A February plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., was tragic and preventable. Fatigue affecting the flight crew may have contributed. The National Transportation Safety Board held hearings just months after the investigation, and rightly so. The media coverage was widespread, and rightly so.
Five thousand people die and 100,000 are injured in heavy truck crashes every year. But, because people are dying one, two, three at a time, little is done. NTSB studies show driver fatigue is a factor in 30-40 percent of all heavy truck crashes. So many deaths and injuries is totally unacceptable.
The response from the government? Increased driving and working hours for truck drivers.
That rule was appealed by safety groups and has been twice overturned by unanimous decision. Before leaving office, what did the Bush administration do? They issued the exact same rule for a third time. Once again, a suit is filed.
Truck drivers should be included under the Fair Labor Standard Act and be paid for time worked. Presently, if the wheels aren’t turning, nobody makes money.
Our son, Jeff, and his three friends were killed by a Wal-Mart truck driver asleep at the wheel in 1993. Thousands of families before and after that preventable crash are living the nightmare we’ve lived, and always will.
Congress must step in and make changes in the trucking industry so the needless death and carnage will stop.
There is a Web site available for more information: www.trucksafety.org.
Daphne Izer, Lisbon
Founder, Parents Against Tired Truckers

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