Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sharing the Road

It seemed to me 25 years ago when I was a C.B. enthusiast with a base station at home and a mobile set in the car that truckers were a much nicer breed than today's road jockeys seem to be. They were friendly on the radio back then, and their driving habits seemed to be reflective of a kinder, gentler age. I can't stand sharing the road with truckers now. They typically don't respond to "Breaker 1-9" in spite of the costly antennae strapped onto their mirrors and they drive with little consideration for the "four wheelers" as they call us with disdain. Twenty-five years ago I might have ventured onto the interstates with my scooter, but not now and big trucks are the primary reason for why I won't.

Oh, how I love following one of these beasts down a wet road!

Now before you jump down to the comments section to tell me that your mom is a trucker, to remind me that without trucks and truckers we'd be hard pressed to get our commodities as easily as we do, or to chastise me for stereotyping, I acknowledge that I'm not giving everybody who drives a truck (And, yes, it's "drives a truck," not "drives truck," as truckers and their families call it.) a fair shake. When it's I in an argument versus some nameless, faceless guy or gal hauling a load, I win. At least here. It's my blog.

The habit of theirs that fills me with unparalleled road rage is when one of them just has to start passing another on a grade and then stays in the passing lane at a sub-standard speed for miles without having the decency to drop back and over when he realizes that he doesn't have the requisite gerbil power to complete the pass. Fed-Ex drivers are the absolute worst at this out here on I-80 near Mile Run and Jersey Shore. Another seeming habit is their racing to be first into the open lane when another is closed only to slow down ridiculously going up the invariable hill that seems to be a necessity in every construction zone.

Of course it doesn't help that my neighbor across the street drives a tractor trailer, parks his tractor, Hummer, and Escalade on the street to take up the space of a few Greyhound buses, and fires up his rig at any hour of the night to idle it for up to a half an hour before leaving. "I'm just going to work," is his typical defense against complaints. Yeah. I should bring a schoolyard full of kids here to have recess in my yard while he's sleeping during the day.

I think there ought to be a law that every trailer full of stuff that needs to travel more than about 50 miles has to move by rail leaving the tractor trailer assembly for local deliveries only. That or build a separate set of roads for truckers that they can pay for and use exclusively.

I wish I could see this sign at every interstate entrance!

1 comment:

D.B. Echo said...

Here's an adventure I would not have wanted to have while on a scooter:

Trucks, in my experience, drive too slow when they're in front of you, and too fast and too close when they're behind you. "Safe following distance" means nothing to these behemoths. I would love to see a massive increase in the use of rail transport for any loads going more than a few miles.