Reader offers top 10 regulatory wish list

| September 19, 2012

Michigan-based company driver Valerie Weise is the woman behind, which among other things seeks to direct Congress to consider a “driver sovereignty” bill, giving truckers the same protections in their cabs that they would get in their place of residence.

Weise responded to news of FMCSA’s desire to conduct more effective public outreach with their regulatory review procedures with this top 10 list for the agency to consider. The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee was tasked in August with providing guidance on regulatory review to FMCSA, which will be finalized at their meeting in December in Alexandria, Va.

“There needs to be a return to common sense and American rights in truck regulation,” says Weise. “DOT/FMCSA have too much power. They exist only to make up rules for us, [many of which] are frivolous and petty. The whole thing is more about generating revenue than real safety. We’re not respected as American citizens anymore, it’s like we’re unruly children who need to be minded. We shouldn’t need a bunch of laws to tell us to be safe. We should learn that going in.”

Weise’s top 10

  1. CSA needs to go. There is already a points system on our CDLs. CSA serves only insurance companies and driver mills.
  2. Hands-free law should be flexible: there are already laws against driving erratically. This is an educational issue, not a legal one.
  3. Hours of service need to be more flexible.
  4. Keep most existing vehicle codes but do inspections at designated weigh stations, not on the roadside where it’s dangerous.
  5. It is not necessary to drug test (demoralize) a driver if there is an accident that’s not the driver’s fault.
  6. Closed weigh stations should allow parking. More ramp parking in general would help with fatigued driving.
  7. Dis-allow speed/engine governors. They are unsafe. Even in Ontario, Canada, where all trucks must be governed, a judge recently ruled that the practice is unsafe and violates the trucker’s right to personal safety.
  8. Make a prerequisite to entering CDL school — a year’s paid driving driving experience such as pizza delivery, taxicab or newspaper route, where they must drive in all weather.
  9. FMSCA should stand against many anti-idling laws — if the driver doesn’t sleep well he can be fatigued.
  10. FMCSA should encourage states to review their split-speed-limit policies as interfering with interstate commerce when there is no clear safety reason for the split or lower speed limit. The lost time adds up over days, weeks, and years to a lot of lost productivity. But the states make a lot of ticket revenue with the current policies.

What would you add to this list?

  • E.F.McHenry

    Excellent article as usual. Valerie Weise is spot on with her concerns. It is kind of a admonishment in one way and I completely agree it. There is so much that could be said about current trends in govt & business. It might be hard for some to accept or even understand my next comment but here goes. Most all federal govt agencies act as a kind of de facto Logistics Management company for big business. Consider the following Dept of…. agencies:
    1.) Ag
    2.) Labor
    3.) Transportation…ie FMCSA to be sure ha ha
    4.) Energy
    5.) Commerce
    6.) Housing
    7.) Interior
    8.) Treasury
    9.) Defense…..think private security companies
    10.) And yes Dept of HmlndSecurity
    Everytime these agencies pass rules or make policy, it affects markets and freedom & liberty. Among all the politicians Ron Paul alone seriously talked about cutting this aspect of govt. Of course he’s actually a freedom loving constitutional Libertarian not a R! The D’s & R’s have not such intention to reduce this side of govt. They fight over other sides of govt. Unfortunately though policy changes and rule-making tend to disadvantage one person while giving market advantage to another. This often happens under the guise of things like safety, level playing fields or saving the planet. Sorry I didn’t intend to get political but someone once said it all boils down to politics in the end.

  • E.F.McHenry

    Incidently i hope to offer some additional thoughts on EOBRs. I have some additional thought i’d like to offer in addition to my prior comments as EOBRs relate to the HOS rule and harassment issues. Thx for these excellent article. E.F..

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  • JoJo Klemm

    HOS (Hours of Service regulations) are horrible, arbitrary, and cause more fatigue than they cure. They should be abolished.
    They don’t work for me at all. At the very least, they should only be used as temporary punishment for some serious crime. Why are innocent drivers being monitored by government agencies day and night? What a waste of government, corporate, and private resources for non-productive political crap, designed to push us around.

  • JoJo Klemm

    HOS not only has us self-monitor and report to government for every 15 minutes of our lives. That’s not bad enough. Then they check it against everything they can find to get you in a mistake. It’s a giant game of SimonSays all day and night, like your under constant investigation of your alibi.

  • Todd Dills

    Anytime, E.F. You know where to find me.

  • E.F.McHenry

    Thankyou. This publication and these articles have been and continue to be a uncomparable source of information. Consider Valerie Weise, her effort is awesome. I read her driver bill and it’s great. But who would have know save for this article. I’m hoping for some more updates and reflections on the EOBR debacle. I intended to make contact unfortunately circumstances were shaken a month ago. Nevertheless i look forward to continued update articles like this one on EOBRs, HOS and other hot button changes.

  • Marty Marsh

    This is deffinetly a start,but i don’t think it will go anywhere simply because it is about the dollar and not safety.Anyone with a brain in their head knows you can’t regulate rest.But they will keep trying.You also can’t fix stupid.

  • Nuthead Guest

    Again excellent article I will add, now my turn to add, 1. overdrive find out who the lobbyiest are for higher insurance rates and publish them all over the country. 2. lobby and petition for the laws to change within the DOT, to make all DOT officers go thru a much more extensive mechanical course before they are allowed to inspect even one truck, not all but many are not skilled at what they do. 3. make it law for all DOT inspections to be held at either scales or at carriers facilities as used to be, videotaped and recorded. 4. make it a crime for DOT officer to not inspect as they have been trained to inspect, also when they create petty items to write a ticket for, rudeness, swearing and bullying. 5. lobby for congress to pass laws for FMCSA to only allow top directors to have personally served the industry either as an owner or employee. And finally to all truck owners and employees that are whining or abusing common sense issues such as safety for personal financial gain, get your acts together. I personally have held my class A license since 1978, when it was 1,2,3,4, have driven all but 4 of the 48, am an owner operator now, drive my truck only on occasion, have 10 years in the shop as mechanic in the 70s and 80s, my point is a lot of the same issues today are as then, with less respect for one another in industry, more greedier lawmakers, more truly ignorant lawmakers, we have created for ourselves a very abusive system that will not change until all will set at the table to do what is best for the future, the attitude of me first at all cost has to change, drivers look in the mirror tomorrow morn. and ask yourself how can I positively change this industry, owners look at your mirror and do your best at running your business, including treating those that drive for you as people, lawmakers, DOT, FMCSA, FSA, and all others seriously get a life, read German history and see what happened to Hitler and his cronies in the face of defeat, I would not like to be in your shoes if that was to happen in America, do not ever say it will not, by the way this nuthead writing this has and is running two businesses for many years now, and as Paul Harvey used to say Goodbye. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.