Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 8:16 am | Overcast 70º


Letter to the Editor: Protect the Rights of Big-Rig Truckers

It is time for new leadership. President Barack Obama has invited big-rig truckers to the White House who gave perspectives on the difficulties of more work regulations. Democrats are supposed to fight for workers, yet some did not.

If you are a Dem, you have to decide between protecting the working trucker, or selective workers. Big rigs are nonpartisan, and truckers’ rights extend into party lines. If you are a Republican, you want a vibrant economy, which includes industrial transportation between cities. You don’t ban big rigs, or go on the news and say you want fewer trucks around.

This nonpartisan issue touches NAFTA, and NATO supply routes. Domestically, the small roundabout on Highway 246 went along with the bad public policy, making it harder on firetrucks, tour buses, military trucks/equipment, emergency respondents, horse trailers and farmers. As a previous writer stated, farmers have to make adjustments, which may include going through Highway 1 and Highway 101, increasing the cost of gas expenses.

High gas prices increase shipping costs and consumer retail prices. I have read a lot of spin on temporary inflation where consumer coupons are useful; however, businesses eat those costs. In addition, a penny or a few cents drop in gas is not going to mean a rebound compared with $1 to $2 ago. Box trucks may be good for recessions, but not for growth economic cycles. Box trucks during growth periods will require more shipping trips and gas costs for the business, as well as consumers.

You are basically trapping growth and inflationary risks within society. You can compare consumer prices at downtowns and see where it is more expensive. Everyone is paying more at stores, including college students and families. Food 4 Less has the right idea with its truckload commercials of “Food 4 Less, why pay more?”

Safety has not been improved, with two truck driver deaths near Buellton on Highways 101 and 246. Taking the place of truck parking isn’t vogue — it’s basically accepting responsibility for trucking deaths when you easily could have parked in the parking lot. Truck drivers are swerving more often, and Allstate commercials make fun of it.

Stop picking on the big rig. When will public officials start taking responsibility, rather than blaming the working truck driver? Swerving increases the chances of more accidents for everyone around. Share the road isn’t working. Big rig drivers have every right to deliver, park, eat and rest within every city near hotels and restaurants. Make it easier for them, and you will help everyone.

We need new leadership and a change of plan. Stop holding families hostage from your policies. You will always need big rigs to transport goods and services, even with high-speed rail. This tug-of-war has been going on ever since the railroad.

Ricardo Soto
Santa Barbara

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