Dupré, LA DOTD and local TV Station join to recognize National Driver Appreciation Week
On Friday, September 16th, Dupré driver trainer Flint Deemer and La. Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development Dr. Shawn Wilson rode a stretch of highway in South Louisiana to understand and highlight the challenges of professional drivers during National Driver Appreciation Week.
Local Lafayette, La. news station KLFY’s reporter Emily Giangreco went along for part of the ride to highlight some of the challenges both drivers face and the DOTD faces when designing and maintaining roads systems.
View KLFY’s Article from September 16, 2016
“We realize that everything you own, buy, sell or trade has been on the back or in our transportation system at some point,” said DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson, “This is just an eye opening experience for a lay person, a non-truck driver, to appreciate what they do on a daily basis.”
Deemer shared the challenges of not only safely driving his truck but taking into consideration others on the road.
“You constantly have to think about that, getting in and out,” said Deemer, “There’s a lot of pre-planning with this job. People that don’t know what trucks go through to get through their day to day operations. That’s the biggest challenge.”
As South Louisiana faces a great opportunity with the planning for the I-49 corridor, Wilson says that the trucking industry will be taken into consideration.
“At the very minimum, building I-49 will benefit the trucking industry,” said Dr. Wilson “Making sure we design and build things with the right curves, with the right turning radius’ to allow trucks that are this long to be able to make a very precise move.”
After going on his ride along, Dr. Wilson said one of the main issues is non-truck drivers who are using their phones and not paying attention to their surroundings.
Dupré Chief Administrative Officer Doug Place said, “We appreciate Secretary Wilson tying appreciation for America’s professional drivers with the need to improve our infrastructure, reduce congestion and improve safety on our highways.” He continued, “His ride from Lafayette over the Atchafalaya bridge, through the congestion at the Mississippi River bridge and at the I-10/I-12 split shows the challenges of our current highway system.”