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Hand Held Debacle !


Most recently in Ontario, there was a ban placed on handheld devises, this is an excerpt from a piece I wrote on the subject recently “I like most of you think that this is a no brainer, we have all seen people weaving all over the roads while they text away or the folks I love are the ones that come flying up beside you like their late for the free buffet and when they get right where they block you in, they slow down to the same speed your doing. After a few minutes of back in forth they floor it again and that’s when you see the cell phone in the ear. I used to fantasize about having a hydraulic battering ram strapped to the frame rails of my truck and when Citizen Joe pulled this stunt I would wait for him to get in just the right position and, well I think you can figure the rest out. I hope someone is watching the politicians so that they don’t get to stupid and try and ban the CB’s, just a watch out, politicians doing something stupid can you imagine?”
Hard to imagine the timing, I just wrote that piece for a magazine I contribute to and now I see Alberta has decided to not only follow the Ontario example but add a twist, they have decided to throw truckers and their CB’s under the bus with this new proposed legislation called Bill 16. For those politicians who are unaware of this industries record, we are the safest vehicles on the highway with less accident per million miles than any other vehicles on the road, check this out www.transportation.alberta.ca/Content/docType47/Production/2009AR.pdf the numbers don’t lie.
There are many good reasons for this and part of that reason is the CB radio, I am years away from when I drove truck and I must admit to having a love hate relationship during my later years with the CB. I only used it for certain situations, I got tired of all the complaining that was taking over the airwaves. That being said it is an invaluable tool to find out weather conditions, to take warnings of what lies ahead or just around the bend from another trucker coming the other way or to warn all those around you of an emergency situation that should be avoided, like NOW!
Texting while driving is stupid and should not be done, I have done it and you cannot look at the key pad of a phone/Blackberry whatever and stay in control of your vehicle all the time, dialing a cell phone same thing, don’t care what you say it’s dangerous. Grabbing a microphone and pushing one button to while staring out the windshield, give me a break, I would hazard a guess that the CB radio has saved ten times more lives over it existence than it has cost, I would win that bet, hands down.
Don’t get me wrong I am all about thinking outside the box when it comes to safety, a good friend of mine and past Chairman of TCA Mr. Jimmy O’Neil President of O&S Trucking said it best, when at the start his reign of TCA he said that safety is a “Moral Imperative” of the trucking industry. Bill 16 needs to be amended and changed to leave truckers and CB radios alone, it will have the exact opposite effect should it be enacted into law.
Safe Trucking


Ray Haight

Ray Haight

Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations.
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5 Comments » for Hand Held Debacle !
  1. Art Fisher says:

    Just an observation – not only does the legislation seem to ban truckers from using their CB’s for personal use, but also Ham Radio Operators operating out of their vehicles. Business use of Amateur Radio is strictly forbidden unless it is an emergency, so it looks like we (my call VE6WR) will be out of luck as well.

  2. Ed Wesselius says:

    The proposed ban on CB radios in Alberta is very similar to the recent imposition of speed limiters in (so far) Ontario and Quebec. All the evidence and numerous studies done (on speed limiters) point to counter safety, not, as was touted by the OTA, a safety or an environmental benefit. But more than that, it also shows that politicians are easily swayed by very vocal special interest groups that have their own agenda, again, such as the OTA. And some of these ideas prove that there are way too many simple servants trying to justify their jobs when they clearly seem to have no idea what they’re doing and are cognisant of the real workings of the industry they’re trying to regulate.

  3. Chris Schmidt says:

    Give me a freakin break-I’m certain that the morning after this law is in effect, our roads will miraculously become safe!!
    With a serious driver shortage looming in the distance(its already here), we are still forced to digest this constant diet of bull*%#@ from our governing bodies. Have they ever considered that if we are able to navigate an 85′ long unit through a congested city, that we may be co-ordinated enough to walk and chew gum at the same time???
    What will the politicians do when there are no drivers available to deliver their bottled water to Parliament Hill, because the experienced ones left the industry, due to the over-regulation we have been subjected to?
    Sad state of affairs…

  4. Stephen Large says:

    Hey Ed and Chris – you guys are right on the money with your comments! This is obviously the government listening to special interest groups like, for instance, the OTA, but I think that some of the big carriers are probably behind it also! The small operators with a few trucks who can’t possibly afford the technology such as sattelite tracking and don’t have just as many office people as drivers, are a real thorn to the big carriers! The big companies know that they will NEVER be able to provide the level of service to the customer that the small truckers can and they would do anything to squeeze out the little guy! They will tell customers that by using the big guy, they can have ‘real time updates’ as to where their freight is located and when it will be delivered. What they don’t tell is that the persons sitting in the office, looking at the sattelite system for truck # 555 with load xyz has never been in a truck, does not know how far it is from A to B, other than what the system tells them, and actually has no idea when the load might get there! If you use a small carrier, you would call the guy who is actually steering the truck down the road and has all of the answers to your questions instantly! The big carriers know that the little guy with 4 – 5 trucks depends on using the cell phone to make their business work and if they can stop the small carrier from using it, then they have trown a wrench in the spokes of the small carrier’s business! Most of the latest crap thrown at truckers is designed to screw up the small guy and hardly affect the big guy! Chris- If you sit back and look, you will see that most of the experienced drivers have already left the industry and are long gone to greener pastures forever!

  5. CB Radio Fan says:

    The proposed ban on CB Radios is crazy, I’ve been driving for 15+ years and they’ve saved me from more than one accident! This is a simple case of too much regulation, enough is enough.

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