Trucking far from ‘under-regulated’: Reactions to CNBC’s ‘Collision course’ series

| August 01, 2014

Reactions were swift in coming to the announcement of the Wednesday airing of a four-part special on the CNBC cable business-news network titled “Collision course,” which in part wonders at the lack of regulation of the “unsafe” trucking industry. As in other such mainstream industry coverage of late, statistics are presented in a manner that suggests every crash a truck is involved in is the fault of the truck driver.

And worse, as Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association spokesperson Norita Taylor pointed out in an association press release July 31, this and many other editorials and mainstream spotlights on the industry may even undermine “efforts to bring meaningful improvements to highway safety.”

“Our members believe the stories do more harm than good to public safety, and (they) want the motoring public to know that truck drivers log millions more accident-free miles than otherwise,” Taylor said. 

Likewise, as former American Trucker host Robb Mariani noted:

And in only around a fifth or a fourth of truck-involved accidents does the truck driver shares in fault, as has been established by a variety of studies. 


Sharing the road: Some common sense on regulations to reduce crashes

From owner-operator Pete Zimmer: "Put the safety where needed. Educate auto drivers. Increase fines to make an impact. Put regulations where the biggest problems lie. ...

Mariani was echoed by owner-operator Pete Zimmer in the letter he wrote to Overdrive the same day, as the CNBC series went live. “Put the safety where needed,” Zimmer said, urging further education of auto drivers. “Increase fines to make an impact. Put regulations where the biggest problems lie. Make fines equal for all. We are all on the same highways.”

OOIDA’s Taylor agrees on the need for further education: “One primary area of safety efforts should be educating the motoring public about driving around trucks. There should be standardized training for new truck drivers as well.”


Restart watch: Whoopi doesn’t get it either

"Attention mainstream media: There are a lot of people out here who think the changes that have been proposed in draft legislation may actually, on ...

Part of the Association’s Truckers for effort is aimed at getting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to finally develop Entry Level Driver Training standards for nationwide implementation, required by legislation but long put on the agency back burner. Otherwise, the Truckers for Safety campaign “looks at ways to improve highway safety without imposing burdensome regulations in a variety of areas,” OOIDA’s press release notes, a mission many readers would view as sensible, and directly counter to the fix described by sundry mainstream reports of late, further restrictions on hours and/or technological patches that plenty of safe truckers see as just another expense.

In many cases, as’s Allen Smith noted in the Overdrive’s Trucking Pro LinkedIn group, more regulations just create more problems with fatigue. His response to CNBC press emails on the series included this: “Shows omitting the causes [of driver fatigue] will not resolve the true problems of truck safety in this county. There are many issues going on within the trucking industry which relate to this. Increased regulations are causing more problems and fatigue.” 


‘Perfect storm’ for driver issues afoot?

In the words of driver Allen Smith: "with all that has just happened in just the last 3 weeks, we have the momentum and leverage ...

The CNBC series itself wondered why there is not a “national outcry” for more regulations — though it may be wishful thinking, perhaps the public these reports are aimed at is more attuned to reality than the reports’ authors believe. As Dianne Vranesic put it quite simply, commenting on the CNBC report on Overdrive‘s Facebook page, “‘Under-regulated’? Are you kidding?”

Says OOIDA’s Taylor, “At a time when annual turnover is more than 100 percent, the effort should be to find ways to keep drivers in the industry and have new drivers view it as a career choice. It’s safer for everyone when drivers stay in the business rather than leaving and creating a void filled by new, inexperienced drivers.”


More reader reaction to the CNBC series:
Via Twitter
Richard Wilson @regguy69
: Again, all negativity by a biased mainstream media! Nothing truly discussed on improving crash causation!

Via Facebook
Lynn Pettus-Baker: Funny how they investigate us, but they never investigate the way four-wheelers drive on the road around us. Cutting us off, slamming on brakes in front of us, distracted while driving around us, etc. The list goes on and on…

Warren Wylds: Will they address the lack of flexibility, [which], not fatigue, is the cause of most collisions?

Bart Stevenson: Well, I don’t have to watch. Just by the [“Collision course”] title I know how this is probably going to end.

Lioubov Tchepiakova: Trucks guilty of everything!

  • Sarah@KMH

    Oh, that’s just great! Put more rules on us. One of my drivers was wrote up for falsifying his logs. We were audited but found he did not do it. Do you think our safety score went down after the audit? NO OF COURSE NOT! How many times do you see cars at a light stopped passed the white line and then they yell at the trucker trying to make a turn. How about teaching the four wheelers how to drive? This has got to be the most DISRESPECTED industry in the country. Everybody wants a scapegoat.

