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  • Accidents waiting to happen

    Just about a year ago I was following a semi with doubles on a rural road. It appeared next to impossible for the rig to maintain lane placement. It crossed the line a couple dozen times. Maybe if the rig was doing 10 mph and the driver being extraordinarily cautious it could have remained in it's lane. This road is a short cut between two major arteries commonly used by trucks. I brought this to the attention of my sup and he notified state. Nothing further happened. A while later another officer took a dash cam video of the exact same thing. Still nada from state.
    A couple of weeks back semi met semi. After clearing the mess which took wreckers about 2 hours we discussed that roadway. Just about every officer who has gotten that patrol has the same story and there's been at least 6 TAs caused by failure to maintain in a year.
    State came back that it is a recognized log haul road and those trucks have no alternative. This gives any semi implied rights to use the road. I'm not seeing any solution here, until some politician or their family or friend gets mashed on that road. State won't even lower the speed limit. Anyone have a bright idea?

  • #2
    Tickets tickets tickets. Before I retired, I worked a heavy industrial area that had big rigs running in and out of the many chemical plants and refineries. For whatever reason they could dream up, the truckers tried to intimidate other vehicles to get out of their way, mainly because they were important and had deadlines to meet.
    We received complaints daily about the dangerous conditions due to the trucks disregarding every law so I started working that stretch of road almost exclusively and cut them NO slack for their bullying the other folks on the road.

    It didn't take long before the trucks were polite and obeying all the laws. Strict enforcement is the key. After a few drivers lose their jobs due to the amount of citations they get, I guarantee the others will start paying attention and drive safely.
    Last edited by delzo70; 04-20-2019, 02:39 PM.
    If your biggest work-related fear is getting a paper cut, don't try and tell a cop how to do his job.

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    • #3
      Is it bad road design or bad driving habits on the part of truck drivers?

      If it's bad driving habits, then as Delzo said, enhanced enforcement efforts are the key.

      OTOH, if it's bad road design you can do a couple of things. Your agency can press the state highway department to redesign and rebuild the road. You can also tip off whatever reporter at your local TV station does exposes' on matters that embarrass government and get him to send a film crew out there documenting all the near misses and crashes involving trucks and poor road design.

      But, there's something everyone forgets. Redesigning and correcting a significant length of road is costly and not something that happens overnight. It is something that must be budgeted for. State agencies do not have infinite funds and must prioritize repairs, so this project will go in the hopper and be weighed against other highway repair needs that have been waiting longer or may pose an even greater risk. This will be compounded by the fact that when the project is finally approved, state agencies usually budget two to three years in advance. In other words, the wheels of progress grind slowly, so don't hold your breath that this will be fixed soon, even if everyone agrees that this is a problem.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        I agree with L-1 about the cause could be poor road design.... but if a driver cannot stay in their lane, it is their responsibility to drive a speed that they CAN stay in their lane. As an example, just because a roadway is marked 50mph it does not mean it is safe to do so. A driver of any vehicle must drive safely, given the road design and conditions at the time.

        We seldom get snow and ice in my part of the world. It is so funny to hear drivers that fail to slow down on the icy overpasses, cry "but the speed limit is 55!" when they crash into something. If a big rig cannot stay within their lane for ANY reason, including road design, they need to slow down. If that was in my jurisdiction, I'd sit in a safe area and write every truck that crossed the center stripe. The word would get around pretty fast and the problem would be solved, hopefully.
        If your biggest work-related fear is getting a paper cut, don't try and tell a cop how to do his job.

        Comment


        • #5
          If the state won't lower the speed limit for all traffic, perhaps they'd consider lowering it for big rigs? We have a steep hill in our area that has several sharp turns that are very difficult for large trucks to navigate. Closing it to all trucks is not possible due to local deliveries. We've had a truck overturn in the exact same spot on an almost weekly basis. Rather than lowering the speed limit for all traffic even lower (it was already only 25) we lowered it to 15 for trucks. Then stepped up enforcement. ZERO breaks for speeding. And since we already had them pulled over we'd cite them for all equipment violations as well. Turned every stop into as lengthy of an ordeal for them as legally possible. "Oh, your load's gonna be late now? That's too bad." Word spread quickly that the local cops are complete d*cks and "hate truckers". Now we're down to "only" one overturned truck per month. I guess that's a win...

