James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, April 04, 2005

Keep on Truckin'

The other night while turning the dial I stumbled across the Midnight Trucking Radio Network. The topic was the regulation - I think it is a mandatory 8-hour break for every 10 hours of driving. It sounds like the proposed change by regulators is a 10-hour break for every 14 hours. The question the hosts asked was, do truckers abide by the law, or do they fake their logbooks?

The risk, I imagine, is the trouble a trucker would get in if he were in an accident in a place where, the log indicates, he shouldn't be. But truckers are faced with a two-fold problem: they are not paid hourly but are subject to an hourly regulation, and they are at the mercy of the hours of operation of the receivers: you'd have to get to the place by 5pm, or you'd have to wait until tomorrow. One of the hosts, while not condoning breaking the law, felt that such laws were pointless because drivers, who know their own body clock better, would continue to do as they've always done no matter what the law says.

Question: why would government regulators know what is best for the driver? What motive do they have, other than an altruistic guess that there would be fewer accidents?

ISTM that safe roads and safe drivers are primarily the concern of trucking companies, the truckers themselves, and their insurers - all of whom are seeking profit. The industry could be self-regulating. Insurance companies may insist on detailed log books and detailed regulations, but they do so to save money. Truckers and their companies would be inclined to imply so as to cover liability in case of accidents.

I don't see why the government needs to get involved.

1 comment:

  1. Greg Fisher10:03 PM PDT

    See below for the unkind lot of truckies in Australia!