  • TWade

    I love the way all of our problems are caused by the media or four wheelers. All of our problems have been caused by ignorance and unprofessional drivers and poorly managed companies. You all can keep on blaming everybody or everything else for our problems within this industry instead of looking at what is really causing our problems. A driver will work off-duty with no pay, cheat on his logs so he can drive more miles for the same cheap pay, set for hours if not days taking care of the company equipment for no pay, get speeding tickets for his company, lump off freight for half the price that a company would pay a lumper, looks like a homeless person, has the attitude that everybody owns him something because he delivered their product, drives worse than any four wheeler by tailgating and speeding, and you blame all of this on the government – which your companies loves for you to blame the government and four wheelers because it takes the blame off of them for poor working conditions and pay – or the media. You have poor pay because you will work for poor pay. You have poor working conditions because you allow your company to walk all over you and you don’t say a word because your afraid. You are afraid of DOT inspections because your too lazy to inspect your equipment and demand that it be fixed. Stop blaming everybody else for your problems, stop crawling, and stand up like a man or keep on putting up with the same crap. Your choice. Ninety percent of all of YOUR problems are caused by that person that you look at in the mirror.

    Want to improve conditions than stop working for free, working for cheap pay per mile, getting tickets for your company and paying for them out of your pockets, refuse to drive unsafe equipment, take a bath every day, and drive, talk, and look like a professional driver. Fair warning, if your start being a professional driver you may get fired by your unprofessionally ran trucking company.

  • LoneStar

    Roge160 and chazz have some good points. Like roge said this info and education needs to go far beyond just overdrive magazine. The motoring public hasnt a clue. The motoring public should have to pass biannually test inorder to maintain thier class c license. They need to be forced to learn safety around us big trucks.. we have all seen the signs on the highway advising them to give trucks more space when passing.not to cut us short…well in the 17 yrs ive been out here not once have I seen it enforced. Ive even been cut short by local police. As well as state troopers. So one might ponder the thought that if the law enforcement is blind to thier own laws then whats the point? Tailgating is another issue. Yes I am a company driver and my truck is governed. But I keep that slow p.o.s. in the right lane where I belong. Constantly being tailgated in the right lane..I realize everyone wants to save fuel.but for a 4 wheeler to draft us is a deadly mistake so Oklahoma h.p. stop staring at the pikepass monitors to see who is cheating your toll road and pay attention to your 4wheelers .because ive rolled right pass you guys several times and not once did you tag that me tailgate another vehicle.or cut a 4wheeler short..yea lets see just how fast im parked on the shoulder being cited.this political regulations that are being shoved down our throat is crippling our own existence. Its all about revenue. .we professional drivers have to pay those fines inorder to keep feeding our families and the political nerds as well as the law knows that. The rope around our neck is already tight enough. For those clowns including the media to constantly blame us for unsafe driving is nothing more than a sales gimmic. It sales thier article as one mentioned that a reporter should ride with us a few hours. Well with that I disagree. That reporter needs to ride 14 days in that truck.and keep his camera rolling that footage needs to be shown to all just how dangerous 4wheelers are as well as the law enforcement. Keep this in mind my highway brothers and sisters..the average person gets thier oil changed every 3 months to 3000 miles. We run over 3000 miles per tell me..whos got the experience in this picture? Us or them? Be safe my friends.

  • mark murphy

    xsalent…^^^ post..maybe ah mahndotory revamping of wryitten exams,,,d m v- for all new drivrs – & a 3 hr saftee corse..for all renewable dmv lisences..incl the smith safty syistem……for everywhone

  • mark murphy

    yo jessy-. stop wyt ure fyingerpointing…gett wytt th program….plez fokuss ure ennergy ay th state sennete-or congrass,,knot my spell chekk.

  • David S. McQueen

    When the leftists say “regulation”, what they really mean is “control”. There is a significant number of Americans (sic) who think the old Soviet model of government was a good idea. They want an authoritarian system at the federal level which will CONTROL every facet of business and personal activities. The leftists will never admit that openly, of course, but that’s their “holy grail”.

  • mark murphy


  • mark murphy


  • Rookie132001

    If every truck would send the dash cam vedios may they would wake up but dought it. We need to take a stand but , all you hear is it just a job. We the people took a stank like our for fathers we can change it.. The are over 3 millions trucks driver + so we would make a in pack. We need to fight

  • Viki

    ThosFibbersWantSupport4WhenNaturalDisasterOrIncidentExcuse4MartialLawDeclared&suspendElections&EssentialVehicles&GovtAffil’approvdBigRigsBeOnlyThingOnRd? If i didnt know better I’d say it appeared as if, these character believ they can do anything.

