In view of what has been happening in our area the last several months there is a matter I think needs to be given a lot more thought and our state legislature needs to take some action on.
When people come to a railroad crossing they know that they must yield to the train or they will be run over and it will be their fault. If you are on the water in a small boat you know you must yield to larger boats. A barge on the river takes a mile to stop going up stream and two miles to stop going down stream and your being in the way won't change that.
Yet when people get out on the roads with big trucks they expect truck drivers to be able to change the laws of physics to compensate for their lack of knowledge. If a driver allows a safe distance between the truck and the car in front of him there will be at least three car's pull in it and if anyone gets a ticket it will be the trucker. Cars pull ahead of the stop line at traffic lights and force trucks to pull their trailers over the curb and if they are caught the trucker will get a ticket for it.
A state highway patrolman made a U-turn in front of me one morning in McConnelsville then went about 200 yards and stopped in the left turn lane. After stopping he let his car roll completely in front of the stop line. That same stop line is where one of my kids was chewed out by a driver education instructor for stopping at the stop line. While the instructor was still talking the shadow of a turning truck covered them and the instructor stopped talking. While one of my kids was a student at Ohio State she told me about other kids giving her a bad time about the way she drove because she knows enough to stay out of areas the laws of physics dictate a truck must go. The other kids think it is funny to give the trucks a bad time and they know that if anything happens the trucker will get the ticket.
I never worry when meeting a truck on roads like State Route 145 or Route 78 or 530 because I know where the truck has to be. You never know where a car is going to be.
Forcing the oil companies to have all these flag cars and escorts is like forcing the river barges to have a fleet of small boats all around it because people don't know enough to stay out of its way.
Driver education instructors should be required to have at least 5 years experience driving a semi. From what I have seen anyone that doesn't have a CDL or wasn't taught to drive by someone who did does not know enough to be on the road and should be required to take a class from someone that does.
Another thing is the no engine brake signs. If people had any idea what an engine brake does they wouldn't live or drive anywhere one of those signs is posted. To ban the engine brake is a lot like requiring all cars to disconnect their front brakes to drive through their town.
Then there is the issue of the rain. It has been raining here for the last 25 years. Back in the '60s and '70s when we didn't have the modern equipment they have now to put up hay we could never have gotten hay up without it rotting if it had rained the way it has the last 25 years. The Muskingum River used to get so low in the summer it would stink until you didn't want near it. Small streams would dry up and farm ponds would nearly go dry. Today it is so wet that trees, roots and all slide over the hill and take the electric lines down. Land shifts and water lines break. Buildings slide and some of the places the land slides have roads through them but that is always blamed on the trucks. The amount of tax money the government is getting from the trucks, the mineral leases and everything associated with the wells would be a number too large to comprehend but the government wants to add even more taxes.
Scott E. Fisher