Recent footage of a line of trucks stopped at the Colorado border has the internet buzzing about trucker protests and boycotts, but that isn’t exactly the truth.
While many truckers are up-in-arms over the recent 110 year sentence of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who was involved in a wreck outside of Denver after experiencing brake failure and bypassing several runaway ramps, the footage allegedly depicting a line of trucks stopped outside of Colorado actually has little to do with the sentencing and a lot to do with record-breaking high winds and winter storms across a large portion of the country last week.
“The alarming weather events in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, downed trees, caused road closures, and left thousands of residents in multiple states without power well until the morning,” reported NPR on Wednesday, December 15th.
A map depicting the widespread storms and wind on Wednesday can be seen below.
While it is not exactly clear where each of these circulating ‘protest’ clips were filmed, it is known and well documented that multiple states stopped traffic as a result of the wind and storms in order to keep drivers safe. This includes a travel ban issued by the Colorado Department of Transportation for high profile vehicles along Interstate 25. The ban started on I-25 between New Mexico and Pueblo at 9 a.m. and was extended to include the Douglas County, El Paso County border to the New Mexico border at 11:30 a.m, reported KRDO. The ban was issued after a total of 25 trucks had already been blown over on Colorado roadways.
In addition to the Interstate 25 closure, Interstate 70 was also shut down by CDOT in both directions from Vail to Silverthorne due to wind and snow starting just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday, reported the Denver Post.
“My cab was all the way to the right side of the lane, and the wind was pushing the (trailer) hard enough to where the back end of my trailer was on the left side of my lane,” said trucker William Rankin, who drove along Interstate 25 on his way to Fountain on Wednesday.
“It’s a little white knuckle. You don’t want to let go of anything and you’re paying attention three times more than you normally would.”
“Our procedure calls for sixty miles per hour wind gusts, or downed semi’s in order for us to enact a high wind restriction,” said Michelle Peulen, a communications manager with CDOT.
As a powerful storm is currently sweeping through the Plains, the #GOES16 🛰️ watched it sweep up dust as winds gusted ~80-100 mph in some places.— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) December 15, 2021
This type of imagery highlights dust as bright yellow so it's easier to see. Learn more about it: https://t.co/KsTbJEiknM pic.twitter.com/W4g7Hp6hfJ
Some viewers of one of the circulating clips speculate that this footage was taken on Highway 58 near Bakersfield, California as a result of the snow and ice on the road up ahead and a subsequent overnight closure. The highway was first closed on Tuesday night, December 14th, and was reopened on Thursday morning, December 16th.
“Travelers were forced to stay put in their cars overnight as Caltrans and CHP crews worked to clear the roads. The line of travelers waiting to move spanned for miles and one truck driver said his commute took much longer than he expected,” reported ABC 23.
Although these lines of stopped trucks were not a result of the 110 year sentencing, they have inspired hashtags such as #NoTrucksToColorado, and truckers appear to be rallying to boycott delivering to Colorado altogether – all inspired by these entirely-unrelated clips. Whether or not these boycotts come to fruition is yet to be seen.
Check out a few of these misinterpreted clips and situations below.