Commercial Trucking: Unheralded DOT Rule a Win-Win for Safety and Efficiency

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In a move that appears to work for everyone in terms of safety and efficiency, a new Department of Transportation rule gets rid of the requirement that truck drivers spend time preparing and then submitting paperwork on vehicle inspections even when those inspections do not turn up any safety violations or defects. (The paperwork requirement presumably remains in place if inspections do turn up safety problems.)

This rule would appear to have no impact on trucking safety, in terms of both truck drivers and other motorists on the roadways. At the same time, according to Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, the new rule will reportedly cut $1.7 billion in annual costs to the trucking industry and eliminate some 46 million collective hours it takes truck drivers to put such paperwork together and submit it.

Said the Acting Director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: "We are committed to improving efficiency so that drivers can stay focused on their safety and the safety of everyone they share the road with."

This relatively unheralded rule - as unheralded rules often are - seems to have received little press, even though it would seem to be a win-win for everyone. It's like the news. No news is good news.

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