I was driving to work recently when a pickup truck whizzed by me, speeding, changing lanes and breaking a few minor laws in the process.

It's bad enough when some people can't accept that traffic is heavy, there's no place to go and they're just making it worse.

That logic, however, seemed lost on the guy who darted around me.

There is a consequence for such bad behavior on the road, but only if a cop happens to see it and makes the offender pay with a ticket and a fine.

But there's another price to be paid if you're dumb enough to be driving a company truck with the logo and vehicle number painted on the side.

Detrimental details

As the truck went around me, I noticed it belonged to a rather large and recognizable organization here in the Lowcountry.


It took another traffic light or two, but I eventually caught up with the speed demon, verified the organization and made a note of the vehicle number.

It just so happened I knew the person in charge, so I waited until I was safely off the road, placed a call and left him a message.

"One of your trucks just blew by me on St. Andrews Boulevard," I said, quoting him the time of day, more detrimental details and the vehicle identification number. "I know if one of our employees was driving this way, we would appreciate knowing about it."

It wasn't long before I heard from the boss.

'Just plain stupid'

"I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to let me know about the driver of the truck last week," he said in an email. "This is the kind of thing that could hurt us on many levels.

"The most obvious is safety, not only to our driver but others. Also, public credibility is something we work on around here every second of every day."

Then he added, "Unsafe driving with a billboard on the side of your vehicle is just plain stupid."

When approached, the driver didn't deny it.

And, unfortunately, it was not his first offense.

"Getting the number of the vehicle really helped," the boss said. "The punishment last time was appropriate. This time it was severe."

On a personal level, I'm sorry that someone got in trouble because of my phone call, but I would and will do it again.

"I'm sad to say this happens more often than I can believe," the boss said. "When we make a very big deal about it, I think it helps. I appreciate you taking the time to do this."

The moral of the story is simple. Don't be afraid to jot down a license number and contact the owner of a company vehicle being driven badly.

They want to know. Because good bosses understand their reputation rides down the road with each and every person they employ.

Reach Ken Burger at 937-5598 or on Twitter at @Ken_Burger.