Those Trucker Bombs On The Side of the Road
By James Donahue
We noticed a news report
about a littering problem described by the various state transportation departments concerning “trucker bombs”
collecting along the sides of major U.S. highways.
It seems that truckers
and other long-distance travelers are resorting to empty plastic water bottles to collect their urine. They are tossing the
bottles out of their windows as they continue driving non-stop across the country. Now highway workers are complaining about
the health hazards and cost of having to collect the bottles.
The problem has gotten
so bad that in Utah alone, the UDOT says its maintenance
crews pick up over 20 thousand urine bottles a year along the state’s highways. In addition to these, they also are
finding ziplock bags filled with urine, feces, drug paraphernalia, used needles and even blood.
It is, indeed, a sign
of the times.
I knew a trucker who
logged a lot of hours on the highways and did long cross-country hauls. He used to laugh about the “pee bombs”
and said it was common practice for truckers everywhere.
And there was a reason
for this. Truckers are always driving against the clock. They are required to get their loads delivered as quickly as possible
if they expect to make a profit out of the trip, but by law they also are required to restrict their road time and have to
keep logs of their driving hours.
They don’t have
time to pull those big rigs into truck stops just to urinate. And on long hot hauls in summer heat, even in air-conditioned
cabs, truckers have to drink a lot of water, coffee and soft drinks to stay awake and keep themselves hydrated. That means
frequent urination, especially among the older drivers. And drivers under the gun don’t like to stop so they resort
to using empty plastic bottles.
I have never driven a
big truck, but I have personally logged long hours of driving across the United
States and understand the problem. Sometimes those “rest stops” seem a long way
down the road. Some states do not offer the convenience of toilet facilities so drivers are forced to find a bush or
rock for some degree of privacy. The plastic pee bottle used by truckers is a natural solution. I wish I had thought of it.
That they are tossing
their waste out of the truck windows and cluttering the sides of our nation’s highways is a shame. The least the drivers
should do is dispose of the bottles properly at truck stops. They all have to stop those rigs at some time, to fuel up, get
food and sleep.
That some drivers are
also tossing needles and drug paraphernalia is scary. That means they are operating those big rigs while under the influence
of drugs, which puts us all in jeopardy when we have to share the road.
How a driver can deficate
in a plastic bag while still operating his vehicle is a bit of a mystery. We can’t defend it and can’t understand
why it would ever be done. But then who can explain the thinking of anyone willing to pollute the environment by tossing a
plastic bottle full of human urine out of a truck window?
This whole picture is
Over the years we
have developed a lot of respect for most truckers. I have found them to be good and courteous drivers. That some are resorting
to such disgusting practices and disregarding our mandate for loving the Mother Earth, makes us very sad.