Semi-truck ‘slow roll’ protest planned near Springfield Friday

Published: Thursday, March 07, 2019 @ 4:19 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 07, 2019 @ 8:37 PM

'Slow roll' protest planned for Friday near Springfield

Drivers heading toward Columbus from Springfield may see a slow Friday afternoon.

Semi-truck drivers are reportedly planning a “slow roll” protest as they head from London to Columbus, traveling around 48 mph.

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The protest is to bring attention to changes in regulations truckers say they’d like to see.

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One of those changes? Starting a 14-hour clock to drive 11 hours.

“We can’t break it up,” said Todd Campbell, a truck driver and organizer of the slow roll. “If you get tired, if you get sick, it’s there’s traffic, whatever the case, you can’t pause the clock.”

“The way it is now for the hours of service, we’re driving more tired than we ever have and it’s absolutely true,” said Andy Scott, another truck driver and organizer. “I’m more tired now than when I have ever been driving a truck.”

Available parking spaces at rest stops and similar places is another concern, as well as training standards for new drivers.

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“The company was forcing me to pass them as a certified driver and I refused to do so because they were an unsafe driver,” Scott said.

While the truckers will barely be driving over 45 mph, the slow roll will mainly be contained to one lane.

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“We’re not trying to create a hindrance,” Campbell said. “We’re going to keep gaps to let cars get on or jump in the middle of us if they need to get off at an exit. We did really well with this in Indianapolis. We had no hiccups over there, no accidents, no fender benders, no nothing.”  

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The exact route of the protest hasn’t been finalized yet because Vice President Mike Pence is speaking in Columbus Friday, which will close some roads.

Organizers have been in touch with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Officials with OSHP said they don’t expect any issues traffic, but will be monitoring in case they need to intervene.