Maybe just maybe the court decision throwing out most of the "new" Hours of Service (HOS) regs now in effect for truck drivers will lead to real reform of those dreadfully outdated rules.
And maybe we were on the right track with our April print-edition cover story titled "When to Drive, When to Sleep" in which I argued rather forcefully that placing simple limits on hours will never fix the very real safety problem truckers face-- fatigue at the wheel.
Today's HOS rules are incredibly divorced from the workaday world of truckers engaged in serving a 24/7 service economy. For one thing, the scary truth is that if drivers did not fudge their logs as much as they do even more of them-- and more of the motorists sharing the road with them-- would wind up in crashes. And let's face it, forcing drivers to drive while fatigued or pressuring them to cheat the law doesn't do much to make trucking an attractive career choice, either.
I said it then and I will say it again here: Does trucking care enough about the safety of its 3-million plus drivers and the millions of its ultimate customers its drivers share the road with to do the right thing and work for meaningful HOS reform?
Indeed, one way to look at this latest court decision is to view it as giving the Feds and trucking interests alike one more golden opportunity to step up to the plate and work together to usher in real regulatory reform that puts safety first and foremost.