Friday, June 26, 2009

Does the Logging Industry Compromise the Safety of Middle Georgians?

Posted by Rachel Schaerr | Monday, 22 June 2009
rschaerr@wmgt.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Note: As you look over this report... The same can be said of the Utility Trailer Industry...
Does The Utility Trailer Compromise the Safety Of All Americans?

Does the Logging Industry Compromise the Safety of Middle Georgians?

Logging is one of the most lucrative industries in Georgia. According to the most recent statistics from the Georgia Forestry Commission, the industry produces $28.5 billion dollars.

A written test and a driving test is all it takes to get behind the wheel of a tractor trailer. Some say those two tests simply aren't enough to make our roads safe.

We see them driving all over Middle Georgia, on interstates and even in downtown Macon. They keep the forestry industry moving, but does sharing the road with them put your safety at risk? A macon attorney says, yes.

"They don't have to adhere to the safety requirements with respect to maintenance and inspection," said Virgil Adams. "Here they are out on the road, carrying these logs. They're a danger to the public and there's little or nothing we can do about it."

Virgil Adams is a personal injury attorney in Macon. He's represented clients injured in logging truck accidents and says with proper regulation, lives could have been saved.

"There's no agency out there that oversees logging trucks to make sure that they are safe and they are inspected on a regular basis," said Adams.

John Barfield, a trucker for nearly 40 years, is now a truck driving instructor at Middle Georgia Technical College. He says when following log trucks, there are key signs to look out for to avoid an accident:

"If the cargo is extruding from the parameters of the trailer, if you see cables hanging, mud flaps hanging, wheels wobbling, low tire pressures, it's quite obvious then that there's something wrong," said Barfield.

Logging trucks travel on rough terrain everyday and are more likely to have mechanical failures than those traveling solely on highways.

"They are more prone to having damage," said Barfield. "They are only as safe as the driver makes it."

Several accidents involving logging trucks have occurred in the past few years, many of them fatal. Adams believes stricter regulations may have prevented those deaths, or even the accidents all together.

"We've seen some really, really bad accidents," said Adams. If we had the proper regulations they probably could have been prevented."

No comments: