A newly created coalition of trucking companies held its first event in Duchesne County, Utah last week. The Uintah Basin Oil Transportation Coalition is working with the Utah Highway Patrol to promote safer driving practices among tractor trailer drivers.
The group was formed in early March and hosted a voluntary Stand Down for Safety event, which invited commercial truck drivers to stop at the rest area on US 40 east of Fruitland, Utah.
According to Rick George, safety director for Iowa Tanklines, his company has ongoing safety and tailgate meetings to promote safety. This new group is just one more chance to get in front of drivers and show that they are serious about safety and it is not merely talk.
A national transportation study that was released last July showed that an average of one tanker truck every three minutes laves the Uintah Basin for various oil refineries on the Wasatch Front in Utah. That estimate excludes thousands of commercial trucks that driver on area roads hauling freight or providing many services to the huge energy industry that drive’s the local economy.
All of this heavy truck traffic can cause frustration for many drivers, and can lead to some drivers engaging in unsafe practices.
George noted that trucks are big and slow, and people are in a rush. The group is trying to encourage others to give trucks more space and for truckers to drive more safely. It is important for truckers to know about their surroundings and to make more allowance for drivers who do not give them the space they need.