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We already have too many laws and some are overkill, that say the same thing using different words. Yet there are a few new ones that really were needed. Semi drivers follow rules others on expressways don’t. They have a limited amount of hours they can drive. Going over the allotted amount becomes dangerous. When they weave in their lanes, drivers around them worry the semi will leave its lane and crash into them.

Another rule Semi drivers must follow has to do with the presence of emergency vehicles. When one is present on the side of the road, truckers must slow down dramatically or switch lanes if possible. That said, these particular rules are very much needed as evidenced by Monday night’s I-88 Wreck.

Renato Velasquez was in a hurry to get his load wherever it was headed. Time to him was of the essence and stopping meant lost time. He was tired but onward he trekked. When he saw the emergency vehicle on the side of the road he didn’t yield to the next lane but kept on.

Suddenly his cab jumped as the impact of a collision occurred. He’s rammed into three vehicles on the side of the road. A fiery inferno erupted as a car burst into flames. Tollway worker Vincent Petrella was killed and state trooper Douglas Balder was left critically injured from the accident. Petrella and Balder had stopped to help a broken drown semi driver when the Velsquez found them around 9:45 that night. The driver of the broken down semi was not harmed. Velsquez himself did go to the hospital but he was later released.

Today Renato Velasquez had his bond hearing. Velasquez was charged with four felony counts including:

1.) Driving a commercial vehicle while impaired/fatigued
2.) Driving over the hour limit
3.) Failing to yield to parked emergency vehicles
We shall see what the outcome will be.

As for the sad passing of Vincent Petrella, the state flags were flown at half-staff in his honor at Gov. Pat Quinns orders. His wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4 year old son will miss him, as will the village of Wheeling. The police issued a statement Tuesday to the effect that they expected state trooper Douglas Balder to survive.

Driving can be dangerous at any time and anywhere. What’s the worst is when people purposely decide to disregard the facts in front of them. There really are reasons for these laws. They might not be evident to us, since we were not in the boardroom or in the law office where the work was researched to begin their writing, but they are needed just the same. They protect us each and every day. We should protect them and ourselves by following them. Perhaps if we all do, the number of people killed on our nation’s roads will go down. Wouldn’t that be a nice beginning for this New Year?

Source Info. Came From:
Chicago Tribune Wednesday 1-29-14 Section 1, Page 5

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