All That's Trucking

Highways Are No Slaughterhouse

May 8, 2013

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe
Comparisons of trucking to a slaughterhouse are unwarranted.
Comparisons of trucking to a slaughterhouse are unwarranted.

Slaughtered. The dictionary on my computer defines it as "kill (people or animals) in a cruel or violent way, typically in large numbers : innocent civilians are being slaughtered." The use of this word by the "Truck Safety Coalition" in the context of truck accidents is irresponsible and reprehensible.

As two competing bills on Capitol Hill renew the debate on truck size and weight as the next highway bill approaches, the Truck Safety Coalition put out a release supporting The Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA), sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. James McGovern (D-MA). The bill would freeze current federal truck size and weight limits, close  loopholes that allow operation of overweight trucks, expand the highways where the limits are in force, and increase enforcement.

"Every year more than 4,000 people are slaughtered on our nation's highways while corporate trucking and shipping interests continue to push Congress for heavier trucks," said Joan Claybrook, Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) in a press release. "Heavy trucks are deadly, dangerous and destructive. Families are paying with their lives and with their wallets."

"Slaughter" implies an intentional act -- and I'm quite certain it was used by the "truck safety" advocates to invoke exactly that impression.

The Federal Highway Administration is already working on a study on truck size and weight limits, to be completed by November 2014, as required by last year’s MAP-21 highway law. During a pilot project allowing heavier trucks on interstate highways in Maine, there were 14 fewer truck crashes compared with the previous year and no fatalities involving the heavier tractor-trailer configurations.

In their release, these safety advocates trot out surveys and heartrending testimony of truck crash "victims" (again, painting truckers as evildoers out to purposely hurt, maim and kill in the name of profit). Yet where are the studies, the statistics, the research? These groups rely instead on fearmongering and character assassination of the trucking industry.


  1. 1. Kurt [ May 10, 2013 @ 04:34AM ]

    Perhaps the more important question to the folks allegedly concerned about safe highways is why that they ignore the 3/4 of the total highway fatalities that do NOT involve a commercial vehicle. Were those poeple slaughtered, or were they all suicidal?


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

sponsored by


All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All