‘Trucks Are Killing Us’ op/ed prompts tough responses

This crash involving comedian Tracy Morgan was the springboard for the op/ed piece condemning American truckers.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, The New York Times published an op/ed piece by Howard Abramson under the scare headline, “The Trucks Are Killing Us.” It was a sweeping condemnation of American truck drivers and the industry.

In part it said:

“More people will be killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks this year than have died in all of the domestic commercial airline crashes over the past 45 years, if past trends hold true. And still Congress continues to do the trucking industry’s bidding by frustrating the very regulators the government has empowered to oversee motor carriers.”

Jack Roberts, our colleague at Commercial Carrier Journal wrote a rebuttal. He wrote:

“The idea that trucking today is an under-regulated, out-of-control industry hell-bent on delivering goods — cost and civilians be damned — is so out of date as to be laughable. It was a fair bit of criticism back when you could buy a black Trans Am to run interference while your buddy ran a load of Coors beer from Texarkana to Atlanta. Not so much today.”

The American Trucking Associations also weighed in, slamming Abramson (a former ATA employee) and The Times:

“It is unfortunate that the Times ran an opinion column this Saturday titled “The Trucks are Killing Us,” without properly vetting the statements contained in it. Despite the author’s implied credentials, there are several falsehoods, both implied and intentional, in the text that deserve a response.”

Read Abramson’s op/ed

Read Roberts’ piece

See what the ATA had to say

Now it’s your turn. Use the comments below to weigh in.