The Reno media is all abuzz about the collision of a gravel truck with an Amtrak train in Fernley.
In the first adrenaline rush, reporters slammed the trucking company for its safety record. Later they reported that this trucking company averaged a failure rate of 4% in random NDOT safety checks versus a 20% failure rate for all NV trucking companies, concluding that this trucking company had a superior safety record.
When I heard that I thought “WHAT?” 20% of the big trucks on the road fail random safety checks? That should make a motorist pause and reflect, let alone what a bicyclist should do.
So, I’m correlating this news with some other recent events accumulated in this brain:
1) Bicyclist Don Campbell was killed by a gravel hauling semi-truck 4 years ago this month.
2) The bill to prohibit semi-tractors from pulling more than 2 trailers died in committee in this legislative session. Before it died the gravel haulers got an exception for their trucks.
3) A couple of weeks ago, a woman was killed by a garbage truck at Kietzke and Mill in Reno.
Okay, I’ll grant you that trucking companies have more political clout than motorists and bicyclists. But are they negligent when it comes to safety, too?