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Thursday April 6, 2017

Report dangerous driving, especially a truck driver 

An alert convenience store employee probably saved lives when he called police to report a truck driver behaving strangely. Police say the man was high on crystal meth and had driven his tractor-trailer from Washington State to Massachusetts – 3,000 miles – without stopping!

Even without the drugs, that trucker violated federal law by driving so many hours without rest. Sleep-deprived truckers are far more likely to cause an accident. If you see a truck driver weaving, drifting or acting oddly, call 911 immediately.

Store clerk likely prevented a major truck accident

When Deerfield (Mass.) police arrived at the Circle K gas station, truck driver Gary Robbins was acting very strange. Threw his credit cards into his fuel tank. Tried to squeeze between the cab and the trailer. Got combative with the cops. He was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs as well as a long list of trucking violations.

The truck driver could face jail time and lifetime revocation of his commercial driver’s license. But under trucking regulations, he would be in serious trouble simply for driving across the country non-stop. To fight the serious problem of truck driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits how many hours truckers can drive in one day and mandates a period of rest before they can resume. Robbins may have been driving as much as 48 hours straight — and intended to keep going to his East Coast destination before police intercepted him. His reckless behavior could have caused a devastating truck crash at any point.

“How’s my driving?” Good question … for the police.

Why would a trucker jeopardize his livelihood by exceeding Hours of Service or taking drugs? In this case the man may have a drug addiction. But sometimes drivers use illegal stimulants because they are under pressure from employers to “do what it takes” to meet delivery deadlines. Some truck drivers and trucking companies falsify logbooks to cover up their non-compliance.

In the event of a truck accident resulting in injury or fatality, a personal injury lawyer would seek all relevant documentation – the trucker’s driving history, the logs, the “black box” data recorder, credit card receipts – to establish whether the driver and employer risked public safety.

If you notice an 18-wheeler drifting out of its lane, or witness aggressive or erratic behavior by a truck driver, do call police. Then call the “how’s my driving” number on the back of the truck and give the employer an earful.

Source: A wild ride from Seattle ends in Deerfield arrest (Greenfield Recorder)

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