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Catastrophic Bridge Collapse reveals importance of sleep for Truckers as NTSB investigates sleep records

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Catastrophic Bridge Collapse reveals importance of sleep for Truckers as NTSB investigates sleep records 
By Martin Hill
May 30, 2013


By now everybody has heard about the amazing bridge collapse along Interstate 5 in Washington State last week. As a business owner engaged in interstate commerce across these 48 states, I was interested in the details of who was driving, what company it was, what were they hauling, where they came from and where they were going, and if the driver was charged. It seems like a no-brainer that a commercial trucker who hits a bridge should obviously be charged. In my view, this is one of the few legitimate times in which 'the state' could serve a useful purpose. If you understood how often truckers and their rigs were inspected, scrutinized, prosecuted, and charged exhorbitant fees for the most petty minutia and infractions, you'd understand why hitting a bridge with a big rig is a completely avoidable offense which should indeed be prosecuted. A bit of research into the follow-up of this disaster has revealed some very interesting information about how the federal government investigators are currently looking into the SLEEP RECORDS of the commercial driver as well as the pilot vehicle driver involved in the Washington State Bridge Collapse. As I posted on my website DontWakeMeUp.org this morning:

Washington State Bridge Collapse by NTSB
Well well well, whatd'ya know. The Feds are investigating 'THE LOGS AND REST HISTORY" of the commercial driver who hit the bridge and caused it to collapse. They are also checking the REST HISTORY of the pilot vehicle driver who worked with the truck.

Why do you think that the feds would 'check the rest history' of those people?

Because the FEDS MANDATE that commercial drivers get rest. They do this because rest is necessary and required. Commercial drivers must have at least 10 hours rest between shifts. After 10 hours off duty in the sleepr berth, shifts can last no longer than 14 hours, 11 of it driving.

What if the driver had not rested as required by law? His ass would be in PRISON, that's what.

So, of course you know why I make my point.

Because the very pigs whose duty it is to supposedly enforce their own 'laws' actually violate the law daily, repeatedly, again and again, by waking up off duty sleeping drivers illegally. Who knows how many of the motorist deaths, most of which are proven to be caused by fatigue in commercial crash cases, have been caused by cops who violate safety laws such as the two Texas Troopers did in this federal civil rights case.

In my case, when two rogue criminal Texas Troopers illegally woke me up and demanded ID when I was sleeping off-duty in the sleeper berth during my federally mandated 10-hour sleep time, I filed both a state and federal civil rights complaint. The Texas Department of Public Safety immediately admitted wrongdoing in writing on behalf of the two officers, only one month after the internal affairs complaint was filed in November 2010. The admission letter, dated December 20, 2010 and signed by Captain Kenneth Plunk of the Waco Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, stated that "corrective action was needed" against both officers and that "additional training has been taken." [Here is the postmarked envelope the letter came in.] I then sued them in federal Court for civil rights violations. In their initial response to the suit filed by their lawyers, the two defendants feebily tried to deny wrongdoing and denied threatening to arrest me that night, despite the fact that they were both recorded and had their boss throw them both under the bus immediately. Here is an excerpt from an article about the NTSB bridge collapse investigation. This is not to imply that the truck driver in the Washington accident violated sleep rules, but rather to emphasize the importance of sleep rules, according to the feds themselves; and that law enforcement will prosecute anyone who does not comply with the very important sleep rules:

Skagit River Bridge has history of strikes from overheight vehicles
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/05/27/2410835/skagit-river- bridge-has-history.html
Published: May 27, 2013

"We have requested drug and alcohol testing be conducted," Hersman said. "The NTSB have also requested cellphone records from the truck driver and pilot car operator."

The NTSB will inspect the truck driver's logs, medical history and rest history for both drivers, she said. The pilot car, a Dodge Ram pickup truck, had a height pole mounted on the front right corner of the truck. The NTSB and State Patrol have not examined the pilot car, she said. Hersman said it is the responsibility of the motor carrier to verify that its load will clear all bridges.

Here is the video of a Texas trooper waking up a trucker and demanding ID, admitting that he does it all the time, and will do it again. The psycho cop, now a defendant in federal court, later perjured himself and denied that he ever threatened to arrest the sleeping trucker, despite threatening him endlessly with arrest while being recorded:

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration points out in their document Interruptions to your sleep, "Disruptions compromise both the quantity and quality of sleep and keep you from experiencing continuous, restorative sleep so necessary for performance, safety, and health. They can be caused by an acute or chronic medical condition; a bright, noisy or uncomfortable environment; or awakenings caused by other people."

The National Center for Biotechnology Information states "Because sleep disruption may cause fatigue and deterioration of performance, a study was conducted to evaluate the association between sleeper-berth use in two periods and tractor-trailer driver fatality."

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration affirms the importance of hours of service records and maintaining proper sleep breaks in one of their many DRIVER FATIGUE REPORTS: "Trucks are a vital component of the U.S. economy. That contribution comes from moving raw and finished products, as well as some bulk goods, long distances. Because of the long distances and long driving times involved in these contributions to our economy, driver hours of service (HOS) have been regulated for more than 70 years."

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) IMPACT OF SLEEPER BERTH USAGE ON DRIVER FATIGUE: FINAL REPORT states: "Driver fatigue is recognized as a major factor in accidents involving long-haul truck drivers. One way in which long-haul truck drivers decrease their fatigue level is through the use of tractors equipped with sleeper berth units. However even with these units, the quality and quantity of sleep that a driver obtains may not equal what they would receive if they were sleeping at home. With that in mind, the primary goal of this project was to assess the impact that sleeper berth usage has on operator alertness... There were a number of findings as part of this study that indicated that the quality and depth of sleep was worse on the road, particularly for team drivers. Team drivers have significantly more sleep disturbances than do single drivers. In addition, for team drivers who sleep while the vehicle is in motion, factors such as vibration and noise affected their sleep..."

The U.S. White House states: "Other estimates of fatigue involvement in truck crashes are higher. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimated that driver fatigue is a factor in 31% of all fatal-to-driver heavy truck crashes, and found fatigue to be a factor in even a higher percentage of all truck crashes investigated by NTSB. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated driver fatigue to be a factor in over 30% of all heavy truck crashes.

Regarding the Washington State Bridge Collapse, fleetowner.com noted: "Local news and the Associated Press quoted a driver on the scene: 'I saw the truck strike the right corner of the bridge. It almost tipped the truck over but it came back down. It tipped it up to about a 30 degree angle to the left and it came back down on its wheels and almost instantaneously behind that I saw girders falling in my rearview mirror.'"

The following article has info on the driver and company he works for:

Alberta trucker involved in Washington state bridge collapse


NTSB: No clearance signage at Skagit River bridge
http://www.king5.com/news/local/NTSB-on-scene-of-Skagit-River-bridge-collapse- 208948511.html

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. He advocates limited Constitutional government, presumption of innocence, and individual liberty. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Veterans Today, Educate-Yourself.org, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, Jonathan Turley blog, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, Republic Broadcasting Network, WorldNetDaily, Dr. Kevin Barret's Truth Jihad radio show, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, Strike-The-Root.com, DavidIcke.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, The Press Enterprise, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, Whittier Daily News, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.


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Catholic paleo-libertarian from California., promotes limited government and civil liberties
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