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Anorak | Trucker Fined For Not Speaking English

Trucker Fined For Not Speaking English

by | 21st, July 2008

MANUEL Castillo has been driving for 20 years.

Like our patron Old Mr Anorak, he probably drives wearing tan driving gloves, a Cambridge flat cap, with a travel clock on the dashboard and a scale model silver effigy of a rutting stag attached fast to the bonnet.

Mr Castillo is driving through Alabama in a truck filled with onions. He is not speeding.

An officer pulls him over. After a brief exchange he is handed a $500 ticket for being a “non-English-speaking driver.”

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

Federal law requires that anyone with a commercial driver’s licence 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.

In a list of things you can do anywhere in the world without language and still make yourself entirely understood, driving comes in ahead of football violence, leering and being violently sick, and just behind being patronised by a policeman.

Wing commander Castillo can consider himself unlucky to have been so treated, and reserved not to have responded to his accuser with a kind of sign language that is all too understandable….



Posted: 21st, July 2008 | In: Reviews Comments (11) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink