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(800) 827-SAFE

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


(800) 827-SAFE

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
February 9, 2008

Have you ever noticed the sticker on the back of a truck or tractor-trailer with this phone number, (800) 827-SAFE? Have you ever called to complain about a driver (or to compliment the safe driving of the driver)?

On Friday as I drove into Algonquin from the east, I was passed a second time by the same truck. The first pass had been about six miles back, when he passed me at a good clip, hitting an estimated 60MPH in a 45MPH zone on Route 62. As he approached Highway 59, he stayed in the inside lane and got stuck in a long line of vehicles at the red light. I had been poking along at the speed limit in the right lane and I passed him and several other vehicles as I rolled to a stop at the red light.

The roadway narrows to one lane in each direction just west of Route 68, and he and others were stuck behind me in the long 55MPH zone to Route 25. When the roadway opened up again to two westbound lanes, he tore past me in the 45MPH and then stopped right in front of me on a red light near the Jewel-Osco on Route 62 in Algonquin. I had already noted the license plate (42 631F), the company name, and the phone number of (847) 229-0220. At this traffic light I was able to read the safety sticker and ID number, although it was covered almost entirely by dirt.

I thought about calling the safety manager directly, and then I decided to give them their money’s worth for the sticker, and I called (800) 827-SAFE. The customer service operators are good. It’s sort of like Dragnet; “just the facts, ma’am.” Or in my case, sir.

I reported the sticker number (976AX), license plate, company name, and description of the truck. Also, the location, direction of travel and weather conditions; all in response to questions from the operator.

Before the call ended, the operator reminded me to report good drivers, too, because they earn rewards for compliments. So, next time you see a truck driver doing well (or not), call the number on the sticker. You’ll be asked to provide as much detail as possible, including the ID number on the sticker.

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