Dear Mahatma: A truck-driving friend says many large carriers have installed governors for fuel and safety's sake. His was governed at 62 mph. It's extremely frustrating when two big rigs seem intent on blocking the highway by running side by side. -- Jeff
Dear Jeff: Frustrating, for sure. We mentioned this matter to Chief Jay Thompson of the Highway Police, an agency of the Arkansas Department of Transportation. We wondered about enforcement by the agency, whose role is regulation of the trucking industry.
His answer was in two parts.
Part the first: On highways with signage that requires commercial motor vehicles to travel in the right lanes, enforcement may be taken. The offense would be disobeying a traffic control device.
Part the second: On highways with no such requirement, enforcement would be taken only if an officer determined a trucker was impeding traffic. It's a common complaint, he said, but in reality most trucks are being driven the posted speed limits.
Oh Great Mahatma: For years, too many to mention, I have told people that loaded logging trucks were not permitted to use interstates in Arkansas. Lately I've seen many such loaded trucks on Interstate 30 between Gurdon and Hope. Have I been wrong all these years? -- I'm Curious
Dear I'm: This piqued our own curiosity. We've been behind numerous logging trucks, on both interstate and other highways. Always, we fervently hope those logs are securely fastened.
Let's discuss this matter with Chief Jay Thompson of the Highway Police. Is this his day, or what?
Turns out logging trucks are indeed allowed on interstate highways. They even have a slight variation for total weight, 85,000 pounds versus the usual 80,000 pounds. That weight limit, high as it might be, is why so relatively few logging trucks use the interstates.
Hey: Why do drivers pull over for funerals but don't for emergency vehicles? -- Alma
Dear Alma: First, some information. Then, some Shakespeare.
Pulling over for a funeral is a courtesy. Isn't it nice that so many people are so courteous?
Pulling over for an emergency vehicle is the law. That is, Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-901, "Operation of vehicles and streetcars on approach of authorized emergency vehicles."
When an emergency vehicle approaches, drivers "shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right-hand edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer."
Now to Shakespeare, who had Hamlet say this: "What a piece of work is man!"
We're pretty sure he meant women, too.
Vanity plate seen in Fort Smith: IMMIMI. Our correspondent says this has to be everyone's favorite grandma.