There’s lots things you shouldn’t keep bottled up–emotions, feelings, and definitely not urine.
But when you gotta go, you gotta go, right? This is what brings me to the nasty topic of “trucker bombs,” a truly repulsive phenomenon. Basically, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s the slang that has been coined to name plastic jugs of urine that get thrown out of windows of vehicles when the driver aren’t willing to make a stop at a real toilet. Although truck drivers aren’t the only folks guilty of doing this, a large blame gets put on the transport industry for many reasons.
The Proof is in the Pissing
Even a decade ago, NBC covered a story about the trucker bomb problem. According to Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association at the time said, “[urine jugs] are an indicator of how much stress and pressure drivers are under.” Drivers are under a lot of pressure to get their miles in, especially for those who are paid by how many miles they can rack up in a certain time frame. This means that any detour, even for something as simple as taking a leak, could deduct from their earnings. Pretty much “being gross” improves their gross income.
In 2006, as many as 20,000 urine bottles were found along side the roads in Utah. The cost for cleaning these up is staggering…it could be as much as $3 million a year and that money is directly affecting the tax payers. Plus, the smell of emptied out containers of urine at truck stops creates a terrible odor that’s just plain nasty.
So who is really to blame for the “trucker bomb” issue? Is it the lack of rest stops along long stretches of highways, the strict driving schedules or regulations, or just disregard for safety and the environment?
Urine Trouble: Paying the Price
In Washington state, fines for general litter are about $100. However, in 2002, they created a new category for improperly disposing of human waste which they referred to as “dangerous liter” that would carry a fine of over $1,000. This category would include these jugs of urine as well as diapers, syringes, and feces covered items. Similarly, Colorado raised their littering fine as well, because they were finding that the containers of human waste thrown by drivers were exploding when they were mowing the grass along sides of the highway. Plus, they also can explode in the heat. Yuck.
However, even with a hefty fine at risk for throwing out these containers of bodily fluids, it may seem like the only option for a driver that desperate has to tinkle. Drivers who pullover to urinate outside run the risk of becoming a sex offender. After all, indecent exposure is a sex offense.
Meth Addicts Drinking Trucker Bombs?
One documentary called American Meth brought up a bizarre (and absolutely revolting) notion. The documentary explored one topic that most of us would never have even thought of…meth users drinking from these roadside containers of urine to get high. Their assumption is that truckers stereotypically use uppers to keep awake, that they would be able to extract it from the urine. According to speculation, this trend first came to light when New Mexico police found a smelly storage locker filled with dozens of gallon jugs of pee for “urine extraction.”
An Industry of Pee
Entire companies have capitalized on the trend of people relieving themselves within their rigs such as “GoPilot.” Their tagline is “a portable handheld urinal system for when you need to go.” They’ve even been featured on CNN and Jimmy Kimmel Live.