    Why? becaus Special Ed Teacher they had at 10 in 4th grade did absolutely zip zero when misbehaved. That’s why I preferd to be Volunteer. 1/2 or more of 4th graders I dealt with 1990? 91, were simply truly uncivilized & weren’t ‘trained up’ by their parents to respect property, privacy, exercise golden rule, maintain courtesy, decorum & respect for elders, teachers. One 10 yr old boy got out of his seat in last row while teacher was speaking to class &he walked up to teacher’s desk & just began talking over her & at same time he picked up large old style stapler off her desk. She essentially did nothing.
    Later when class went to gym space, same youngster became so incredibly provocatively disruptive that the teacher decided to remove boys from the class. Multiply those young boys & add 7-15 years & multiply those #’s across the country & by couple of decades of hands off & dont bust their poor little ego becaus disadvantaged.
    Well, multiply that by years & years of education gone wild & off subject of reading, writing & arithmetic & now add border mess kids.
    These nutty car drivers hav no more respect for rules of the road than they had instilled into them by teachers & absentee fathers& bambis-with-a-Baby collecting Welfare & food stamps. Need to only teach English & 3R’s& let parents go to night school for English the way Italians did who came thru Ellis Island & whose children served/died honorably WWII!
    Drive by media stinkers out loud!

  • eso

    You are pretty smart adviser …. o/o has to obey all those regulations from fmcsa and dot ..and still will be targeted by media and another anti-trucker organisations….and …fight with brokers for own check….and …DMV for they called incorrect IFTA filling..or late paid taxes…or whatever they say just to punish you.
    Your own autority just gives you more headache :-(

  • bigred

    Here is a good story if you want something to write about,,,,,Changing the hours of service just so it would open up 16,500 more jobs. Yes, it happened and every Tom,Dick, Harry that could walk into a driver training facility is getting a license and half can`t drive a Goat to water.

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  • Barney Fife

    If there are no truck drivers, how is Dr. Pepper going to get any of its product to the marketplace so they can pay you $600 to $850 a week ???
    Really drivers, although it goes against every grain in your psyche, push for ELDs. They are the only thing that is going to level the playing field and put the driver in charge of his own fate and future. The driver becomes King. If you’re willing to punch a Dr. Pepper time clock, then ELDs shouldn’t be an issue should they?
    As for the media, stories are written, filmed, edited, sensationalized, and aired to sell airtime for commercials. There is no law that requires them to tell the truth, or even present both sides of the story. There is only their own integrity to guide them. You want to make a difference that CNBC will understand? Delete them from your cable or satellite package.

  • Truckertwotimes

    And for all you big spines’ more power to the FMCSA, Dot surprise checks with tickets on every inspection, new brilliant country of cAlifornia rules that lead the way, more rules and regulations and some more rules and regulations, i.e. all trucks stay in the right lane everywhere, more enforcement higher fines, fines for things that have been overlooked like that “broken headlight” that wasn’t broken till you got into your inspection and a new fine just for doing your job. Amen

  • Truckertwotimes

    you left out a word in your sentence: “Become an owner operator with Swift”

  • Truckertwotimes

    Amen, truckers are treated like crap, but some like it that way, let them have it…

  • Ronnie Akers

    yep the government wants all o/o off the road,

  • Coffeeclue

    I practice what I preach. A lot less headache and a lot more money.

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  • polack

    Become a O/o are you joking. I am and I’ve also had other businesses and being the O/o doesn’t change having to deal with gov bullshit or shippers that don’t want to pay a decent rate or getting blamed for all the evil that happens on the highway. That’s a fact. There are much less stressful businesses to run. Why does everyone think being the owner is the fix. Yes more money more headaches too. Still same amount of disrespect by the public same bullshit gov regs. Etc.

  • polack

    Dr pepper will get there shit from the big corperate trucking companies and there fleet of steering wheel holders. Prob like they already do.

  • polack

    It don’t matter which party is in control there all bought that’s the biggest scam going today that people still believe that if I just vote dem or rep it will change. Wake up there both sides are screwing us all. They do put on a show for us.

  • Coffeeclue

    Show me one business without headaches. I’ve been in several and the government is always out to get you. EPA, CPSC, FCC…. too many to list. In all honesty for me trucking has been the least stressful and most profitable so far.

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