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          • #6
            You guys nailed it. Looks like it's time to try to coordinate with state patrol and hammer the speeders for a start. Talk it up with the brass and give the road a month of heavy patrols and zero tolerance for a start while discussing options. With all the bullet holes in the existing signs nobody is hot on the idea of a camera and radar out there.

            Mulling things over: Definitely would benefit from posted reduced speeds. Log rigs have unlimited use so chip rigs take license then the big rig doubles, none of which should be unrestricted.
            Both bad road design and habits. The road design is no problem if we had a 3 or even 10 ton weight limit. Crammed between a cliff and a river we are talking an act of God getting it redesigned and rebuilt.

            A perfect storm scenario: Some of the bull crap attached to this stretch of road.
            Politics. The lumber and pulp mills are the big taxpayers and campaign donors and have the local politicians in their pockets. This is why the local politicians haven't joined in the complaint chorus.
            State Highways has computed the road to be acceptable for that posted speed. The wood chip trucks are the biggest offenders, driving right down the middle of that road empty as fast as they can. One took most of the side off a motor home a month ago. For some obscure reason, state can't plug a 44 foot long trailer or 65 feet of a double going balls to the walls into their computer program or however they calculate these things.
            The road cannot be closed to trucks because it's logging access. Log trucks must use the shortest direct route to the mills. The road gets annihilated and needs to be repaved about once every two years thanks to the overweight log trucks. 100,000+ lbs is common and we can't ticket them for overweight. Everyone just looks the other way.
            And then, the road is way out on the edge of our jurisdiction and how much people power can we dedicate to this 2 miles in the middle of nowhere?
            And of course, all the log and chip rigs have the radio on and know when we're out that way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BetteNoireX View Post
              You guys nailed it. Looks like it's time to try to coordinate with state patrol and hammer the speeders for a start. Talk it up with the brass and give the road a month of heavy patrols and zero tolerance for a start while discussing options. With all the bullet holes in the existing signs nobody is hot on the idea of a camera and radar out there.

              Mulling things over: Definitely would benefit from posted reduced speeds. Log rigs have unlimited use so chip rigs take license then the big rig doubles, none of which should be unrestricted.
              Both bad road design and habits. The road design is no problem if we had a 3 or even 10 ton weight limit. Crammed between a cliff and a river we are talking an act of God getting it redesigned and rebuilt.

              A perfect storm scenario: Some of the bull crap attached to this stretch of road.
              Politics. The lumber and pulp mills are the big taxpayers and campaign donors and have the local politicians in their pockets. This is why the local politicians haven't joined in the complaint chorus.
              State Highways has computed the road to be acceptable for that posted speed. The wood chip trucks are the biggest offenders, driving right down the middle of that road empty as fast as they can. One took most of the side off a motor home a month ago. For some obscure reason, state can't plug a 44 foot long trailer or 65 feet of a double going balls to the walls into their computer program or however they calculate these things.
              The road cannot be closed to trucks because it's logging access. Log trucks must use the shortest direct route to the mills. The road gets annihilated and needs to be repaved about once every two years thanks to the overweight log trucks. 100,000+ lbs is common and we can't ticket them for overweight. Everyone just looks the other way.
              And then, the road is way out on the edge of our jurisdiction and how much people power can we dedicate to this 2 miles in the middle of nowhere?
              And of course, all the log and chip rigs have the radio on and know when we're out that way.
              Maybe it's time to get creative. Got an old marked cruiser? Leave it parked out there and put a dummy in uniform in the driver's seat. Officer Dummy can cover some shifts when you guys can't make it out there. Move it to a different location once in a while and continue to do actual enforcement as often as possible so hopefully the truckers won't catch on too quickly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post

                Maybe it's time to get creative. Got an old marked cruiser? Leave it parked out there and put a dummy in uniform in the driver's seat. Officer Dummy can cover some shifts when you guys can't make it out there. Move it to a different location once in a while and continue to do actual enforcement as often as possible so hopefully the truckers won't catch on too quickly.
                We did this in a small town in our county. We had a marked unit with a blown transmission that wasn't going to get fixed but we used for engine parts. We towed it to the town and put it in a VERY conspicuous place next to the highway through town and YES we used a dummy in the car. The brake lights lit up the town hall when the drivers spotted the car.
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                • #9
                  How about we take our resident near retiree and our oldest cruiser and park them out on the road? Maybe install an ice chest on the passenger seat. He'll probably like the idea.

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