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Clear Shot: International Pastime

It seems truck and trucker bashing isn't just confined to North America, if an article recently published by the Asian Pacific Post is any indication.


It seems truck and trucker bashing isn’t just confined to North America, if an article recently published by the Asian Pacific Post is any indication.

The article in question, posted Aug. 18 on the Asian Pacific Post Web site (go to www.asianpacificpost.com/news/article/172.html), claims 200 Vietnamese drivers, reputed to be some of the “world’s deadliest drivers” (according to the article), are headed for Canadian roads “soon.”

Of course, after the first few scary paragraphs about how many people die in traffic (not truck) accidents in Vietnam, it turns out there is no actual statistical documentation to support the claim that Vietnamese truck drivers are really the “world’s deadliest drivers.”

In fact, the statistics only indicate that there are a lot of traffic accidents in Vietnam and that most of them involve motorcycles.

So why pick on the truck drivers? I contacted the editor but have yet to hear back. In the meantime, I’ve been left to mull over just what disturbs me so much about this article.

There are so many things…

For one – the article’s claim regarding the deadliness of Vietnamese truck drivers smacks of racism. Does something indefinable happen to Vietnamese people when they get behind the wheel of a big rig? Is it some sort of deadly combination? Is being Vietnamese and driving a truck like being drunk and driving a Porsche?

What if you’re only half-Vietnamese? Does that make you a better truck driver? Would you be better if you were born here but of Vietnamese parents?

Should there be some kind of blood test to see whether you have too much Vietnamese blood in your veins to drive a rig? And does this apply to the food? Can a third-generation Qubecoise drive truck after eating a big bowl of pork ball noodle soup? Aside from the ridiculously racist tone of this article, the journalist (whose name does not appear) also does some terribly sloppy reporting. The article fails to mention where these drivers will be working, and under the auspices of which province’s immigration program. Nor is there any mention, until much further on, of how Vietnamese truck drivers would no doubt be required to take at least one equivalency test prior to driving in Canada.

Which makes Canada look pretty bad but makes the Asian Pacific Post look even worse. One can only hope that whoever wrote and edited this article doesn’t end up driving a truck.

– Ingrid Phaneuf can be reached at iphaneuf@trucknews.com or (416) 510-6896.


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