It seems like everywhere you turn in the trucking industry somebody is trying to regulate you, or make you pay more money.
The trucking industry is overly regulated in the United States. Instead of wanting to fix the problem, most just want to add another regulation – which only adds to confusion and does nothing for safety.
Safety advocates have been around for years, they are the ones that run and cry to Washington, D.C. that this is not right or that is not right.
Most of these people in these so-called safety groups have NEVER been in a tractor-trailer, but on paper they sure know how to regulate one. It seems to me like if you were really concerned about safety, then you would at least try to learn a little bit before advocating?
Like I have mentioned thousands of times before, I am no expert never have I claimed to be one, but common sense will take you a long way in the trucking industry – without it, you are lost. My job is to keep an eye on the industry and to point out different things that these so-called safety people and others who just want to add more and more regulations without really fixing anything.
One such group “Road Safe America” (RSA) is really no different than any other “safety” group out there, they all tout the same thing. “More Regulations, slow these trucks down and save lives, these truckers are working too hard, let’s cut their hours down,” etc. I have had a couple of encounters with RSA and what gets me is that they never show any facts, they just make fictional claims.
One of the people from RSA told me earlier today to go and check the website out. I have been there before and all I see is the same old thing add more regulations to an over regulated industry. But I did find an interesting section on this website – its called “Get Educated.” So, I decided to check that out. I want to share with you some of what I found on the – Get Educated – section of their site.
Speed Governors: “Trucks we see on our highways are not all driving under the same management and safety control rules. Many fleets of trucks have their top speeds limited by a simple on board computer (speed governor) that limits the top speed the truck can achieve. This simply enables the truck driver to stop in a reasonable distance if an emergency were to occur.”
This paragraph under the Speed Governor section makes it sound like that most trucks on the road run at break neck speeds up and down the highways. It is also not completely truthful in making such a statement. “Trucks we see on our highways are not all driving under the same management and safety control rules.” All trucks are regulated by the same set of safety rules – to say they are not, is a lie. Many fleets of trucks are “governed” simply because of the Insurance company telling the company to slow the trucks down or we will not insure you anymore. This could be for any number of reasons, not just accidents – if a driver gets tickets, accidents, safety violations, tears the truck up, etc. can all lead to governing of a truck.
“This simply enables the truck driver to stop in a reasonable distance if an emergency were to occur.” This is not true nor is it what a “governor” on a diesel engine does. RSA is pushing for all trucks to be governed at 68 mph same as the American Trucking Association is doing. Slowing a truck down 5 mph will not save anyone’s life if they dead STOP in front of a truck.
Sadly, some drivers fraudulently keep duplicate log books. One book is to show their manager for compensation purposes, and the other is to show the police to avoid being taken out-of-service. This abuse of the law leads to very unsafe driving as the trucker becomes fatigued and sleepy.
This is how it used to be, back years ago now it is almost impossible to do, but it can be done. And here we go again bringing up the fatigued driving, as we have already seen the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) publicly communicated webinar September 30, 2010 titled: 2009 – Historic Truck Crash Declines. The real number is 1.4% fatigue related accidents occur in trucking. So really RSA has no valid claim here.
What is truly sad here is that these so-called safety people are supposed to be smart – or you would think so anyway. But these people must have a lot of “book sense” and have little or no “common sense.” They believe by adding a very expensive Electronic On-Board Recorder (EOBR) to a truck that the roads will suddenly be much safer. That some how this “magical” box will keep truck-drivers from running over someone out on the interstate that makes a bad decision in front of a tractor-trailer. The part that these so-called safety advocates who are backing EOBR’s won’t tell you is that the driver still has to “manually” put in information into the EOBR.
EOBRs cannot accurately and automatically record a driver’s hours of service and duty status. They can only track the movement and location of a truck and require human interaction to record any change of duty status. The government has ignored a federal statute to ensure that EOBRs will not be used to harass vehicle operators. An analysis conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said that “companies use EOBRs to enforce company policies and monitor drivers’ behavior in other ways.” Companies do use technologies to harass drivers while they are resting, they have for years, and this will only be another weapon in their arsenal.
“Though difficult to regulate without the use of EOBRs, truck drivers are required by law to drive no more than eleven hours without a ten hour break. Some disregard the law by choosing to put more miles in that day and thus generate more revenue.”
Here you go again making false claims about EOBR’s, remember drivers still have to manually put information into these too, just like a log book.
I will end this article by saying it again “If you want to end fatigued driving, then its simple, get rid of the “just in time delivery” system, and start paying the truck drivers by the hour.”
Road Safe America – Get Educated
How to cure ‘Fatigued Driving’
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