Are we really progressing with ‘safety’ regulations?

July 3, 2019

Wendy Parker


Gather round’ the campfire kids, and we’ll reminisce about the good ol’ days.

Back in the olden days (before 2005), cave-truckers could actually park and take a nap without shooting themselves in the pocket. And guess what? No one cared how big your neck was because when folks got tired they slept. When they got hungry, they stopped to eat. When they got tired of driving, they took a walk. They had this here magical thing called “flexibility.”

But that wasn’t good enough for special-interest and so-called “safety” groups. Because people still died on the highways, and crashes still happened. So the safety groups who knew nothing about actually driving trucks, decided to push for regulation of the consistently safest group of drivers on the road – the truckers. But instead of pushing for better training and retention policies, they pushed to regulate work hours to the point of zero flexibility.

Fast forward nearly 15 years and the regulations have somehow morphed from allowing the overall safest drivers on the road to schedule their own drive hours in the safest manner possible to having people strap tiny leaf-blowers to their face in the sleeper berth because everyone is tired from the stress of an inflexible, unforgiving ticking clock in their face every minute of every day. And guess what? Fatalities increased.

This isn’t really progress, is it? Because if it is – mark my words – there will eventually be gubmint intervention and regulation regarding professional drivers and fart-insomnia.

Oh, it’s a real thing alright. Sleep experts have determined if you’re flatulent while sleeping, you aren’t fully asleep. If you were soundly sleeping, well, let’s just say there’d be more than an air-biscuit in the bunk when you became fully awake, wondering who pooped in your bed. It’s an autonomous system everyone can and should appreciate.

Just imagine the contraption they’ll come up with for the opposite end. Drivers will become giant sleeper-berth accordions, having air pumped in and out of ’em like big-ol whoopee cushions. If you think having your neck measured is intrusive, wait until they tell you how you’re going to be fitted for the flatulence hose.

Where do I sign up for that exceptional life experience? (Said no one, ever.)

Safety doesn’t have to be silly. To continue to throw regulation on top of regulation for an industry that still has – even under duress of over-regulation from under-qualified eggheads – consistently the safest drivers on the road is silly. It’s not safe and we’re not making any progress here with saving lives, which is the FMCSA’s mission and purpose for existing.

Stop. Being. Silly.