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One is , do you have to answer the questions of government agents at a checkpoint? The answer is NO. The second and distinctually different issue here is the fact that I am a commercial truck driver. And even then, I do not have to answer questions of government agents either, if I am in the sleeper berth.
While this second issue probably doesnt relate to you, it is relevant becase the federal government is currently wringing their hands in a very public way, emphasizing the importance of commercial driver sleep. There are U.S. Senate hearings on the matter at the current time, and congress is working on passing yet even more laws on the matter of "oh so important truck driver sleep". And I'll be the first to tell you, it is very important. I will link to a very emotiomal column recently written by Anne Ferro, head of the FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about the urgency of truck driver rest.
I have written to FMCSA about this, and the U.S. Dept of Transportation has visited my website, (along with countless other city, state, and fedgov agencies.)
The bottom line here is that the feds whine about this issue as if they care about it, to appease the public, but behind the scenes, purposely allow their officers to constantly wake up sleeping truckers. A famous comedian, James McNair, (aka "Jimmy Mack") was recently killed by a sleepy truck driver, and another comedian, Tracy Morgan from Saturday Night Live, was also severely injured in the same crash. This has propelled the issue of truck drver sleep into the public arena. Whoopie Goldberg even weighed in on the matter.
So today once again I encounter a checkpoint and an officer demands I get up to come talk to him. I should mention that I used to not mind answering their questions.
There is a recent story of a guy arrested at this very checkpoint in Laredo. But most people missed the fact that he was not charged with refusing to answer questions, (since that is not a crime). he was charged with "impeding with the duties of a federal officer." [Man arrested after refusing to answer questions at BP checkpoint] I did not do that. I tell them I am not answering their questions, and then I leave.
In this case, after the officer demanded I come to the front, I began by telling the officer I was in the sleeper berth and he said "what did you say?" I then asked him if he knew what the fourth amendment was. He once again said I CAN NOT HEAR YOU. So I raised my voice and said "do you know what the 4th amendment is? Have you ever heard of it??" Then he said yes. I replied "Good, I am not answering your questions. GOODBYE." He then asked me not to yell at him. Sheesh.
I told him goodbye and I never answered any of his questions. The video is below. I did not start out raising my voice, I only raise my voice when he repeatedly said that he could not hear me. (Not that it's a crime to raise your voice to these assholes anyway.)
Kenny Capell of TN has a trial scheduled for August 7th for obstruction of justice, a misdemeanor criminal offense. He was in the sleeper berth when his wife pulled into a weigh atstion and officer demanded that Kenny disrupt his sleeper time and come to show her id with no cause whatsoever. What would Anne Ferro, who's continually whining that she cares about trucker sleep, say about Kenny's case??? After all, trucker sleep is "oh so important!" to the safety of the motoring public, according to Ferro. Why dont you ask them, because thus far no one in her agency has replied to us. You can contact the FMCSA here or call them at 1-800-832-5660 or 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238). Read Ferro's letter below, and then ask them if trucker sleep is 'OH SO IMPORTANT", why do state police, internal border cops, and weigh station employees keep waking up SLEEPING TRUCKERS!? This is actually a serious problem, Thanks.
Please read Anne Ferro's recent letter about the urgent importance of truck driver sleep below in its entirety. It's at the very bottom of this page.
To post this article on Facebook, use this link: http://whatreallyhappened.com/content/checkpoint-cop-offended-when-i-yell-him-about-4th-amendment
Motorist puts police in their place at suspicionless internal checkpoint December 2, 2012
[Must see video- Featured on PrisonPlanet.com].
Cop at Suspicionless Checkpoint Starts Barking Orders, But Then Flees from Camera [Featured on LewRockwell.com.]
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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US Department of Transportation Blog
Congress Shouldn’t Roll Back Safety; the Steps We’ve Taken Keep Tired Truckers off the Road
Posted by Anne Ferro
Improving safety and saving lives is at the heart of our mission at DOT. That's why we are committed to keeping tired truckers off the road--for their safety and the safety of others--through common sense rules backed by science, research, and data.
In 2012, thanks to our continued economic recovery and increased demand for freight shipping, there were nearly 10.7 million tractor-trailers and large trucks on the roads in the U.S., with the trucking industry experiencing unprecedented profitability this year.
But that demand has come with a price. Since 2009, we've seen an 18 percent increase in large truck crash fatalities. To put that in perspective, in one year alone, large trucks were involved in 317,000 traffic crashes resulting in an average of 75 deaths per week. That's 11 per day.
Photo collage of families torn apart by truck crashes
Fatigue is under-reported in crash accounts because drivers often don’t want to admit to being at-fault or sleepy. However, we know that driver fatigue is a leading factor in large truck crashes; in fact, analysis has shown that upward of 13 percent of commercial drivers involved in a crash were considered to have been fatigued at the time of that crash.
That’s why we have rules limiting the number of hours that train engineers and airline pilots can work, and it’s why we have a new rule for truck drivers, too. Less than one year ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put new Hours-of-Service regulations into effect to ensure that drivers have the adequate rest they need to safely operate 80,000-pound commercial vehicles on the road with other motorists.
The current Hours-of-Service rule includes common sense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety by reducing the maximum average work week for truckers to 70 hours from 82 hours and requiring a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of their shift.
We carefully considered the public safety and health risks of long work hours, and solicited input from everyone who has a stake in this important issue, including victims’ advocates, truck drivers and companies. The result is a balanced Hours-of-Service rule with analysis showing that the changes save 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year. It also shows that the updated rule actually impacts less than 15 percent of the truck driving population –those drivers working the most extreme schedules.
Seems reasonable, right? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there’s an effort underway in Congress to suspend these important life-saving changes. To prevent this from happening, many victims are sharing their stories in support of the current Hours-of-Service rules. People like Christina and Gary Mahaney from Jackman, Maine.
Photos of devastation after logging truck crashed into house
On July 19, 2011, a tired trucker dozed off and crashed a 104,000-pound logging truck on their front lawn, spilling logs into their home and killing their 5-year-old son, Liam who was relaxing on the couch with his parents. Christina and Gary were also injured, and their home was destroyed. The Mahaneys are still struggling to find justice for the death of their son.
On August 16, 2010, a family from Cockeysville, Maryland, was devastated when the tired driver of a triple trailer truck hit five passenger vehicles and two other semis on an Ohio thruway. The first car it crashed into carried the Slattery family. Susan Slattery was killed in the crash while her two sons, Peter and Matthew, were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Matthew was left permanently disabled. He, Peter, and their father Ed relive the loss of Susan every day she is not with them.
And on September 20, 2004, near Sherman, Texas, Ron Wood’s mother, Betsy, his sister Lisa Wood Martin, and Lisa’s three young children were on their way home when a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel, crossed the median into oncoming traffic, and collided with Lisa's SUV and another vehicle. After being hit by the truck, Lisa’s SUV burst into flames, making it impossible to reach the victims trapped inside.
First responders reported that it was the worst crash they had ever seen. In an instant, five members of the Wood family were gone; in all, ten people were killed and two more injured in that single crash.
I understand that long work hours can be a touchy subject, because many truckers are only paid when the wheels are rolling, not the time they spend sitting in traffic or waiting pickup or unload shipments. But these families remind all of us at the FMCSA that our work is not done until everyone on the road can make it home safely at the end of the day. And as a wife and mother of two, I am committed to preventing tragedies like those that have been shared with me.
It’s important that we continue studying the impact of fatigue on commercial drivers and public safety to make our regulations even more effective. But this we know right now: suspending the current Hours-of-Service safety rules will expose families and drivers to greater risk every time they're on the road.