Lawmakers always try to make things safer for the trucking industry and everyone involved, especially drivers and those who share the road with them. But there is always a fine line to these regulations, because even though they are supposed to make the roads safer, there are still many factors to consider. The new rules can be reasonable and work great, but they also can be too intrusive. One of these regulations is about driver’s sleep. Without a doubt, it is set for a good reason, but it still has been met with a lot of criticism from trucking companies and drivers themselves.
Fatigue behind the wheel has always been a problem and caused a lot of accidents. Many drivers prefer to put off the rest to work more and be able to do the job in time. A driver sleeping behind the wheel can lead to tragic results for him and other motorists, and that is why safety measures to regulate drivers’ sleep are in place. These rules have been changed several times because of the feedback on how effective they actually are, but they still draw criticism.
The new measures that are supposed to help preventing sleep apnea in drivers have been proposed and met with mixed reactions. Such measures would require more monitoring to check if drivers’ rest and sleep periods comply with new regulations. Trucking companies already have a lot of regulations to deal with, such as the amount of hours drivers can be on duty and the rest periods. Adding new rules can not only be intrusive but also become a burden.
Today shipping coordinators have to take into account traffic, weather conditions, customers and drivers schedules – additional monitoring would make the process even more complicated. The new regulations can also have a negative effect on the job growth in the industry. The data from e-Logs and medical screenings are being processed and the results on the regulations will show how effective they are and what needs to be changed.
This Post Has 4 Comments
I believe if truck drivers have to go through this with being tested for sleep disorders then maybe regular drivers that drive cars has to do the same thing as well as the dmv testes should change for them with more questions concerning driving on the roads with trucks.
I work for Wal-mart and there are already rules for the drivers as to how long that they can drive. It is a bit overboard to test sleep quality. What about bus drivers…both city and school? pilots? That is an invasion of privacy. Food etc costs a lot already and if forced to add more tests etc, the cost will just be passed on to the consumer.
Anyone who gives up liberty for safety gets neither. SAFETY is a 6 letter word government uses to screw us out of our liberties.
Politics & Trucking
Over the last three to four years our leading purchased politicians, (read that “our elected officials”), have gotten together and went about the absolutely unnecessary task of creating a long list of brand new “unwanted & Unneeded” laws, rules, regulations, restrictions and governing policies that cover the commercial transportation industry.
More than one of those new laws covers the D.O.T physical. Not only did it add some new items to the physical it also changed how the physical itself is performed.
It use to be when your D.O.T physical became due you would go into the work clinic and undergo a routine physical and then return to work. If everything went OK it would require about an hour out of your life.
Today when your D.O.T physical becomes due the paperwork alone requires an hour out of your life. With paperwork complete you wait for them to call your name. When they do, you step into the examination area and commence your exam.
One of the new things they do is measure your neck. If your neck is more than eighteen inches in diameter you are “supposedly” at high risk for sleep disorders. For that reason you will be required to take a sleep test. You will be given only a three month extension on your D.O.T physical to accomplish this. There will be no second extension.
How Did We Get Here?
When you have a person, special interest group or a corporation with deep pockets these entities will seek out a purchasable politician. These entities will say to them, something along the lines of, Mr. Politician or Mrs. Politician I see you have this foundation, or I see you are trying to get elected or reelected. We are willing to provide your cause with a generous amount of cash but in return we want you to do something for us. In this particular case we want you to believe what is in fact a blatant lie. We want you to use this lie to create a new law.
We know that the lie “A Persons Neck Size Shows A Propensity Towards Having a Sleep Disorder”, is not true because if you search the deepest, darkest crevasses of every single research institution, university or medical facility on the face of planet earth you will not find a single sliver of evidence linking a person’s neck size to sleep disorders. You will not find it because it does not exist. The only thing a person’s neck size shows is that a person has grown out of their awkward teenage years and into adulthood. Neck size is “NOT” an indicator of anything other than the fact you have grown into adulthood and nothing else.
If there was even a single hair of truth to this lie think of the ramifications it would have. A large percentage of the NFL would either be on the bench or out of the sport altogether. Now ask yourself this question, what would your life be like without the existence of the National Football League?
It would also reduce the number of men qualified for the army’s airborne corps, the green berets, the U.S marines and the navy seals because they would all be at high risk for sleep disorders.
This is not about safety. This is about a group of unimportant people trying to make themselves, seemingly important in today’s political arena. They’re accomplishing the task by shuffling generous amounts of money into totally unrelated political agendas. This has nothing to do with safety. It is not even remotely closely related.
One of those groups is the American Trucking Association. They are backing this new law without reservation. They are not willing to back down or defend driver’s rights.