Victims and media coverage in the U.S.

I have been watching intently the news media coverage of shooting victims in Oregon. My family comes from Myrtle Creek, Oregon and this small very religious community and their loss has been overshadowed by the coverage of the larger city although also small Roseburg, Oregon. This is sadly, how U.S. media operates, perfect victims or perfect stories and usually overlooks compelling and truthful stories that would provide a more truthful picture for the public.

My wife was killed as a passenger in a parked underride crash. The local television stations did not cover her death, and certainly national media provided no coverage. The local newspaper buried the story in a tiny paragraph at the back of the newspaper. They refused to print requests for donations for my children in the obituary. Nearly a thousand people attended my wife’s funeral. I spent the next two years having to tell friends that my wife had been killed due to the lack of media coverage, hundreds of people. The truck continued to park in front of the sheriff’s office in the fog with no media coverage and no tickets issued even though requested at the scene.

We have had to endure needless deaths in the U.S. for thirty years as mid-level trucks in the U.S. have been allowed to be manufactured by U.S. automakers with virtually non functioning bumpers or no bumpers at all. They legally bought our lawmakers and received exemptions for single-unit trucks and specialty trucks from rear guard rulemakings even though safety experts, victims, law enforcement and public interest organizations testified against the exemptions. Media failed to tell the story of political deal-making then, and they are failing us again, now. When a heavy single-unit truck is manufactured in the U.S. it should have an high speed bumper just like cars, the vehicle should perform in all types of crashes to 40 mph just like cars. The current rear guard and reflective tape rulemakings are being totally ignored in U.S. media as are 90% of underride victims. My wife’s easily preventable death was one of a million untold trucking victim stories, no more perfect victims.

Cover this critical U.S. story! Remember, Myrtle Creek, Too!

The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making for rear impact guards and reflective tape on Single Unit (Straight) Trucks (SUTs) is now published in the Federal Register.

Public Comments will be accepted on this issue for 60 days (until October 21, 2015).

Please take the time to let the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) know what you think. To do so, go here:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA_FRDOC_0001-1478

Public comment period has been extended by 30 days, some of us were not informed of the extension and rushed responses with errors! Anyway, new date would be October 21.