“Illegal Truck Parking” Video Of Midland, Texas, City Councilman Goes Viral, Tensions With Truckers Still Escalating
Midland, Texas – On August 15, 2018, Transportation Nation Network was the first trucking media organization to bring you a shocking video news report from Big2/ABC which set off an internet firestorm.
In the report Midland, Texas, City Councilman J. Ross Lacey goes on a ride along with local law enforcement to investigate the issue of “illegal truck parking.” The councilman made numerous inflammatory statements aimed at truckers. For example he said, “It’s completely disgusting. Obviously it’s posted,” referencing a “No Trucks” parking sign. He continued, “What we need to do is step up our enforcement… and start going after these eighteen-wheelers.”
Well, needless to say, this video went viral and was watched thousands and thousands of times in a short period of time on TransportationNation.com. Truckers fumed on social media about the treatment and tone of the news piece along with the behavior of the city councilman as well as the Midland Police Department (MPD).
Not once did the news piece even begin to attempt to explain the epidemic levels of parking shortages for truckers in cities across the United States. Not once did the report provide context to why truckers might risk parking illegally due to a whole host of factors which we won’t get into here.
Tension between the trucking community and Midland, Texas, officials began to grow. The city then amended an ordinance which went into effect October 1st that now allows the city to fine truckers parked illegally on private/commercial property up to $500.
The tension escalated again this week. James Lamb, the President of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition, sent a letter to the City of Midland stating that the law harasses and endangers truck drivers. Lamb took particular exception to the comments mentioned above. “You don’t start a conversation by going around with the police department and hunting truck drivers,” Lamb said. “And using inflammatory language like ‘truck drivers are completely disgusting’ and ‘we have to go after 18-wheelers’.”
Midland Mayor Jerry Morales responded to Lamb’s criticism by saying, “We’re not against the truckers. A council member made a comment, and it was not in line with the rest of the council. So you know, you can do that.” Morales said the city was willing to work with truck drivers and trucking companies, but put the burden of providing parking back on trucking companies.
“If I was a business owner and wanted to make an investment, I could purchase five or ten acres. Put up a facility with showers, possibly cots. And rent them out. Provide some kind of transportation service. That’s my answer to that solution. They should be serving their industry,” the mayor said.
Lamb fired back at the mayor’s comments by calling his proposal “absolutely unreasonable” saying, “There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States. There are 350,000 trucking companies. To expect every one of those trucking companies that does business in Midland to purchase property is absolutely insane.”
The war of words is continuing to intensify, but will the bad blood translate into actions? Lamb said he’s not calling for a trucker boycott of Midland because he doesn’t think he needs to. “All we have to say is this is what’s going on, and we’re trying to work it out with the city, and we haven’t heard back from them. So you do what you got to do. And whatever that means to a trucker, if he’s going to go to Nebraska instead, that’s up to him,” said Lamb.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to bring you new developments as they happen.
Video shared courtesy of CBS7.
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