his cruiser at 126 mph while at the same time sending and receiving e-mails and talking to his girlfriend on his phone when he crossed over the median and struck another car head-on.

In that car were two young girls, both of whom were killed. Mitchell was suspended (with pay, no less) and later resigned after pleading guilty to reckless homicide and reckless driving in exchange for a sentence of 30 months probation.

All of this is bad enough, but here's the kicker: In September, Mitchell filed a worker's compensation case asking the state to compensate him for injuries he received in the wreck.

So this man kills two innocent girls, gets a slap on the wrist, and then wants to be compensated for it? The word "gall" doesn't even begin to come close to describing him. Unfortunately, the words that do describe him aren't fit for publication. LL