Could be, says Overdrive Executive Editor Jack Roberts, who poses the question in a blog post on OD sister site CCJ.
The motive is simple, Roberts writes: The public is afraid of trucks, and politicians therefore aren’t afraid of throwing regulations at the industry and its carriers and drivers in the name of protecting the public, thereby scoring them points with voters.
He also points to a more underlying theme, though, about the general state of politics in the U.S., saying that though Democrats are more pro-regulation than their conservative counterparts, trucking seems to never catch a break, no matter which party is in power.
Even though most carriers and truck operators tend to sway toward the Republican Party, especially given the GOP’s tendency to be timid of regulatory burdens on private industry, regulations keep piling on for the trucking industry, even when the Republicans hold the reins.
As an example, he points to the 2000 election of President Bush, when many in the industry thought the EPA regulations that began being enacted during the Clinton years would be rolled back, giving the industry a regulatory break on curtailing its emissions output.
The Bush administration did nothing to unwind or change those regulations, though, Roberts writes, and even though the Republicans hold the House now — and there’s a regulatory onslaught coming again this year — don’t hold your breath as far as the House Republicans doing much about the 2014 regulatory agenda.
It all goes back to the truck-shy voters, he says, and those in the trucking industry shouldn’t expect to see relief on the regulatory front, no matter which party wins.