Oklahoma Woman Takes Fight Against Tired Truckers To Washington

Friday, May 6th 2011, 8:30 pm
By: News 9

Jon Jordan, News 9

An Oklahoma woman is taking her fight to keep tired truckers off the road straight to our nation's capitol.

For Linda Wilburn it's an issue that hits home. Her son was killed by a tired trucker on I-40.

Just some of the things Wilburn would like to see changed include having side guards installed on all trucks that would prevent cars from being able to go underneath. She would also like to see log books become electronic. Right now she says it's too easy for trucker to lie about hours driven on the road.

Wilburn's son, Orbie, just 19, was killed along a stretch of I-40 east of Weatherford in 2002. Traffic was stopped when a semi-truck plowed into the back of his car. At first Linda was angry at the driver who killed her son, that was until she began investigating why the driver hit Orbie.

"On the day he killed Orbie, he had actually been driving from Bakersfield, California, to here on I-40 when he rear-ended Orbie's car," Wilburn said.

The driver wasn't paying attention, she said, because he hadn't slept. It is a problem she soon discovered was far too common and the reason she joined the organization Parents Against Tired Truckers.

"You just have so many emotions," she said, "so many things going through you. You just have to do something with all that."

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, on a per capita basis, Oklahoma ranks third in truck crash deaths. That's just one reason Wilburn said tired truckers need to be kept off our roads.

"It's not so much justice for my son at this point, it's to prevent it from happening to other families because it's still happening," she said.

One other thing Wilburn would like to see trucking companies do is to reduce the amount of consecutive hours a trucker can driver. Currently the limit is 11 hours. Wilburn's organization would like to see it reduced to 10.