Road Safe America FAQ
If truckers are paid by the mile — why do we care if they are exempt from overtime?
We want to encourage companies to ensure that drivers are not made to work to the point where they are exhausted/sleepy. Road Safe America is hoping to change the way truckers are paid to a professional wage for all hours worked including overtime. In the meantime we believe fervently, that truck drivers should receive one and a half times their normal mileage rate once they exceed 40 hours of total work time during a given 7-day period.
Why is it important for insurance limits to be raised?
The insurance requirement of $750,000 per crash of liability coverage for interstate carriers was established in 1980 when the industry was deregulated. While that must have seemed like an enormous amount of money in 1980 — it has never been increased, even once, in the ensuing 30 years. Clearly, there has been a great deal of inflation and in order to maintain the intended "bar to entry" preventing unsafe companies from participating in this inherently dangerous industry, the limits must at least keep up with inflation.
Why does Road Safe America want speed governors more than EOBRs?
We don't necessarily want the speed governors more than the black boxes/EOBRs, however we feel like this is the most obvious first step toward safety since all heavy commercial trucks manufactured since 1992 already have the speed limiting equipment on them. Therefore there is no capital expense involved to simply program these governors at 65 mph or slower so they can stop or nearly stop in a more reasonable distance during an emergency.
What information would be provided if black boxes were on trucks?
At a minimum, we would like GPS capability as part of the Electronic On-Board Recorder (EOBRs) so that not only would one be able to accurately check how long the truck has been driven, but also where the truck has been driven.
What are the requirements for getting a commercial driver's license?
It is our understanding that the requirements vary by state. Some states' requirements are remarkably minor. In parts of this country, applicants can take a truck-driving course of only a few days and with minimal 'on-the-road' training they become licensed to drive 80,000 lb tractor-trailers on crowded highways. Compared to other professional certificates such as an electrician or a life-guard the commercial driver's license is remarkably easy to obtain.
What is the difference in what medication/drugs a pilot can take before flying vs. what a truck driver can take?
Pilots are not allowed to take illicit drugs or legal drugs for which the labels read, "Do not operate heavy machinery while using this drug". Conversely, drug drivers have an exception to their regulation, saying that when they are taking prescription drugs with warning labels they can get an exception from the prescribing practitioner and still operate their trucks while under the influence of narcotics, sedatives, pain killers, etc.
What is the difference in tackling issues legislatively vs. regulatorily?
Getting things accomplished legislatively generally means going through a State Legislature or the United States Congress and then on to the Executive Branch (governor/president). Achieving these changes regulatorily involves working through the regulatory agencies such as the Department of Transportation. Both directions are worth the effort, but both are difficult to achieve. For example, the proper Federal legislative approach is to have new laws written into the Surface Transportation Act that is now up for renewal. If the language we promote is not included, Road Safe America and our friends must wait up to six years until the same bill is automatically up for renewal. On the regulatory side, Road Safe America and numerous trucking firms have jointly filed a petition with the Department of Transportation concerning speed governors. In the three year period since the petition's delivery, there has been no action taken.