Thursday, June 19, 2008

Disposable people

A while back, we reported on the show about a problem with drive-through scanners used at border crossings.

The scanner operators are supposed to wait for the cab – and the trucker – to pass through before turning the device on, so the truckers won’t be exposed to the scanners rays.

One trucker called in recently to say operators at some border crossings were being more careful.

I had hoped that was a sign that media attention and complaints had caused them to be more cautious. And while that may be true in some cases, it turns out it wasn’t in all cases.

We heard this week from one of our regular listeners that at least one border crossing in Washington state hasn’t changed their behavior at all. And that is terrible news.

This is plain irresponsible. And especially in light of a sign that same trucker saw posted there. It read, “Caution, High Radiation Area.”

We see this attitude all over – that companies, government agencies, and others regard their workers as important, set up safety protocols for their people, take steps to keep those folks from harm, provide them with benefits and facilities.

But, at the same time, those same people regard truckers as disposable people.

It’s bad enough when a shipper or receiver won’t give a trucker the simple decency of using a clean bathroom. To expose directly them to danger, to risk their health out of pure laziness … that is inexcusable.

I’d urge any other trucker who’s facing this to call the agency involved, call your state lawmakers, call your member of the U.S. House and both your U.S. Senators.

If you don’t get action, call again.

We need to put some public pressure on the workers who are being so careless. It’s worked in some cases, and hopefully it will finish this problem off for good.