Saturday, July 27, 2013
While stuck in traffic behind the accident on U.S. Highway 12 Friday morning, several of us truck drivers were discussing the absurdity and stupidity of scheduling highway maintenance during the busiest truck traffic months of the year.
Then it hit me. Whoever repeatedly schedules maintenance on that section of Highway 12 during harvest when truck traffic is highest is a genius. It’s one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the state, but its accident numbers aren’t quite good enough to make funding for a new Highway 12 more of a priority than some highways on the west side of the state.
Simple solution. Pad the numbers. Never mind the callous disregard for traffic safety because we have to look at the big picture here. Why else would they do repairs of the newer divided sections of Highway 12 first so they can wait to do the most dangerous sections when truck traffic is highest?
The victim in the Toyota pickup was lucky to walk away from that accident. If you get a chance to see the pictures you will agree. I hope he sues the state for its stupidity and I hope he also sues whoever is responsible for scheduling the repairs in July or August.
Personal accountability needs to be rediscovered. Just because a person works for the government shouldn’t absolve him or her of resp0onsibility for his or her stupid actions.
Want to make Highway 12 safer until the new one is done? Put several slow traffic turnouts along the way and start strictly enforcing their use. I see drivers pulled over for speeding frequently but I never see or hear of any getting pulled over for delaying traffic.
I believe the law requires a driver to pull over when there are five or more vehicles behind but I see strings of 20-plus cars go by patrol vehicles and they do nothing.
I could easily write five delay citations for every one speeding violation. If they are going to enforce the laws, enforce them equally, or not at all. Slow drivers holding up traffic cause more accidents than speeders.
Law enforcement will argue, but if you get in a truck now and ride all day between the fields and Wallula you will see what I mean.
I still think the people responsible for scheduling are genius, but I do feel sorry for the victims.
Remember, it’s for the greater good.