RVC truck driving course teaches safety, battling fatigue

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A local truck-driving training instructor says drivers in the course learn how to battle fatigue and drive safely from day one.

Dave Willis, truck training coordinator at Rock Valley College, continues to emphasize truck safety in wake of a crash that took the life of ISP Trooper Brooke Jones-Story.

Jones-Story was struck and killed on U.S. 20 near Freeport last month, and one man was charged​ with driving while fatigued.

Willis says if the drivers' earliest exposure to training focuses on safety, it's going to carry more weight bad habits. He says sticking to maximum 11 hours of driving a day is key to keeping awake and alert.

Although the switch to electronic logs makes it very difficult for drivers or company's to work around those limitations, Willis says the ultimate responsibility comes down to the driver, no matter what regulations and training is in place.

"That is the bottom line. If the driver, for any reason, feels that what's he's doing or what he's carrying isn't safe; he's the final arbitrator," Willis said. "He's the one that makes that call. So if he ignores the evidence in front him to get off the road or fix the road or whatever it may be, then he's responsible for it."

Willis also says the RVC training program has turned down students interested in the truck driver training program due to a lack of instructors. If you would like to apply, click here​.