Update: Behind the Store: Truck Safety

I’d like to give you an update on the last post I wrote about regarding Truck Safety .

I wrote my first post after being passed by a speeding Walmart truck last summer while driving on a highway with my son. My concern at the time was that a new truck anti-speeding law had recently been overturned in the courts. My post was not intended to get into the details about how to make a good law. My main point was that shoppers should care not just about the lowest price on a shelf, but also for how the lowest price product reaches the shelf safely for ourselves and our children.  I believe it’s importnat to have the strong consumer protection and road safety laws, but ultimately consumers have the power to judge corporate actions regarding our safety by carefully choosing what we buy and who we buy it from.

So, I’d like to report another event with a Walmart truck on the highway as I was driving home with my children from my parents over the recent holidays. The difference this time is that I am very happy with what happened. While I was driving the speed limit on the highway, I came across a Walmart truck that was going slightly below the speed limit. Awesome! I was so happy to find a Walmart truck that keeps it’s lights on AND drives within the speed limit FOR OUR SAFETY. That’s a consistent message I can believe. Well done Walmart.

I realize this is not a valid scientific study by any means, but I think it’s a good idea for every shopper to observe what’s happening around them and intelligently connect different consumer issues when possible.

The downside of my trip is that the Walmart truck was the exception to the rule. I was passed by many speeding trucks. It appears many many truck drivers don’t care about highway safety and are no longer required to use highway safety equipment in their trucks.

For those retailers who brand their trucks, I hope you remain committed to highway safety by having your trucks obey the speed limits, even though your drivers are not using speed-limiting safety equipment. Your customers care about highway safety and hope you do too. I think you’ll find customers will notice and reward you if you show an honest and transparent effort to be a good corporate citizen.

Behind the Store: Truck Safety

I was travelling to my parents’ cottage for a little visit this summer. While my mind was thinking about the fun we would have at the cottage, a big transport truck came racing up behind me. As the truck approached from behind, I quickly shifted my focus from fun at the cottage to the immediate problem of making sure the truck could pass safely. After passing me on a flat strech of highway, my mind shifted to the ModShopper shopping and retail website. I don’t think I would of connected the passing truck to “shopping” if the truck wasn’t a big advertisement for Walmart. What specifically struck me was the part on the truck that says “We drive with our lights on for safety”. I wonder if Walmart thinks a speeding truck with its lights on is a safer truck than a speeding truck without its lights on.

As the truck pulled away, I started to think beyond the safety of my son and myself. It moved to the bigger question about consumer safety. Not just of the products that you take home with you, but also about how products are made and what happens before they reach the store shelf. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that today’s shoppers have more on their minds than just low everday prices. Prices may be a key part of the equation, but surely shoppers want to spend their money from stores and product producers that have low prices AND are also good corporate citizens.

As for truck/highway safety and being a good corporate citizen, I recently read about a court ruling here in Ontario that said the government cannot force truck drivers to use speed regulators which stop the truck drivers from speeding. I also found another article applicable in the US were the National Retail Federation (NRF) is supporting less truck driver regulation … “NRF Joins Truck Driver Regulations Fight“.

The real question I have is not whether government regulations are good or bad. The real question to me is whether retailers care about their customers’s safety more than they care about getting paid at a cash register. If they do, governement regulations will take care of themselves.

I’ll let the Truck Safety experts debate the merits of specific truck regulations. I sure hope they do a good job, because I feel the the safety of millions of families traveling on our highways is as important as getting everyday low prices.