The prospect of requiring every commercial motor vehicle to be equipped with technology that would wirelessly transmit a unique identification number to state or federal enforcement personnel is being met with a mix of skepticism, contempt, and scorn.
A review of some of the more than 1,300 comments made in response to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking finds almost universal opposition.
Not surprisingly, many of the comments express opposition to the federal government imposing another regulation on what they see as an already over-regulated industry. Others see it as an invasion of drivers’ privacy and/or a violation of their constitutional rights, and some say it is just a way for the government to generate revenue.
Still, others suggest such a regulation ought not to be applied to truckers, but to other motorists instead. And, some commenters say this regulation, which is being pushed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, will prompt some drivers to quit the profession.
Here’s a sampling of responses from the online site where comments can be made until Nov. 22. (Some comments have been edited for brevity and clarity.)
Mila Couch: This is insane. The FMCSA is going to keep on until they find out what a real trucker shortage really is. We have enough to worry about as it is. Do this and count me out, and every other trucker I know will also be out. We're already looking into other career paths now because of the crazy BS regulations. Speed limiters, now this. Who would want to be a trucker with all this nonsense? I SAY NO WAY.
Jay Bee: I say no to this in the strongest way possible. This is nothing but an automated money grab from the same truck driving tax paying citizens that this country relies on to keep commerce and goods flowing through the country.
Benjamin Lee: This would do nothing more than increase costs for carriers. Trucks are already required to have all kinds of identifying information on the side. Officers have eyes that can read those markings.
Donald Copeland: This is an invasion of privacy; asking people not to enjoy their rights as American truck drivers. Reading their private information I will take the FMCSA to the Supreme Court (on) the first and fifth amendments. That is not wanted or needed. You want to do DOT inspections pull us over where it safe even then you can see private information.
Greg Evans: I think that this is a no go. The ELD already tracks everything that dot needs to know. They can have you send in your last 7 days of logs whenever you're pulled for an inspection within seconds of requesting them. What's really the end game here?
Devin Shilts: I believe that this rule is unmerited and I oppose it. It allows for no privacy and necessary time to correct logs. It will unduly stress the industry and cause driver shortages to get worse, which affects everyone.
Joseph Webb: Bad idea! Stories like this is why I'm contemplating hanging up my keys.
Greg Hollman: This is insane. Do you really want this industry to lose more drivers? We’re already over-regulated!
Robert Blackburn: I think it would do more harm than good. It'll punish small carriers for little mistakes and affect their CSA score. If a carrier is a sketchy carrier to begin with, this won't stop them from still doing illegal stuff. Pretty sure it'll be unplugged or not connected. The other question that comes to mind is who is going to pay for this? Carriers aren't going to foot the cost for another piece of useless equipment just because the government thinks it's a good idea. Wanting to put some kind of tracking device in a commercial vehicle to keep tabs on it is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound,it might slow it down but it won't stop the bleeding.
John Thomas: I think your restrictions have gone to far. This by far is the stupidest thing so far. All this does is cost more money to the carrier then to the people. There is no reason for this. Enough is enough. This is only because you have nothing better to do. We run this country (and) without us you have nothing. Stop your nonsense.
Oscar Rivera: I’m a truck driver and no, I don’t agree to this at all! It takes away our freedom. DOT is the reason why truck drivers are leaving the industry.
Keith Moran: I absolutely disagree with this. This is obviously just a money-making scheme and not at all having to do with driver safety. If anyone should be more regulated it should be passenger vehicles. Every single day I witness car after car driven by distracted drivers. This has to be one of the worst proposed ideas I have ever heard of.
Andrew Nelson: This is an obvious overreach from the government, and has massive potential for misuse not to mention major privacy concerns. I can’t believe something like this is even being considered. It’s bad enough with a current shortage of drivers, but to add more red tape and costs is just a new way to make it worse.
Christian Anderson: No this is a total violation of the fourth amendment. I'm not in favor of this power grab. And all you want is total control. It is the trucker's responsibility to keep maintain his equipment, he doesn't need big brother's opinion on equipment upkeep.
Megan Smith: The purpose of the identification number is to easily identify a driver who has in the past received citations. This is an invasion of privacy and putting a target on drivers who may have made a mistake in the past. Drivers shouldn't be targeted for past issues. If they are doing something wrong then by all means do your job and pull them over. But to single out any driver for a resolved issue is unethical.
James Moore: Absolutely not! The government is already much too involved in what we do out on the road. The industry is over-taxed, over-regulated, overworked and drivers are underpaid.
Dave Seely: In light of recent economic events, I don't believe the American people can afford higher prices on the things we buy. Mandating more costs for the trucking companies will insure more costs for the consumer. We the people can't afford any more costs. It's depressing to say we are starting the next great depression right now.
Miguel Santiago: This new rule is a blatant attack on America's truck drivers and must not be adopted. Adoption of such Orwellian measures would only work to ensure more drivers leave the industry only to be replaced by less experienced drivers who would be much less safe for our highways.
Tracy Slaton: I absolutely do not agree with this at all. I hold a clean CDL and the current amount of rules and regulations have forced me out of the trucking industry. CDL drivers are already dealing with much more than what the career is worth in my opinion.
And, then there is this from Benjamin Villasenor: 100% support this. Too many bad carriers on the road. I don't understand what the big deal is. If you run legally and have a good running truck, what's there to worry about? This rule will help reduce the bad ones out there.