Illinois trooper says ‘I got your back Semi Driver’ after tricky turn

A trooper with the Illinois State Police (ISP) took a moment to let a truck driver know that she saw him or her being careful and doing everything they could to take a tough turn safely.

An October 8 Facebook post from ISP’s Trooper Tracy Lillard  addressed an encounter she had with a “Semi Driver on the Sidney Slab.”

The post highlights a brief but touching moment during which a law enforcement officer and a professional driver helped each other to stay safe.

Dear Semi Driver on the Sidney Slab, 

I saw your turn signal. I saw you slow down. I knew you needed to turn right, yet when you were clear, you swung out in the other lane to make your turn. I get it. I saw the line of vehicles behind me stacking up. I watched them in my mirrors. I also watched you. I knew you had a tight turn and you may or may not have been loaded full of corn or beans. I stayed back to give you plenty of room to maneuver. I didn’t see what farm you worked for, but I know you probably are a local. Thanks for being safe, cautious, and using your signals. I hope others see signals on big trucks and realize they make wide turns. Really, really wide sometimes. 

I got your back Semi Driver. Stay safe out there. 

Sincerely, 
A semi driver’s daughter 

Dear Semi Driver on the Sidney Slab, I saw your turn signal. I saw you slow down. I knew you needed to turn right, yet…

Posted by Trooper Tracy on Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Facebook post has been liked more than 3,000 times and many commenters were grateful for the positivity.

There is increased semi traffic on rural roads during harvest. Some will be parked along the ditches, some will be…

Posted by Trooper Tracy on Friday, September 25, 2020

This is not the first time that “Trooper Tracy” has taken the time to shout out a truck driver for safe driving. In October 2018, she shared a similar story and even called a driver’s company to report his alert, safe, and attentive driving.

Dear Truck Driver, 

I saw you yesterday on I-57 in the right lane, headed southbound between Olympian Drive and I-74. I saw you slow down as you saw traffic on the I-74 interchange ramp approaching our location. I saw you turn your turn signal on to move to the left lane. You were clearly moving over to give the entering traffic room to merge. I saw every bit of it. 

I flashed my headlights at you. It was broad daylight, but I knew you’d be looking in your mirrors and would see me. I stayed back as you moved into the left lane to allow the traffic to merge. You flashed your taillights at me to say Thank You. You made me smile. I knew exactly what you were doing. It’s called sharing the road. It’s called being alert. It’s called being polite. 

I stayed behind you in the left lane for a few miles. Traffic was thick and no one was letting you back to the right lane and then we were approaching the I-72 interchange. We stayed in the left until that traffic merged on. You signaled to get back into the right lane and another truck driver let you in. I passed you on the left, wishing I had a passenger to take a picture of your truck. I wanted to send a shout out to you and your company. 

As I drove by I memorized your plate number, company name, and truck number and later jotted then down. I know your company probably would like to hear good news as opposed to bad news, so I intend on calling on Monday. They will know who you are and what your route was. As I passed you I waved. I don’t know if you saw it, but I’m sure you saw my squad car. 

I was happy to share the road with you. I know there are so many over the road truck drivers that have millions of safe driving miles under their belt and it makes me happy knowing you were probably one of them. 

I wish it wasn’t so hard for motorists to understand how to operate a passenger vehicle around a truck tractor-semi trailer in order to stay safe and out of blind spots, and I do my best trying to educate them. 

Until then, continue to drive safely and I’m glad we were able to communicate with our headlights and taillights. 

Sincerely, 
A truck drivers daughter and a State Trooper

UPDATE— I just called the company this morning (Monday Oct 29) to speak to the Safety Office. I introduced myself and told him I had had an interaction with one of their drivers on Friday. I told him it was good news. I gave him the truck number and time and he was able to look up the driver. We chatted for a while and I explained I had posted the interaction online. I have tagged their company in the post Carrier One and the driver’s name is Mr. Pettus. I also just saw CDLLife.com shared the story too. (I have his first name too but didn’t know if he would want it posted! ☺️)

It’s amazing what being a professional driver means. Well done Mr. Pettus, well done.

Dear Truck Driver, I saw you yesterday on I-57 in the right lane, headed southbound between Olympian Drive and I-74. I…

Posted by Illinois State Police District 10 Pesotum on Saturday, October 27, 2018