While our community continues to mourn a fatal school bus crash, another truck wreck has sent a motorist to the hospital and snarled rush-hour traffic.
The recent school bus crash provoked a renewed debate about seat belts in buses. In this case, the bus was provided with seat belts. But, as so often occurs, most of the children were not using them. So, the question being deliberated is this: should school bus drivers have the authority to compel school kids to wear seat belts on buses.
As we grapple with the benefits and consequences of such a policy, today’s morning commute was scarred by another truck wreck. It occurred on Highway 288 in Brazoria County, near County Road 48. The collision happened at about 6:30 a.m. Early reports did not provide details, but at least one person was rushed to the medical center by Life Flight. In addition, much of the freeway was shut down for more than an hour.
Once again, we consider the risks that accompany the benefits of truck transportation. Without doubt, 18-wheelers form a vital link in the logistical matrix of our economy. It is nearly impossible to conceive of a meaningful alternative. Yet, their much greater size and weight, along with their reduced maneuverability, renders them a potential hazard to users of our roads. Fortunately, that risk can be reduced. Trucking companies have the privilege of conducting their business on the nation’s highways. With that privilege comes the responsibility to properly equip their trucks, and to carefully train, deploy, and monitor their drivers. And, finally, as a community, we need to enforce trucking companies’ compliance with these standards by vigilant policing and the use of the court system, when necessary.