All That's Trucking

What Does a Skateboarder Have to do with CSA?

Tragic accident in Manhattan illustrates why crash accountability needs to be considered under CSA.

January 15, 2016

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Image via Wikimedia Commons
Image via Wikimedia Commons

One of the biggest bones that the trucking industry has had with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance, Safety, Accountability enforcement program has been that it doesn't distinguish between at-fault accidents and those where it was quite clearly the other party's fault.

And these are often tragic situations. One safety director told me of a case where someone bent on suicide jumped off an overpass right into the path of his company's truck.

Another good example hit the papers in New York City this week, when a 32-year-old skateboarder died trying to hitch a ride on the passenger side of a truck.

Richard Oates, owner of a Brooklyn skate shop and a skilled chef, was hanging onto the passenger side of a Mack truck Tuesday on the Lower East Side when he lost his balance after it changed lanes, according to published reports. He was run over by the passenger-side wheels.

It would appear, based on witness reports in the media, that the truck driver wasn't aware of what happened, and drove on.

The New York Times reports that hitching a ride on a vehicle, known as “skitching” in the skateboarding community, is banned by state law. Oates reportedly was known to engage in this activity, arriving by skateboard at each of the restaurants when he worked even before he opened his skateboard shop.

No charges were filed against the 37-year-old driver of the truck, which belonged to a private garbage hauling company, according to other media reports.

I suppose some might argue that the driver should have been more aware of what was happening around him, or that extra mirrors or cameras might have helped in this situation. But should a trucking company's CSA score really be subject to the results of such recklessness by a skateboarder?

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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

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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.


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