Red Herrings & Rabbit Trails; Profit vs Safety

gertie 132

Let me make this very simple. It has become very apparent to me–after losing my daughters in a truck crash–that those who oppose positive changes which will improve safety on the roads [i.e, cause less people to be injured or killed as victims of a truck crash] tend to use red herrings & rabbit trails to divert the attention from the really vital issues.

Examples. . .

  • Regarding the Hours of Service 34-Hour Restart rules requiring two consecutive sleep periods between 1 and 5 a.m… they claim that their concern is for people on the roads. According to Senator Deb Fischer, “In addition, serious concerns were raised about the rule’s perverse impact on safety because, in effect, it pushed drivers onto the roads during workers, students, and families’ morning commutes.”
  • But look at what industry representatives were writing about back in January 2013— before the change in the HOS even took place:”Associations such as NASSTRAC are gearing up for another busy year. Several key legislative matters, including the most recent Hours-of-Service rules and concerns over tolling policies, are still being decided.‘One critical issue that may have a negative impact on transportation and supply chain strategies is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) decision to revise the current hours-of-service rules for commercial truck drivers, which were adopted in December 2011,’ Everett says.The new rules—which require full compliance by July 1, 2013—retain the current 11-hour daily driving limit, but require drivers to take at least one half-hour break during eight hours. They also change the restart provisions, and mandate that a driver must have two consecutive rest periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. before resuming driving.This change could reduce capacity by as much as seven to nine percent, according to some truckload carriers,‘ Everett says.”
  • Take note of the industry perspective reflected here:”‘Legislators are currently considering and implementing laws and regulations that many transportation experts fear will significantly erode productivity—particularly in trucking—and could increase the delivered cost of goods by up to 15 percent annually,’ adds Brian Everett, executive director of the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC).’It’s important that transportation and supply chain executives remain educated on the ‘what-ifs’ of decisions coming out of Washington in order to adequately plan and execute their supply chain strategies,’ he says. ‘As they continue to educate themselves, they also need to educate legislators on the impact their decisions will have on supply chains nationwide.'”
  • Another Red Herring is bringing up the statistic that the number of crashes which need more than the current minimum liability insurance amount is only 1%. If that is true, then surely underwriters will not be writing policies with premiums which are inappropriate or exponentially-increased. 
  • Refusing to raise a limit because such a small percentage reach the limit has only indicates that the increase in cost should be minimal. It can’t be both ways, either this increase should raise the cost of doing business or the effect should be minimal. This isn’t life insurance where all the money is always paid out. Nor is this homeowner’s insurance in which you have a set amount of house that can be destroyed. This is liability insurance in which the amount paid out is based on the amount of damage being done. If such a small percentage of claims reaches the limit then greedy lawyers, increased costs, and mythical “windfall” payments are all proven absurd or irrelevant.

    What we actually have here is discrimination against the minority. “You are so small a portion of the people we harm we are not obliged to deal with you fairly.”  Under such logic, they might as well suggest that they shouldn’t be compelled to have insurance at all.


  • Look at what Senator Daines said about this at the Surface Transportation subcommittee hearing yesterday. “Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., struck back on increasing the insurance requirements, underscoring that less than 1 percent of all crashes exceed the current amounts.’The only ones who will benefit from increasing the insurance amounts are trial lawyers, Daines said.” – See more at:


  • Does he think so little of all the victims and their needs that he completely overlooks the benefit to them? If he is concerned about the lawyers, let him work on tort reform and cap their amount; don’t prevent victims from being appropriately compensated. Furthermore, he overlooks the fact that the minimum has not been raised for 35 years despite the fact that the Secretary of Transportation has already been given the authority to do so.
  • Look at what happened to this issue last June:
  •  The FMCSA concluded in a recent report to Congress that current minimum financial responsibility limits for the commercial motor vehicle industry — including the $750,000 limit for general freight carriers— are inadequate to meet the costs of some crashes, mainly because of rising medical costs.The regulatory agency stopped short of recommending specific new limits but could have a proposal by the end of June and new limits could be published in November.”


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