We are professional truck drivers.
We are American citizens.
We demand our rights.
Dangerous roadside random inspections; frivolous citations; excessively punitive (expensive) regulations; split speed limits for ticket revenue; HOS regs that actually promote fatigue, unconstitutional searches 100 miles from any international border, inhumane anti-idling laws, unreasonable toll road rates; the "commando" attitude of some officers; nonsensical safety regulations that defeat the intended purpose... the list goes on.......
Tired of being treated like a criminal?
2012 or 1776?
The American truck drivers in 2012 could have written the Declaration of Independence. The amount of regulation we endure is akin to the IRS tax code. Most commercial drivers are all about safety and professionalism, and we agree those who aren't should be stripped of their CDL. But government's interference has created, and is perpetuating, a steady stream of newbie inexperienced drivers who have no business on the road -- and make the rest of us look bad.
How did the government do that? Years ago, people got into truck driving because they really liked the job -- and so took their job seriously. Sure there are always some goof-offs, that's human nature. But most drivers were true professionals. Over the years, speed traps, split speed limits, draconian logbook rules, excessive tolls, and "commando" enforcement officers have driven out good drivers and created an environment for "driver mills."
What's a driver mill? A slang term for a truck job or school that goes through a steady flow of new drivers, only to have them quit or be fired. Common industry knowledge says that the average driver turnover rate in trucking is 125%. 125%!!!
Why doesn't the industry fix the turnover rate? Why should they?? New drivers work cheaper than drivers with 1+ years experience. The State governments don't mind, they turn a profit on enforcement. Driver schools don't mind, they get funded by the Federal government. The Federal government (congress) doesn't mind because they're bringing "safety" (enforcement) and "jobs" (driver mills) back to their communities.
In the middle are the real truck drivers, the ones who are in it for the love of the road, who just want to do their jobs (professionally!) and go home. Our (citizens') perspective is as important as the governments' perspective, if not more so.
Governments stick together. It's time for drivers to stick together. Let's take a cue from the protests going on around the world and demand our rights back. We did not "check" our Bill of Rights at the door of CDL school.
Call Them Out
DOT Horror Stories
We are American citizens and have a mutually respectful expectation of liberty and justice. Some of the laws, tolls, and enforcement we endure are excessive bordering on oppressive. We are collecting DOT horror stories to be presented in Washington DC. What driver hasn't run into a "commando" cop, had to shut your truck off in bad weather, or paid $200+ in tolls for one run? So tell us your true DOT horror story.
We want to showcase the real effects on citizens of the police state we now live in. If you have a good (true) story, please email your DOT horror story to us here. Your story will be anonymous unless selected as a contest winner, in which case you will be asked (not required) take your story public and join our envoy to Washington DC.
The time for this is NOW. There is still an open window for comments on CSA 2010 until the end of July. LET'S SHOW THEM OUR COMMENTS!
driver sovereignty bill
Strikes have been tried, and we all know why they fail -- can't get enough drivers together to make a difference. With the internet, we can!
A petition has been drawn up, to ask the US Commission on Civil Rights to assist us on creating a "Driver Sovereignty Bill" to be presented to Congress. With a petition, we can get a lot of drivers together -- enough to make a big stink in Washington DC. Of course, at the same time our petition calls on the government to shape up, we call on ourselves to act like the professionals we are.
The Whole Plan:
power in numbers!
- have a formal list of concerns (read here)
- start the petition drive on the internet (sign)
- collect signatures and DOT horror stories as examples for DC
- use donations for a national billboard campaign (donate)
- put up billboards on highways all over for the petition/story drive
- get volunteers (spouses?) to do phone bank for DOT horror stories
- use donations to hire a Constitutional attorney as a spokesperson
- get volunteers (spouses?) to do saturday petition/story drives at local oasis
- use donations to hire a Washington lobbyist
- reach goal of 1 million signatures
- send copy of (TBD) economic/historical book to each member of the Senate
- choose top 25 DOT horror stories
- use donations to send envoy to Washington DC to formally present petition
- work with the US Commission on Civil Rights on a "Driver Sovereignty Bill"
- get DSB passed in Congress and signed by the President
- use DSB as springboard for regular citizens' civil liberties (TSA, NDAA, etc)
Display Your Support
Get the Chrome Ribbon
An easy way to show your support of this Truckers Petition is with the Chrome Ribbon. Let everyone know you did not check your Bill of Rights at the door of CDL school. For any donation of $10 or more to our Wish List you will get your choice of a Chrome Ribbon window decal or magnet... and our sincerest thanks! Other awareness merchandise is available also, like window decals, bumper stickers, t-shirts, hats, bracelets, and charms.
What's in the Driver Sovereignty Bill?
That hasn't been determined yet, that's why we need to amass a Constitutional attorney and a panel of experienced, intelligent drivers. We do have a formal list of concerns, which is why everyone is signing the petition. We want to present these concerns to the US Commission on Civil Rights and get their input also into the DSB. Read our list of concerns here.
The envoy to Washington
Will be officially about 25 people, including the DOT Horror Story contest winners to present their stories in person. We will always be peaceful and respectful, and invite as many of our trucker brethren to unofficially join us in kind. We will not give them a reason to dismiss us for behavior, we will act as professionals. Our Constitutional attorney will make sure they find no excuse to dismiss us legally.
What do we want?
To go down the road, do our jobs peacefully, professionally and not bother or be bothered by anyone. Of course life is full of little "situations" but we mean excessive and oppressive governmental interference for no good safety reason.
Where are we going to get the donations?
FROM YOU!!! NOW GO DONATE $1 PLEASE! =)
About that book mentioned above:
On the late night radio show Coast to Coast AM, there have been many good speakers on the subjects of civil liberties, economics, and history. Closer to the end of the campaign, one speaker will be selected as most closely echoing our viewpoint. A copy of their book (they always have a book) will then be sent to each member of the Senate, from a driver in their respective State. There have been several authors in 2012 that echo our viewpoints of civil liberties and excessive government control.
Our concerns in a nutshell:
Dangerous roadside random inspections; frivolous citations; excessively punitive (expensive) regulations; split speed limits for ticket revenue; speed limits as speed traps; the "commando" attitude of some officers; nonsensical safety regulations that defeat the intended purpose; HOS regs that actually promote fatigue, unconstitutional searches 100 miles from any international border, inhumane anti-idling laws, unreasonable toll road rates... the list goes on with no end in sight.
CSA 2010 is another farce,
a nonsensical points system that pushes out good, experienced drivers so that the driver mills can keep churning. The cops think they're doing a good job, but most of them don't even understand CSA 2010 and how even frivilous warnings for revenue sake count against us. Politicians like this idea for several reasons: the pseudo-driver shortage allows government subsidies for truck schools and the politician looks like he/she is bringing money back to their district, and also the politicians know that they can buy stock in drug testing clinics and laboritories because there will be a steady stream of profit unaffected by regular market forces.
Get Involved However You Can
every little bit helps!
Once you sign the petition, mention it to your buddies and on the CB. We need you to spread the word so we can get 1,000,000 signatures.
Willing to pass our flyers? Got a spouse or belong to a truckers right group? Everyone can do something: drivers, spouses, groups. GET INVOLVED HOWEVER YOU CAN. Sign the petition. Donate to the Wish List. Volunteer to leave flyers at truckstops. Have your at-home spouse sign up to run a saturday petition drive at the local oasis. Add your story to the "DOT HORROR STORY COLLECTION" to be presented in Washington DC. Spread the word to your fellow drivers to sign the petition. WE NEED AS MANY SIGNATURES AS POSSIBLE!!! Post this site on your Facebook page!