Driver says he’ll never haul into California, ever again
Like my fellow driver Paul Keffer, I too noticed the "earthworks" along I-40 in California and suspected that preventing fatigued truckers from taking a rest break was the purpose.
One can only surmise from this short-sighted plan that 1) truck accidents from fatigued truckers help stimulate the California economy (towing/revocery services, fines and fees, hospital bills, etc.) and 2) crimes such as robbery, rape, murder as well as drugs and reckless driving have been erradicated from the state of California, allowing law enforcement to focus their efforts on the so-called "problem" of parked trucks with drivers asleep inside of them.
It leaves me wondering who is the bigger idiot: the state employee/elected official that saw a fatigued driver sleeping in a stopped truck as a problem, or the law enforcement officer with nothing better to do than to roust a driver out of his bunk, issue a small-time citation and send him down the road, possibly to his doom or that of some other innocent party?
California has allowed this parking along I-40 for years, why has it only recently become a problem?
Of course, using Officer Chris Sahagun's logic (drivers need to plan their trips better), it could also be said that any time a law enforcement officer loses his life in the line of duty, like the trucker, he should have "planned his day" better and is ultimately responsible for his own demise.
Note to officer Sahagun: truckers do not have near recession-proof job security that state employees such as yourself enjoy and do not have the ability to go to our own homes at the end of the day as you do. When the California Highway Patrol can guarantee that I will not be approached at a truck stop by a drug dealer, prostitute, thief or have my fuel (or entire truck) stolen while visiting your state, I would submit that California has bigger, more pressing problems for your agency to address. Might I suggest you focus on that endeavor before you bother a trucker serving your state's economy and trying to comply with the law by taking his required break wherever he can?
The unmitigated arrogance of Officer Sahagun's response is typical of state employees who cannot understand even the most simple problems — in this case, not enough truck parking to meet the demand or requirements placed upon drivers.
Officer Sahagun could never hope to survive in the private sector with simplistic answers that offer no solutions. Go write your tickets, Officer Sahagun, but be sure to keep that bullet in your pocket.
For this as well as other reasons such as the California Air Resource Board's recent and draconian attempts to cause drivers to suffer from hyperthermia or hypothermia because of their prohibition against allowing us to idle our engines for driver comfort, I shall never again haul another load into or out of California. I shall also refuse to do business with any company for any product that benefits California when another alternative is available.
California can starve to death for all I care. As far as I'm concerned the United States ends in Reno, Nev., and at the Colorado River.
Virginia Beach, Va.