Truth About Trucking “LIVE” talk radio show discussed the safety and health concerns that truck drivers face with the no idle law, on Thursday, July 29th, 2010.
Rules and policy makers suggest that professional truckers can simply “plug in” at the truck stops or get a motel room . . . the problem, however, is that the majority of truck stops across America do not have plug in locations and those that do charge a fee which comes out of the drivers’ own pocket. Furthermore, the reason semi tractors have a sleeper, is so the driver does not have to obtain a motel room . . . which, by the way, also would come out of their pocket.
The no idle law is being pushed by the Smart Way EPA program and many trucking companies are beginning to instigate their own policies on this issue, placing all of the burden and expense on the truck driver. Is it really all about the green movement and protecting the environment, or is it more about greed?
Any driver who has been driving long enough has experienced the ordeal of spending a night in the sleeper birth with no air or heat until they could get to a repair shop and have the problem fixed. Try sleeping in 100 degree heat or -25 below zero, without the proper comfort devices . . . at the same time, truck drivers are expected to get the rest and sleep needed . . . after all, this year has been declared as the “Year of Safety,” right?
Some drivers have pointed to an amendment to the no idle law which allows the truck to idle if the driver has a pet in the cab of the truck with them. Perhaps this is the way for truck drivers to get around this law? It is OK for the driver to suffer in immense heat or cold, but for an animal . . . absolutely not! However, this may not be the case in all states. California, for instance, has stated that as of January 1st, 2009, that a driver can no longer use a pet for an excuse to idle.
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© 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.