Regulations for truckers may make roads safer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2000

A large group of our nation’s bus and truck drivers are unhappy. Heck, some are downright angry. And the cause may not be something you’d normally consider. The drivers are upset over proposed regulations that would limit the number of hours each driver could sit behind the wheel per day.

And any person who uses public roads for transportation should be interested in the regulatory plan. We happen to think it sounds like a good thing.

Normally we’re not in favor of large amounts of regulation. Call us stubborn if you’d like, but more often than not we don’t like the government telling us what we can and can’t do.

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Perhaps that trait may come from our Southern heritage. People of the South have always been more than a bit independent and sometimes fiercely defiant in regard to our personal freedoms.

But thank God we do have rules, regulations and limitations.

Imagine how treacherous driving would be if no speed limits existed, or any other traffic rules for that matter.

Such rules — just as the proposed driving regulations — are meant to protect the general public. The Federal Aviation Administration has been regulating the amount of time airline pilots can spend flying for years. And airline travel is still fairly economical.

Officials from the trucking industry have cried foul and are screaming that prices of goods and services will skyrocket. And, they say, the roads will be more unsafe than before because newer — read inexperienced — drivers will have to be hired.

While we doubt the validity of this, even if it is true, most of us would probably be willing to pay a few extra pennies for the peace of mind that would come from knowing the guy at the wheel of the humongous 18-wheeler hasn’t been driving for 16 hours straight.