Truck drivers are often the targets of violent crime; why isn’t more being done to protect them?
Truck driving is historically ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. In 2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported truck driving as the most deadly job in the country.
Truck drivers have spent the last year on the front line of a global pandemic and protests.
Over the last year, CDLLife has reported several incidents of violence against drivers. Here are some of the standout incidents:
- On Wednesday, a Minneapolis crime blog reported that a males were attempting to pull truckers out of their cabs.
35th and Dight, report of group of 4 males "attacking trucks" and trying to get truck drivers out of vehicles.#MplsCrime 00:05Posted by South Minneapolis Crime Watch & Information 3rd Precinct on Wednesday, June 24, 2020
- On June 5, two suspects were throwing cinderblocks at truckers on I-40 near Gallup, New Mexico. The incident ended in a deadly crash between the suspect vehicle and a semi.
- Memphis, Tennessee police say that a semi truck driver was fired upon by an SUV while traveling on I-40 on June 20. The truck driver was not hurt, but the truck was hit by bullets. Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the SUV.
- On June 19, a driver’s wife, April Marin, posted on trucking social media pages that said that her husband’s truck took gunfire on the passenger side window as he left a delivery location near E. Raines Road and Mendenhall in Memphis. Marin said that her husband wasn’t hurt but was “of course shaken up!”
- On May 29, a truck driver who was making deliveries to car dealerships in Oakland, California encountered a group of protesters and was attacked.
- On that same day, a veteran trucker was ‘blasted with bullets’ on I-70 in Ohio.
I was driving down the road last night when I got blasted with bullets. Without going into too much detail, I dodged the…Posted by Marcus Sommers on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
- On May 31, protesters attacked a truck driver on I-35 in Minneapolis after the driver accidentally ended up in a protest zone.
- On June 1, a truck driver was finishing up deliveries in Portland, Maine. As he was leaving his delivery, he found himself in the middle of a protest. The driver was pulled out of his truck and beaten.
- On May 18, an object was thrown off an overpass in Lyndon, Illinois. The object shattered the truck’s windshield.
- On May 17, a truck driver recorded an incident with a security guard. On the video, the security guard threatened to shoot the truck driver over a parking disagreement.
- On April 7, a truck driver shielded another motorist from gunfire on eastbound Interstate 70, near the 175-mile marker, in Montgomery County.
- On March 26, Truck driver Dennis Gilbert was northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike at mile marker 4.9 when a cinderblock was thrown from the Penns Grove Auburn Road overpass at his truck. Gilbert suffered injuries to his face and eyes from the broken glass and was taken to the hospital. The driver of the second semi truck wasn’t hurt.
- On February 20, a security guard shot a truck driver in the reserved parking section of a TA location off of I-40 in Oklahoma City on February 14 in an argument over parking.
- On February 19, on I-80/94 near mile marker 17, a truck driver was hospitalized with serious injuries after an unknown object crashed through his truck’s windshield.
- On February 4, a motorist fired multiple shots at a truck driver who was sitting in his parked truck, leaving him seriously injured.
- On Wednesday, January 8, police found 30 year old Tennessee-based truck driver Dajuante Stuart dead in his truck as it was parked along the shoulder of I-269 west of Memphis.Stuart was killed by an apparent gunshot wound.
- On Monday, January 6, in Kent, Washington, a truck driver was shot in the leg in a road rage incident.
While there are no federal laws that prevent truckers from carrying firearms, many companies forbid it and a patchwork of state and local concealed carry rules can make it confusing for drivers to keep track of where their weapons are allowed. Many drivers have said they carry a gun for protection, but not all states honor a driver’s CC permit.
In 2019, two bills, H.R. 38 and S. 69, were introduced to the House and the Senate that would introduce national concealed-carry reciprocity and make it easier for truckers to defend themselves. To date, neither of the concealed-carry reciprocity bills have passed.
A trucking trade group has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for relief from state and local gun regulations to give drivers hauling supplies during uncertain times caused by Coronavirus a better chance to protect themselves.