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Trucker ticketed $500 for poor English

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by NoahideHiker, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. NoahideHiker

    NoahideHiker Religious Headbanger

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    Trucker ticketed $500 for poor English

    The Associated Press

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Manuel Castillo was driving a truck through Alabama hauling onions and left with a $500 ticket for something he didn’t think he was doing: speaking English poorly.

    Castillo, who was stopped on his way back to California, said he knows federal law requires him to be able to converse in English with an officer but he thought his language skills were good enough to avoid a ticket.

    Still, Castillo said he plans to pay the maximum fine of $500 rather than return to Alabama to fight the ticket.

    “It just doesn’t seem fair to be ticketed if I wasn’t doing anything dangerous on the road,” he said.

    Federal law requires that anyone with a commercial drivers license speak English well enough to talk with police. Authorities last year issued 25,230 tickets nationwide for violations. Now the federal government is trying to tighten the English requirement, saying the change is needed for safety reasons.

    Most states let truckers and bus drivers take at least part of their license tests in languages other than English. But the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed rules requiring anyone applying for a commercial drivers license to speak English during their road test and vehicle inspection. The agency wants to change its rules to eliminate the use of interpreters, and congressional approval isn’t required.

    Drivers could still take written tests in other languages in states where that is allowed, and they wouldn’t have to be completely fluent during the road test, said Bill Quade, an associate administrator with the agency.

    “Our requirement is that drivers understand English well enough to respond to a roadside officer and to be able to converse,” said Quade, who heads enforcement. Drivers need to be able to communicate with authorities about their loads and their vehicles, he said.

    A handful of states and organizations are supporting the change, and no one opposed the new rule in comments submitted to the agency.

    The rule change, which Quade said would likely take effect next year, could particularly affect the nation’s fast-growing Spanish-speaking population.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated last year that more than 17 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million truck drivers were Hispanic, as were more than 11 percent of its 578,000 bus drivers. It’s unknown how many speak both Spanish and English.

    The issue of English-speaking drivers also could become larger if the Bush administration succeeds with efforts to make it easier for trucks to enter the United States from Mexico. Trucks already are allowed to enter border areas under a pilot program.

    An Alabama state trooper thought Castillo, 50, couldn’t speak English well enough to drive an 18-wheeler when he was headed back to California from picking up onions in Glennville, Ga. A driver for 20 years, Castillo was stopped in west Alabama for a routine inspection.

    Castillo, who says he speaks English at roughly a third-grade level, said he understood when the trooper asked him where he was heading and to see his commercial driver’s license and registration. He said he responded in English, though he speaks with an accent.

    Castillo wasn’t speeding, and the inspection and computer check turned up no offenses, so he was surprised to get a ticket for being a “non-English speaking driver.”
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    Clicky”
     
  2. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    How sad. Yet another way to harass people.

    [​IMG]
     
    #2 Scuba Pete, Jul 18, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  3. oldcajun

    oldcajun __BE REAL

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    If you didn't hear the guy's english you can't make a judgement.
     
  4. NoahideHiker

    NoahideHiker Religious Headbanger

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    Where did I make any judgments?
     
  5. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    This hearkens back to when I was a Scout. We were doing a paper drive and were unloading the papers. One of the leaders called me to come "interpret" for him. You see, I was the only white guy in my Jr High and everyone knew it. Since he didn't want to deal with his bigotry, he had me talk to the old black man with the thick accent.

    So are they going to fine anyone whose accent they can't understand? It's simply disgusting. But then, all bigotry is.
     
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  6. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Yeah... those who support this kind of crap should learn it:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mathematician

    Mathematician Reason, and reason again

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  8. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Just goes to show how dependent society has become to spell checkers...
     
  9. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention grammar checkers! :D
     
  10. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Why are we worried about truckers?
    Has anyone taken a New York cab recently?
     
  11. LittlePinky82

    LittlePinky82 Well-Known Member

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    That's a little bit different. As a trucker you're not likely to talk to many people like you would as a taxi driver. If he can do the job as well as anyone else why should it matter?
     
  12. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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  13. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    This is just another form of hatriotism. Nothing more or less. Specious people trying to be mean and who by and large are succeeding at it.
     
  14. Panda

    Panda 42?
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    Meh if you are going to live in another country speak their language. One question does this mean that people with commercial licences from outside the US have to be able to speak English if they are hauling imports? For example where I live there are lots of European lorry's hauling imports. Or is it for people that want American licences?
     
  15. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    You don't speak anyone of the Indian dialects do you? After all, they were here first.

    The United States was built on INCLUSION and not on exclusion. Here is what we have on our Statue of Libery:

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

    It would be great if we stopped giving mere lip service to LIBERTY and get down to the business of what made our country GREAT; TOLERANCE.
     
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  16. Panda

    Panda 42?
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    I don't think expecting people to learn to language is intolerant. I would never dream of living in a country where I don't speak their language.
     
  17. Scott C.

    Scott C. Just one guy

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    I once took a business trip to the deep south, which put me in a place to speak with working class people. I listened to a gentleman speak for about 10 minutes and could only understand about 20% of what he said. Maybe he should get a ticket? Or, should I get a ticket?
     
  18. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Precisely!
     
  19. LittlePinky82

    LittlePinky82 Well-Known Member

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    If a driver can do their job just as well as someone who does know English well what difference does it matter? It has to do with their job performance. If he can do the job and communicate with their boss fine than it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  20. LittlePinky82

    LittlePinky82 Well-Known Member

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    So what Native American languages do you speak?
     
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