The proposal for revamping the federal government's hours-of-service rule for truck drivers that a coalition of interest groups released recently illustrates just how little these political theorists understand about highway safety and the business of moving America's freight.
These groups - which have created numerous obstacles to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's drive to rewrite the archaic rules governing commercial drivers - now have revealed to the world their view of trucking, and it's a very telling proposal.
The groups, which rally around Public Citizen, have urged FMCSA to adopt a new HOS rule that would limit trucking workers to eight hours a day of driving time (compared with the current maximum limit of 11) and to cut the maximum allowed workday for drivers to 12 hours from the existing 14.
These interest groups made their recommendations with no regard for the tremendous costs that would be added to the nation's transportation bill and, eventually, to the cost of all goods purchased by Americans; or to the effects of their proposal on overall highway congestion and the negative effects of that congestion on safety; or on how the movement of goods would be delayed by such a rule, creating major disruptions to what has become a just-in-time economy.
Unfortunately, the agency and the nation's trucking industry continue to have to deal with the unproductive efforts by these interest groups, which seem far less interested in improving highway safety and much more interested in undermining the nation's freight delivery system, which is the best and most efficient - and we believe the safest - in the world.
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