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home : opinion : opinion May 30, 2020

2/5/2020 1:26:00 PM
Letter to the Editor
Gas Tanker Safety

Dear Sir,

Every day fuel haulers keep our economy moving. Often, they are not appreciated until there is a hurricane or some other issue that shuts down the pipelines. Meanwhile, motorist continually cut tankers/truckers off and drive recklessly around them.

These drivers are everyday heroes who get s dangerous job done for very little pay.

In the last week, there have been at least three incidents involving fuel tankers that have involved death and damage to the environment. Something needs to change. Gas Tanker drivers are safe drivers-their lives depend on it.

It is the public that needs to be made aware of the dangers of cutting off a tanker, following too closely and merging on all sides of the tanker. These tankers are heavy and cannot maneuver like a car. Motorists need to leave space on all sides of the tanker. While Tanker Driver’s try to leave a cushion around their trucks, motorists do not and are not aware of how long it takes for one to stop or that sudden movement of fluids may cause the weight to shift.




Ideas that may help stop the unnecessary loss of life and destruction to our roads and environment.

  1. An awareness campaign. (I will be working on a slogan for my local area.)
  2. Trucks these days are equipped with cameras. There is a button that the drivers can hit to begin recording. It would benefit everyone to have a system in place that would allow big rig drivers to report vehicle license plates and warning letters be sent out to drivers who driver recklessly around Big Rigs. off. This could be paired up with the “litter” warning letters in North Carolina.
  3. Enforced laws regarding passing and pulling in front of Big Rigs with specific distances and high fines.

The costs involved in even one accident may pay for all of the above programs.

I would also like to know what to do about getting the design of Hwy 16 in North Carolina changed to a design that would not require drivers to cut across 2-lanes of 55 MPH traffic from a dead stop, travel 50 yards to get into a turn lane to get to the other side of the roadway to go the opposite direction. This causes vehicles to risk a high-speed accident with oncoming traffic.

Below are the links to the three incidents in the last week that I mentioned.

  1. https://www.wyff4.com/article/2-people-dead-after-multivehicle-crash-involving-fuel-truck-in-georgia/30738753#
  2. https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/local/highway-shut-down-near-denver-nc-after-major-crash/275-637d4420-7cf3-41c8-8953-16aa0202b508
  3. https://www.wbtv.com/2020/01/27/overturned-tractor-trailer-major-fuel-spill-shut-down-road-near-i-west-charlotte/

This letter has been sent to Local, State and Federal Officials.

Deanna Ramsey
Hickory, N.C.


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