Friday, February 27, 2015

Sleeping Truck Drivers and Fatal Accidents are another gift from Capitalism

A Semi-Truck accident from 2014 is back in the news and it highlights the problem of sleeping truck drivers but not the underlying cause.

Last January 27th in the Chicagoland area, a truck driver Renato Velasquez fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a State Police Crusier and an IDOT assistance truck which had stopped on I-88 near Route 59 to aid a stranded motorist. The IDOT worker Vincent Petrella was killed and the State Trooper Douglas Balder was severely injured.

Velasquez' trial has begun and he is being charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while fatigued or impaired and making a false report of his record and duty status.

Prosecutors stated Velasquez frequently, falsified his in-cab log books to indicate he was abiding by federal rules that require truck drivers to sleep for 10 consecutive hours after driving for 11 hours.

In Illinois, the only change to Highway Traffic Laws passed recently was State Senator Jim Oberweis speed limit increase, which he pushed through in order that his delivery truck drivers could go 70+mph to make him more money on his Dairy Empire. Safety of truck drivers and everyone else in Illinois be damned.

Truck Drivers are rountinely given timetables which require them to either: 1) Speed or 2) Eschew Sleep in order to get their loads on schedule.

A quick perusal will find dozens of news stories of sleeping truck drivers and several spectacular crashes caught on video. The underlying cause for all of them is the Capitalist System which has placed Profit over every other concern.

Do not fret though because the system is safe. After these accidents happen Capitalism will never be charged, will never be questioned, the individual truck driver will be punished for Capitalism's systemic flaws and disregard for the safety and well-being of those affected.


One Fly said...

Gotta be a smart ass here -

In Merca capitalism will never be denied. After all it's part of what makes us so exceptional.

Nan said...

It's not surprising that OTR drivers ignore the rules -- time is money when you're getting paid by the mile.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Velasquez was found guilty of Driving while Impaired (from Fatigue) but not falsifying his logbooks. As always the worker is guilty not Capitalism.

Jerry Critter said...

The business of capitalism is profit. Safety costs money, thus hurting profit. The lack of safety must be made more costly than the implementation of safety before things will change.