Add the New York Times editorial board to the long list of mainstream media organizations who’ve misrepresented what exactly the bipartisan amendment to the DOT funding bill in the Senate would do to truckers’ hours of service rules. To the NYT’s credit, they got a little farther than “rolling back the hours rules” in their description of what the restart-change rule would do (unlike National Public Radio’s All Things Considered program, as I wrote over the weekend — though the Diane Rehm Show, says owner-operator Jeff Clark, did a better job with it) — i.e. suspend the restriction on 34-hour-restart use to once per week and the requirement that it must include two 1-5 a.m. periods. Erroneously, they painted the amendment like it was doing away with the 34-hour restart altogether.
The NYT board also went much farther than NPR, taking the opening that the recent tragedy in New Jersey seems to have presented to mainstream news organizations around the country for some trucking villification. To wit, here’s their headline and deck: “Drowsy Drivers, Dangerous Highway: The trucking industry wants to weaken safety rules.”
If any of the reporters out there would like to know what the Collins amendment in the Senate actually would do, please read this story. If you have further questions, check out the linked stories in this piece for background — if you still have questions, email me and I will get back to you pronto: tdills [at] randallreilly.com.
Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at OverdriveOnline.com. His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 205-907-2481.