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Trucker’s problems should lead to reforms

As detailed yesterday by the Oregonian (and later discussed on this site), the driver of the AGG Enterprises garbage truck that killed Brett Jarolimek last week had a slew of speeding infractions on his record.

Now, I’ve learned that speeding was the least of his problems.

According to my research and to sources who have requested to remain anonymous, the truck driver’s “checkered past” includes:

You’ll notice that I’ve left the driver’s name out of this story because this is not about him. My reason for posting this information is to make it clear that if someone like this allowed to operate a large, potentially dangerous vehicle on our roads, something is amiss.

This new information should bring even more scrutiny to the issue of how our city regulates drivers of large trucks and the companies that hire them.

The question now is, what can we do about it?

We need to begin a conversation and partnership with the trucking and freight industries about these key issues:

The good news — and if there’s a silver lining to our recent tragedies — is that I’ve already spoken to folks inside PDOT and City Hall that are working on these very issues. (I talked about this with Commissioner Adams in a sit-down interview yesterday that I will publish later today).

Large trucks have enough inherent safety issues by themselves, adding derelict drivers into the mix is a recipe for tragedy.

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