Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

On the way from here to there


I took myself off for a camping adventure this week. First stop was a park Katie and I have visited several times. Most of the time we end up in site 43.

Turns out four years ago yesterday Katie and I were at this very site, packing up, heading for home.

Four years ago at site 43. I don’t want to leave, mama!

But first I took her up to the Mackinaw Bridge, because she had never seen it. She wasn’t all that impressed. And the ride home was extra long because we went north before we went south. But she was a trooper and never complained. Much.

Best rest stop ever, mama!

This trip I stopped at a rest stop just before my exit, because it’s one of Katie’s favorite rest stops. Turns out there was a commercial truck inspection going on. All trucks were mandated to pull off the freeway at the rest stop so commercial vehicle inspectors could check their rigs and their hours of service.

Thank you to Michigan’s State Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection team.

I walked over to the table at the front of the inspection line and thanked the two officers there. I told them the truth, that whenever I saw them and a commercial truck pulled over I give them a thumbs up and that it was nice to be able to do that in person.

Then I gave them my Truck Safety Card, thanked them again, and went on my way feeling better about our roads knowing the state police are working on it.

Next month I’ll be in DC again, along with many other families and victims of truck crashes. We’ll be voicing our objections to some things going on (teen truckers) and asking for more changes, (increased minimum insurance, automatic emergency braking on ALL trucks) many of the same changes we’ve been asking ever since I started this journey almost 18 years ago.

Our last press conference, 2019

Change is hard.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “On the way from here to there

  1. Fortunate you got to meet them in person and say thank you. Have you ever spoken directly to the driver and told them your experience? I would think that might make a difference knowing how their driving has affected someone’s life forever. I drove home yesterday on interstates 95, 87 and 287 in our area- and those trucks absolutely set my nerves on edge. I couldn’t wait to get the NJ Garden State Parkway where no trucks are allowed!


    • The driver who killed my dad? I only saw him once, at his sentencing. He was rocking back and forth and staring at his feet. He didn’t look at us. I think he was traumatized too.


  2. Lots of memories. Change can be slow as well as hard. Admire your persistence.


  3. I recently did a one day back-and-forth trip to northern Tennessee to get a load of hay. For the past 30 years my MO has been to leave in the middle of the night to drive amongst the truckers since they’re safer drivers than the cars out there. Over the years I’ve seen that dynamic change. It was the most stressful overnight driving. I don’t know if they were asleep or texting but the rigs were all over the lanes. I was breathing a sigh of relief when I finally made it back into Phoenix city. And you know the intersection I’m talking about it the 280 bypass when the trucker came flying over the hill and couldn’t stop almost creamed to me and instead took off onto the shoulder of the road. It’s out of control.


    • Lots of new, younger drivers. And the ATA is pushing the 18 – 21 year olds to drive cross country now. So much turnover at truck companies because the drivers aren’t paid except when the wheels are turning. No one is responsible for getting the load where it goes except the drivers and there are so many obstacles to them being on time, much of it having to do with the shippers who suffer no penalty for holding up the loading or unloading. So drivers have to speed or drive longer to make up the time. You’re right. It’s out of control.


    • Same here in the State of Washington, Jamie. I used to always leave EARLY in the morning after a camping week so that I’d be running with the truckers. I now PURPOSELY leave later in the morning to avoid the truckers. We need to fix that.


  4. Cheers to you for continuing the battle!


  5. How cool that you had a chance to speak to the vehicle inspectors in person. I’ll bet they don’t hear that every day!


  6. Saying thank you in person is wonderful, for you and [ultimately I hope] for the people who experienced gratitude.


  7. So nice seeing Katie again! I know she’s never far from your thoughts. Has it been 18 years already that you’ve been working on truck safety? Golly, that’s a long time! I’m glad you were able to thank the state police. They have a hard job and probably don’t get near the thanks they deserve.


  8. Nice that you thanked the Officers, sometimes they don’t know what to say.
    You will miss Katie for a long time…I cannot tell you it will get easier …just less hard in time.


  9. Teen truckers!!! What? Ok, I need to check Washington State law and get involved if it’s wacko.


    • All 50 states allow young people, starting at age 18 to drive semi’s within the state lines. The ATA wants them to also be able to cross state lines. If that were all they really wanted we might be able to put a radius on it. But what they really want is free will to send young drivers anywhere including across the country. Our concerns are many. Not the least is which young drivers have been documented to be less safe driving in all sorts of vehicles. That’s why they can’t rent a car. That’s why their insurance premiums are higher. Etc. Young drivers will get the worst routes, because the better ones will go to senior drivers who have more time with the company. Young drivers will be less likely to buck their company if asked to do something unsafe…like driver further or faster or with poorer equipment. Etc. So we lost the battle and there’s a pilot starting NOW. Supposedly the teen drivers (age 18-2) will be driving in only trucks that have all the newest safety bells and whistles…lane departure warnings, Automatic Crash Avoidance etc. But that won’t guarantee that when they get OUT of the pilot program they will end up in a truck like that. And there’s also some issues with how the program results will be reported. And what will happen should any of them end up in a crash or, hopefully never, kill someone. We have lots of red flags. The ATA says it just wants to fill seats in the trucks. Supply chain issues you know. We say PAY THE DRIVERS WHAT THEY”RE WORTH AND THEY WILL RETAIN THE EXPERIENCED DRIVERS THEY ALREADY HAVE.


  10. It was good of you to thank them, Dawn, even if they didn’t seem overly receptive (I’ve been reading comments). Thank you for all the work you do to try to keep our roads safe. I often think it would be much more helpful if the truckers themselves would get involved since this concerns their safety as well.


  11. How wonderful you were able to say thank you in this manner.
    Change is so very hard!


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