Larry Ash, a trucker for over 25 years, grabbed his CB radio after another semi veered into an oncoming lane – across two solid lines – on a blind corner to pass him on a British Columbia highway.
“I said, ‘Buddy, you just lost your license,’” Ash recalled. “He never said a word.”
Ash, however, did get responses from authorities and the other driver’s employer after he posted high-definition dash cam footage of the August 10 incident on Twitter. British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation referred the case to commercial vehicle enforcement authorities, while the carrier, Stryder, said it fired the driver.
“We have identified the driver in the video and taken him out of service – he will never drive for us again,” Stryder Canada tweeted. “We apologize to everyone affected by this misconduct as it is not reflective of our company’s values or safety policy.”
For Ash, 57, a driver and instructor with more than 3.7 million safe miles under his belt, the response vindicated his hobby of posting dash cam videos of bad driving online. Ash also sends videos to transport authorities and carriers. This marked the first time that Ash knows of another driver being fired as a result of his videos.
Ash drives long-haul routes for Evolution Environmental based out of Brooks, Alberta. He started posting dashcam videos on Twitter over the past six months in response to what he sees as an “epidemic” of bad driving.
“When you get a semi crossing a double line, around a blind corner, on a hill, you shouldn’t be driving a semi,” Ash said.
“It wasn’t even the worst one,” he added.
“When you get a semi crossing a double line, around a blind corner, on a hill, you shouldn’t be driving a semi.”– Larry Ash, truck driver
But he doesn’t report every incident of bad driving he sees. “I’m not going to turn in every idiot,” he said.
On August 10, Ash was driving his Volvo about 25 miles per hour uphill, weighing in at over 130,000 pounds with a load of glass bound for Alberta. He estimates that the other driver gained about 60 seconds by passing him.
The incident, he said, reflects an overemphasis of speedy deliveries over safety.
“It’s absolutely getting worse. Everyone wants stuff now,” Ash said. “It’s not like the olden days. Everything is now, now, now, now.”
Ash’s videos have gotten some negative comments from people identifying themselves as drivers. Ash plans to upgrade his truck’s video setup by adding two-rear facing cameras.
He is unapologetic. “I’m saving lives ultimately,” Ash said. “I hope this catches on.”