Editorial unfair on trucking safety
The Aug. 12 editorial titled "Sleep-deprived truckers, exit now," paints an unfair and misleading portrait of the trucking industry's commitment to safety.
In addition to moving 70 percent of the nation's freight, the industry has been pressing for, among other things, improved federal databases to inform carriers about the results of drivers' prior drug and alcohol tests and driving infractions, electronic logging devices to monitor hours-of-service, a rule to limit truck speeds, and ensuring that hours-of-service rules don't raise crash risk by encouraging trucks to operate in more congested daytime hours.
However, as National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher Hart said, hours-of-service rules can only do so much to limit fatigue because we can't mandate sleep. That's why we also support comprehensive fatigue-management programs.
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Trucking is committed to improving safety by reducing the impacts of fatigue — despite the fact that it is not a leading cause of truck-involved crashes. In more than two-thirds of cases, the actions of motorists — not professional truck drivers — lead to crashes.
That's why we are dedicated to educating the public about how to share the road safely with trucks, as well as pushing for tougher enforcement of laws to combat aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors.
President and CEO
American Trucking Associations
Keep current dress code
As a Woodford County High School graduate, I understand the frustrations of students and parents over the dress code debacle that has hit the media recently. During my four years there, complaints by students were frequent.
I understand teens want to express themselves through clothing, but teachers and administrators also have to be able to quickly assess students' clothing choices.
If teachers had to measure clothing length by the proposed method mentioned in Tuesday's article, which included using a credit card to measure necklines, it would be tedious and time-consuming in comparison to the current dress code policy.
Teachers don't want to take the first 10 minutes of class to see if half of their students are in compliance with the dress code. It isn't fair to teacher or students. It would be smart to cherish the current freedoms given to the students, because the next step logical step is a uniform. That presents a bigger challenge for self-expression.
Memories of Hale
Tom Eblen's column on former Lexington Police Chief E.C. Hale resurrected some memories.
I was a new graduate student at the University of Kentucky in agronomy in 1959 and had parked by dad's 1950 Ford behind Scovell Hall near where the Kentucky Clinic parking structure is now located.
When I came out my car was missing. A bystander told me he had observed the police ticketing my car and a tow truck taking it away. I panicked but recovered and called the police department and was told to come to pay a towing charge to recover my car. The next thing I remember I was standing in front of Hale explaining why my car was parked illegally.
I had to identify myself and explain that I was a graduate student. He asked the name of the department chair, who was G.T. Webster. He picked up the phone and called Webster who verified my status. The whole time he was friendly, jovial and seemed to enjoy my story, and, with my identify verified, said I could go.
His parting words were, "That is the way we do things around here." I don't think I have ever gotten a parking ticket since.
David L. Terry
Webster, Tie Rod tell truth
Kudos to Larry Webster for his column of Aug. 15. Sometimes his Tie Rod has a lot of understanding and insight. He was right on regarding the situations in the Middle East. American policy toward the region leaves a lot to be desired. I appreciate Webster's satirical manner of truth-telling.
Davis' heavy history
The Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted that the Jefferson Davis statue in the Capitol Rotunda will remain, apparently in large part due to its historical significance and educational value.
May I suggest that the plaque on the statue's base be replaced. It currently reads: "Patriot, hero, statesman." Perhaps those words describe Davis' career prior to 1861, but if we are to consider the entirety of his career a number of more historically accurate descriptors come to mind. My short list would include: traitor, outlaw, renegade, terrorist leader or anti-American.
Maybe the Capitol needs a major overhaul if it is unable to withstand the weight of all the state's history.
Marsha Cooper Hellard
Minimum gives a start, advancing is up to you
Minimum wage is exactly what it is: the minimum. Only through education, experience, training will you advance beyond that. It wasn't meant to be a living wage. Live at home or get a roommate, go to school, stay on the job longer, learn a skill, become invaluable to your employer, whatever it takes to rise above it. But raising the minimum wage will not give you a better quality of life. You will still be at the bottom, no matter what.
The editorial said that if restaurants raise prices, people have the choice to not eat out as often. So the restaurants have fewer people paying for dinner, fewer employees are needed and then they face unemployment. It's really a cycle until prices adjust to the new minimum.
The minimum wage is meant to get you in the door, give you a chance to learn, get experience and grow.
Where do people start if every job has living wage?
In his Aug. 16 column, Jesus Gonzalez stated he had been a server for 10 years, then complained for several paragraphs about being a waiter, the pay, tip distribution, etc. He even complained that he had been forced to change jobs because he could not tolerate his racist and sexist bosses.
After 10 years, couldn't he find a better job? He said he often uses public assistance. Couldn't he get a Pell Grant or student loan to learn a skill at our great community college? Why must his wage be increased so he can remain in a job most of us consider to be temporary or supplemental? Should every job be considered a career and be paid a living wage? If so, where do people start out and what is the incentive to learn and experience personal growth? Perhaps there is a reason this man is stuck in an entry-level job.
Frank St. Clair
Restaurant political donations a good investment
So, the increase of a restaurant server's pay above $2.13 per hour might cause proprietors to raise prices. Seems unlikely since it would just be more taken from the employee tips. An amount given "to improve service" was never meant to pay wages, that is, add to employer's bottom line. Further, to add insult, payments are made to workers that have nothing to do with service. Then, the employer has the temerity to give me various suggested percentages for my gift.
Understanding that the government and matters of taxation had something to do with this, one might still suspect that donations to politicians from the restaurant industry had some effect.
No tips in Australia but $26 an hour
It is a positive act to raise wages so that people will have a better standard of living. Recently, I visited Australia. A server in a moderately priced restaurant said there is no tipping in Australia. The server's hourly wage was $26. She was from Brazil. Many South American workers move to Australia for a higher wage and better standard of living. She also was a college student. The menu prices were not excessive. Perhaps it is time for the United States to act on this national issue?