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.
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. All posts by Ray Haight