Hey, guess what? There’s yet another electronic device on the market to tell you when you’re tired.
We should probably first delve into the reasons professionally licensed human beings in the transportation industry no longer have the ability to tell themselves they’re tired. It’s a little known fact that upon being issued a CDL, people lose the intrinsic instinct to know when they’re too tired to drive or operate machinery safely. It’s called the “FMCSA Disease” and the causative factor is an electronic box.
According to a ninety gabillion dollar gubmint study done on a fascinating colony of traveling wart worms, the general public is perfectly okay to drive when they’re tired, talking on the phone, shaving their legs and having a colonoscopy (all at the same time) but the professional driver must be instructed, watched, and carefully monitored, down to the very last millisecond of his or her day, because we all know they’re nothing but a bunch of murderous freaks who run down baby rabbits on purpose every dang chance they get. (Disclaimer: Some of the information contained in the last two paragraphs may or may not be a filthy lie, used solely to inject sarcasm. No wart worms or baby rabbits were harmed in the writing of this blog piece.)
Inward facing cameras, headsets that monitor your chin level, seats with cattle prods in them, and a screaming box of plastic and wires are absolutely necessary, because it makes a lot more sense to aggravate the driver as much as humanly possible, instead of providing working conditions that are actually conducive to safety like ample parking (for those tired drivers everyone is so scared of), traffic laws that make sense (like abolishing left lane restrictions around cities), and an infrastructure that doesn’t shred the hell out of their equipment. Just one of the three would improve things greatly, if they provided the trifecta, they may be able to let the big bad truckers run off by themselves without having to hold everyone’s wee wee for them when they go.
No, it’s a lot easier to pile on the restrictions, afflictions and devices, and that makes perfect gubmint sense. Castrate the engines, assimilate the drivers, control the industry. Why actually fix something when you can profit from it being broken? Are you not good Citizens? What’s wrong with you? We’re talking about safety, here. Clearly you’re an anarchist if you believe people can actually manage their own time.
Every time I see a new device like this I’m reminded of a scene in my favorite movie of all time, “O Brother Where Art Thou.” George and I both love that movie and we could probably quote every line in it. When the trio shows up at cousin Hogwallop’s farm after escaping a Mississippi chain gang work detail, cousin Hogwallop looks at them and says, “I s’pose you boys want them chains knocked off.”
Indeed, cousin Wash, we do want the chains knocked off. It’s already proven the HOS change did nothing to promote safety, as will be the case with every other band aid applied to the hemorrhaging wound of regulation in the name of “safety.” It’s time to knock the chains off and allow the professional driver to have control over their own body, and control over the machine they operate, without constant interference from people who have never even been inside a truck, much less driven one for a living.
Write your letters, make phone calls to your representatives and fight the good fight.