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Police: Truckers' protest fizzles in Washington

Oct. 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Police in the Washington area said the so-called Truckers Ride for the Constitution planned for Friday slowed traffic but caused no major disruption.

Organizers promoted the protest as a three-day event and predicted thousands of truckers would clog traffic around the nation's capital to protest gasoline prices, President Barack Obama, congressional leaders and a host of domestic political issues.

Zeena Andrews and Peter Santilli had said thousands of truckers would show up, but The Washington Times said Friday the rally -- in rainy weather -- was a bust and observers saw few signs of #T2SDA (Truckers to Shut Down America) stickers and flags that were to distinguish protesters from everyday traffic.

The newspaper said Virginia state police reported activity was normal in Doswell, Va., where organizers said protesters planned to gather at a staging area. About 30 large trucks and 15 pick-up trucks were at another staging area in Dumfries, Va., the Times said.

Maryland State Police said there were no disruptions as a result of the truckers' ride.

The Teamsters union said it would not participate in or acknowledge the protest and the Owner/Operator Independent Drivers Association said in a news release it was not involved and does not support the protest, the Times reported.

A picture posted online Friday showed a large convoy of trucks but The Washington Post said the photograph was taken in May at a Make-a-Wish Foundation fundraiser in Lancaster, Pa.

While the protest was being carried out, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, Deborah Hersman, was testifying on Capitol Hill that the federal government shutdown has resulted in thousands of accident investigations being put off.

Hersman told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee the NTSB has furloughed most of its 405 employees, and is operating with 22, The Hill reported.

She said the NTSB has been unable to investigate a Tennessee bus crash in which eight people were killed and a crash in Arizona that killed four people.

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