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Starting Monday, Jon Osburn and OOIDA’s tour truck, the Spirit of the American Trucker, will be at the Petro truck stop in Rochelle, Ill. That’s located at Exit 99 off Interstate 39. Stop in, say hi to Jon, and join OOIDA for a $20 discount through July. See the full Spirit Schedule. Air date: July 14, 2018.

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What’s fair for the goose is fair for the gander in distracted driving

We’ve all seen that other driver who has the cell phone is his or her hand – whether it’s chatting on the actual phone or, God forbid, texting.

Truckers are often cited for doing this, even though a far greater percentage of car drivers engage in the behavior.

However, I think a little perspective – and fairness – is called for on this topic.

Yes, dialing a phone is distracting, and we have the technology to avoid it. Texting is a horrible idea and should never be done in a moving vehicle.

But what about reading the newspaper? Doing your hair or makeup? Going through your paperwork from your place of business? Eating a bowl of cereal and milk? And yes, I have seen someone do that.

I’ve seen other stuff, too, but this is a family show, so let’s just say an incredible display of affection and leave it at that.

Anyone want to contend that cell phone use is more distracting than that?

Then there’s the number 1 distraction for any parent, those kids in the back seat. Every time you turn around to discipline, yell, cajole, correct or separate those kids, you’re putting them and everyone else on the road in danger.

You may note something in common with all of those. While I can’t speak for everyone, all of those are distractions I have exclusively seen conducted in cars, not trucks. I’m not saying those things have never happened in a truck, but I have not seen them there, while I have seen them plenty in cars.

Yet, as with so many other things, it’s the truckers who get the bad rap.

What’s fair for the goose is fair for the gander. If this is a basic point of safety, then all drivers – car, truck, motorcycle, and so on – should obey the rules. And all distractions connected to safety should be covered.

The feds have set the standard for commercial drivers, but it’s a state responsibility to create a standard for car drivers. Some have. All ought to.


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