'Truckers Ride for the Constitution' to protest government shutdown
While the government shutdown continues on Capitol Hill, tractor trailer drivers across America are planning their own shutdown. Organizers of the "Truckers Ride for the Constitution" demonstration say they will descend on the Capital Beltway Friday for a political rally protesting causes ranging from the stalemate in Congress to low wages for drivers.
The movement gained traction on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Many truckers driving through West Virginia say they know of friends planning to attend the rally.
"Somebody needs to go up there and make an impact. If I could go I would go," said Brian Fogle, a truck driver from South Carolina.
Organizers of the three-day ride say they want to call attention to several trucker frustrations and express their disapproval of national political leaders. Some issues include hours of service and detention issues, mandatory liability insurance, and track parking safety.
"We have so many people telling us what to do who don't know what is going on, who have never been in a truck," said Patrick Gregory, who has been driving tractor trailers for more than a decade.
"It was cool at first, but it's gotten hard over the years. You can't make a lot of money in the business," said Fogle. "With the hours of service and rules and regulations, you just can't do it."
There are more than 34,000 jobs in the trucking industry in WV. Truckers say they hope to show how vital they are to the economy.
"The tires, food, groceries, everything that you got we bring to you," said Gregory. "This is just a part of the movement to make sure everybody knows that."
The demonstration on the Capital Beltway starts Friday and lasts until Sunday. Organizers say thousands of truckers have already RSVPed to the event.