Monday, August 17, 2009

Bon voyage to the double nickel

OOIDA and its Illinois members have spent years trying to get rid of the state’s split-speed limit for trucks. Those efforts were repeatedly stymied by a corrupt former governor who vetoed legislation that would have eliminated split-speed limits. After all our collective efforts, who would have thought all it took was getting a governor impeached?

Ah, but that is the story of Illinois politics. Imprisoning former elected officials for various “pay to play” schemes is as common there as are drivers being illegally forced to pay for unloading someone else’s freight. Fortunately for truckers, disgraced former Gov. Blagojevich was replaced by Gov. Pat Quinn who has wisely allowed the despised split-speed limit to fade away.

I joined the Association 23 years ago because I recognized that as much as I “pitched a bitch” on the CB about many issues, flapping my gums over the radio wasn’t going to change anything. As time passes, things do seem to stay the same: Drivers still gripe about many inequities they face – and rightly so! But complaining to your fellow drivers over the radio still won’t change a thing; change can only happen if you take a stand and get involved in the process.

The victory in Illinois did not happen by chance. Between the efforts of OOIDA and its members, all truckers have scored a victory that will allow them to ride with the flow of traffic and improve highway safety by reducing accidents caused by unsafe interactions between vehicles operating at significantly different speeds.

Like many Americans, truckers have a dim view of the value of getting involved politically. They perceive that involvement as a waste of their time since they fear “it won’t make a difference.”

Saying “adios” to Illinois split speed-limit ought to be proof enough that working together we can make a difference.

9 comments:

  1. When I first started driving with a trainer I had to endure the splits. It was confusing and dangerous to a newbie. Glad to see splits go away.

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  2. All I can say is YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

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  3. Did IL follow OH? In OH, not all split speed limits went away. One example is Rt 30,4 lane, limited access remains 55 for trucks as does many other routes. When you see it, don't think they just forgot to change signs - 55 is still the law for trucks and law enforcement loves it. BUT - it certainly was a step in the right direction.

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  4. Get back On Ohio they still have a split speed limit on other 4 lane federal highways US 35-30-33 and 68 so the split speed limit is still alive and well in Ohio I know I live here Andy

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  5. To bad OOIDA has not put forth the effort to eleminate the splits on the left coast. I fought hard to get the Oregon DOT to implement the less split limits here and got no support.

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  6. It's long overdue and welcome!!!

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  7. OOIDA has sought to minimize, and eliminate, the speed differential in Oregon. Unfortunately, the only pieces of legislation to get consideration at the statehouse the past few years only seek to widen the speed gap.

    In 2005, OOIDA issued Calls to Action opposing legislation that eventually was signed into law giving ODOT the authority to widen the speed gap for cars and trucks to as much as 15 mph.

    In 2007, OOIDA issued a Call to Action in opposition to another bill that would have increased speeds for smaller vehicles to 70 mph while leaving truck speeds unchanged. That bill died.

    To help get the speed gap elminated in Oregon, it is important that the state's trucking association work for the same goal as OOIDA.

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  8. Good food takes time to prepare...yours will be ready in minutes...so says a sign in a Pizza house. Getting favorable legislation or regulation passed is no different. It takes time and a lot of work from all the membership.

    Get involved!

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