Comedian Tracy Morgan remains in intensive care following a deadly collision with a tractor trailer over the weekend. Local truck drivers, though, say the horrible crash only tells part of the story.
Veteran Springfield driver Bob Stagner says the outcry against tired truckers, following the deadly accident in New Jersey Saturday, should not be a reflection on the culture of trucking.
"Nowadays the companies are speaking safety, and they're insisting that we get a rest time. We're not being pushed like a lot of people say that we are," Stagner said.
Several truck drivers at a truck stop in Strafford Tuesday said new regulations have failed to address the problems. Instead, requiring drivers to keep electronic log books, they said, has made it more difficult for them to do their jobs.
"When you have a computer telling you when you have to park, at times you feel rushed to get the vehicle there, and I feel that causes an unsafe atmosphere," Stagner said.
Stagner said tragedies like the one involving Morgan are difficult for everyone.
"If the truck drivers involved in an accident, and it kills somebody, emotionally he's most likely destroyed, and nobody wants to see that," he said.
Stagner said the latest national story paints an industry--packed full of hardworking professionals--in a very negative light.
Though truckers agree driving habits need to change.
"Be patient with them. You may not respect the truck driver, but respect that weight, because it doesn't forgive," he said.
A loaded semi-truck weighs some 80,000 pounds. Truckers say they want to share the road but need other drivers to respect the amount of weight they are carrying and how long it takes to simply slow down.