Readers also give their views NAFTA and requiring side guards on trucks that drive on city streets

Reading the "My View" in the Aug. 24 Portland Tribune by Rep. Diego Hernandez, it seems anything he does not agree with is "hate speech." He also apparently believes that only his views are protected by the First Amendment. It is worth noting that the people that Oregonians for Immigration Reform are focused on are people who have violated federal law (in many cases, multiple laws): The "immigrants" Hernandez sides with are lawbreakers, pure and simple, and must be subject to the laws of the United States of America like the rest of us.

Hernandez goes on to attempt to tie requiring adherence to the laws of the land to "white supremacy" — a ludicrous position on the face of it. The bottom line is that folks who support groups like OFIR are "racist" only if "criminal" is a race.

That Hernandez believes he should be able to dictate to the Tribune what it does and does not print certainly says something about him.

David Luck

Lake Oswego

NAFTA an agreement, not a treaty

In her letter printed Aug. 29, Linda Howie referred to NAFTA as a treaty. NAFTA is not a treaty because it was not sanctioned by the U.S. Senate. NAFTA is an agreement, as the name states, because it was sanctioned by big business!

Gordon Hillesland

Southeast Portland

Opposition to side guards: Follow the money

Following the second preventable cyclist fatality in the city this year, advocacy groups are calling for updates in safety measures to protect vulnerable road users. Since 2008, Portland has been promising to equip trucks with side guards. Side guards on city vehicles isn't enough. Some cities in Canada and the U.S. have not only outfitted their fleets, they have taken the next step in insisting that any vehicle being considered a tender must be equipped with side guards before they apply.

The U.S. DOT and Transport Canada have been discussing side guards for over a decade. When my daughter Jessica Holman-Price was killed by a garbage truck in Montreal Dec. 19, 2005, there wasn't one side guard in North America. Now there are entire cities outfitted with life-saving guards and many tractor trailer companies have started to install aerodynamic side skirts. Aero skirts can be designed to double as life-saving guards, whether rails or panels are chosen for municipal vehicles and box trucks.

In one literature review it was shown that in jurisdictions where side guards have been implemented there has been a 20 percent reduction in fatalities and a 25 percent reduction in the seriousness of injuries. Our governments have known the truth about side guards since the 1960s.

There is a plethora of evidence in support of side guards. Still, our governments cave to the money of Big Transport. With science in favor and cash in opposition, which does our government(s) choose?

A recent collaboration between DOT and Transport Canada has given rise to an advisory committee of "volunteers" to advise on safety adaptations to protect the lives of vulnerable road users. Transport Canada has already decided they aren't looking at side guards and the decision-makers in Washington, D.C., are going the same way.

The vulnerable road user advisory panel is heavily weighted with high-paid lobbyists representing the bottom line of the trucking industry.

Jeannette Holman-Price

Inverary, Ontario, Canada