Dumb traffic reports

By Dean Smallwood on

It seems that every weekday morning that I wake up and turn on the morning news, no matter what channel I flip to, there’s a “traffic reporter” that’s always talking about how busy the roads are. Well, duh. It’s the morning, it’s a work day, and people have places to go.

What kills me about these reports is how uninformative they are – the “traffic experts” blather on about how busy all the roads are getting, but there’s no real details, no specific stretch of highway, no advice on what to do to get around it, etc. They just say “Interstate XX is getting crowded out there, and you might wanna avoid the area.” Really! And how am I supposed to do that when I-XX is the ONLY way to get to where I’m going? Gee, really helpful.

These so-called traffic experts – but in reality they’re just “time killers” that babble for about 30 seconds while the DOT cams show the traffic from several really exciting angles to make us say to ourselves “Man, I’m glad I’m not tied up in that mess” – also go on and on about all the trucks and how they’re contributing to the nonstop snarl.

Well, no duh. They don’t stop to remind us that “That truck is getting a critical shipment of goods to a nearby outlet for mass consumption, so it’s OK they’re sitting in traffic with the four-wheelers.” Nope, they’d rather just tell the viewing audience that there’s a bunch of big rigs getting in everybody else’s way.

Maybe the trucks oughta surround the TV and radio stations and block the announcers’ ways home. I’d love to tune in for that report.

Dean Smallwood

Dean Smallwood is managing editor of Commercial Carrier Journal and Overdrive. He has more than two decades of journalism experience, with nearly half of that spent covering the transportation industry.

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