It's high time that truck drivers and owners be subject to stricter laws. They should have to display their company names and licenses in large letters and numbers on the sides and backs of their trucks so that when they cause accidents or break the law and don't stop, victims can hold them accountable.

I was driving down New York Avenue near Florida Avenue last week during rush hour when a large metal bar fell off a truck in front of me. Although the driver surely must have heard the crash of the metal hitting the street behind him, he or she did not stop.

I couldn't read the license tag, not only because the plate was caked with dirt but also because I was too busy trying not to cause another accident. If I'd swerved into the lane next to me, I'd have run into another car. If I'd quickly stopped, cars behind me could have run into me. All I could do was run over the bar and endure the costs of a huge hole in my gas tank -- which, of course, I didn't ask my insurance company to pay for, because I didn't want to risk having my insurance rates raised in coming years because of an accident that was not my fault.

Our baby sitter also had a similar accident a few months ago when a small piece of metal flew off a truck and shattered the windshield. Luckily, he was not hit on the head. In that instance too, the driver did not stop, and the baby sitter was not able to get the license number.

Truck drivers can get away with murder. It's government's duty to put a brake on the hit-and-run accidents they cause.

JOANI NELSON-HORCHLER Cheverly