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TRUCK DRIVERS DON'T DESERVE A BAD RAP

Whether getting textbooks into the hands of students or new appliances into the kitchens of homes, no other form of transportation keeps our country running as smoothly as trucks. Like many professional tractor-trailer drivers, I have logged over a million accident-free miles.

Truck drivers are honest and hard-working people who make sure goods are delivered in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. From morning papers to evening gowns; from sugar-free cola to wrinkle-free khakis. If you have it, it's likely a truck driver brought it.

While the media and large advocacy groups try to distort the truth about trucking, reality speaks for itself. Statistics show that while the number of large trucks has increased substantially every year -- especially with the enactment of NAFTA -- the number of accidents involving them has decreased. Large trucks and their drivers must comply to stringent drug and alcohol testing, Department of Transportation physical exams and road tests in addition to federal and state inspections of their equipment.

These men and women who drive trucks across America are human beings, many with families, and they deserve to be treated with the same respect that others expect from them.

SALVATORE R. BARRANCOTTO

Lockport

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