Letter: Truckers aren’t to blame | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Truckers aren’t to blame

Truckers aren’t to blame

Mr. Greg Jeung flaps away in your Sept. 6 Aspen Times about gravel trucks and tarped loads (Letters, “Truckers are getting away”).

Perhaps he needs a new pair of glasses. All dump trucks are required to have operating tarps and are inspected by the Department of Transportation at surprise checkpoints on Colorado highways often. Since I am a 45-year trucker based in Aspen, I also watch for violations and I see very few heavy trucks without tarps. Most of the violators are the landscapers with two- and three-axel dump trailers pulled by pickup trucks that are trying to avoid the transportation department regulations. Most of these pickup drivers don’t even have commercial driver’s licensees.

I suspect your windshield problem, like mine, comes from small cars with the rear tires at the very back of the body that throw small rocks from the tire treads. That is why commercial trucks are required to have mud flaps, which small sedans don’t have. Any object that is thrown from the tire is a road hazard, and no driver is liable for it in the course of travel. If it falls off of the bed of a vehicle, the owner is liable for the damage it creates.

As far as your statement about off-highway fuel taxes being evaded by heavy-duty trucks, you can run that one back in the hanger. Department of transportation inspectors come equipped with the ability to check the tanks for dyed fuel and the fine for violations is $1,000 for the first offense. Once again, non-commercial pickup operators are the major source of noncompliance. And it is hard to check their tanks. Why don’t you quit trying to blame truckers for the problems created by citizen scofflaws?

Jim Wingers