Should our government liberate truck drivers from the country-wide prison in which they’re incarcerated?
You say I’m exaggerating. Being metaphorical.
Yes. Maybe metaphors and hyperbole are not to your taste, but suggesting an analogy, at least, is more than justified. The government does treat truck drivers like inmates . . . with no right to plan their own schedules.
In an article for The Federalist (“‘Overregulation’ Means Government Literally Deciding When I Work, Eat, Sleep”), Matthew Garnett attests to what the regulations mean in practice. He must obey five deadlines, only one — showing up on time — related to the objective requirements of the job. Also: He may work only so many hours before taking a break, only so many hours on the job and driving, only so many hours on the job and not driving, only so many hours per week.
“There’s no way I can decide for myself when I’m going to sleep or rest or drive,” Garnett “concedes.” “After all, I’m just a stupid truck driver. What would I know about such things?”
The mandatory pacing means that drivers often rush to meet a bureaucratic deadline even if they’d rather travel more slowly and safely. And rushing can be “a very, very bad thing to do when you’re operating an 80-foot, 80,000-pound vehicle that will go 70 miles an hour downhill,” Garnett observes.
What to do? Repeal it all.
Of course, hold the truck driver, like every other driver, responsible for conducting himself safely.
But don’t force him to obey continuous and arbitrary edicts about when to stop and go.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.