July 21, 2017

The I-81 Death March

Back in the city after a four-hour white knuckle drive up I-81. Truckers, as usual, traveling in packs and slowing traffic as they try to pass each other uphill.

Virginia wants to widen 81 to eight lanes in sections and charge motorists and trucks tolls to pay the tab. Trucks would have their own two lanes each directions and cars theirs. But would traffic then be slowed by toll booths? The West Virginia Turnpike is also I-77 and you have to stop and pay tolls every few miles.

The problem, of course, is the incredible growth of independent truckers (known as owner-operators). Too many of them lack the training or ability of many of the fleet truckers and some drive rigs with serious safety problems.

A trucker will tell you that he or she has just as much right to the highway than the rest of us, perhaps more so he or she will claim because of all the transportation taxes paid by drivers and companies.

But 10 trucks traveling nose-to-tail at 75 miles per hour is an invitation to disaster and a primary reason why so many fatal accidents on I-81 involve 18-wheelers.

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