Does the Private Sector Spearhead Change in Trucking?
Safety regulators have a notable presence in the trucking industry. Because freight transportation puts so many people at such a high level of risk, regulators must act diligently to prevent accidents. The Department of Transportation puts a value of $9.6 million on a human life when calculating the costs and expenses of safety measures.
Companies have always had to budget in the cost of regulatory compliance. Some believe that this is the biggest driving factor for private trucking companies throwing their hat into the ring when it comes to safety mandates.
While it is true that private companies sometimes attempt to hold off or adjust regulatory measures for the sake of adjusting in a more economical manner, many carriers are in favor of certain safety regulations. This is because many regulatory measures actually provide long-term financial benefits to carriers, if enacted properly.
Large carriers are frequently involved in advocating for changes in their industry including a switch to ELDs and a move away from high-emission engines.
Even the federal minimum for insurance has been challenged by private companies. While many major carriers don’t campaign for compulsory increases, they do advise drivers to be insured well-above the required minimum.
Carriers who advocated for ELD use were accused by some of trying to force smaller carriers and independent drivers out of the market. While ELDs are widely agreed to be a good idea for safety purposes, they represent a more efficient way of calculating data – these calculations can help carriers figure out which regulations will be beneficial and which ones won’t.
Because of this pricing mechanism, private companies are able to make significant progress when it comes to safety in their industry. Even the green movement, which had the trucking industry as one of its main targets, was helped and encouraged by carriers for the benefits it would provide.
It is true that safety regulators and private companies do work together, and the actions of one can affect the other. But it should be noted how much private companies have done to go above and beyond when it comes to safety, and to ensure regulations will help and not hinder their industry.