Well, well, well, as it turns out Trump may have some resistance in his fight against heavy government regulation. As the Trump administration promises to slash regulations by up to 80 percent, there are groups who are putting up a fight. Most recently a labor union and advocacy groups have banned together to sue the Trump administration for the two-for-one regulation cuts. Will this have any effect on the president’s promise to cut back on government regulations? Should the trucking industry be worried that trucking regulations will not be removed after all?
The Lawsuit Against Trump
In the lawsuit that was filed on February 2017 President Trump’s directive to repeal safety regulations across the board in a two for one deal is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law.” More specifically this presidential move is in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act that rules over regulation-making powers. This isn’t the first lawsuit filed against the Trump administration. In fact, the administration currently has 50 lawsuits filed against it including 40 for the executive order on refugees and travel and nine for civil rights violations. So one more lawsuit really is just a drop in the bucket for the Trump administration.
But wait, it’s not that big of a deal. Trump isn’t the first person to have lawsuits by the dozens against his administration. Actually it’s a typical scenario for a President within their first two weeks of office. Presidents Obama and Clinton each had five lawsuits filed against their administrations, while George W had four. Of course, it’s clear to see that Trump has far more filed against him at a pace of 10 times the average.
The point is that suing the administration isn’t something new and, as such, it doesn’t truly mean that much. The bigger issue for the Trump administration is the amount of lawsuits pending against him, as this indicates strong resistance and contention against the leadership.
Removal of Regulations
The reason for this particular lawsuit is that regulations are going to be cut, period. Trump insists that, “This will be the largest-ever cut by far in terms of regulation. We are cutting regulations massively for small business and for large business.” Some of the regulations are expected to be on a greater scale than others. For example, taking a look at the Federal Register it is easy to see that most of the regulations in the book are superficial and out dated similar to the Blue Book Laws in most cities.
Those should go, most would agree. However, it is going to be the nationally noticed regulations that cause the most raucous. These would likely include, and hopefully if you ask most truck drivers and trucking companies, some of the new regulations that are currently trying to go into effect in the industry.
The new truck driver training is the latest to be put on hold. The electronic logging device or ELD mandate is one that most truckers are hoping will be put on hold indefinitely. There is also the speed limiter mandate rule that will require all truck drivers to drive at a governed speed of no more than 60, 65 or 68 depending on the final rule. Then there is the requirement for logging hours of service, a rule that has truckers ready to pull their hair out when trying to calculate hours for driving and resting.
While we are at it, why not rewrite the regulation requiring truck drivers to get a commercial driver license? After all, CDLs are a new invention only set forth in the mid-90s. Truckers got along fine without them, as well as without the physical exam requirements and restrictions that come along with getting a CDL. If the trucking industry could have its say about cutting regulations, chances are most regulations would be nixed altogether.
Reasons for Regulations
At the same rate these regulations are written and approved for some reason, right? Primarily for the trucking industry all regulations are based on truck driver safety. Hours of service rules enforce resting periods and reduce the amount of truck driver fatigue on the roads. CDL physical exams ensure that truck drivers are in relatively good health and off of illegal drugs including stimulants. This is another regulation to make roadways safer. All the same, at some point these regulations become far too restrictive. Truck drivers are human, bottom line, and they can’t be restricted according to black and white rules. There is far too much of a gray area that occurs on an individual basis with drivers.
For example, what happens when a driver wants to pull over and rest because he’s tired, but he doesn’t have the hours of service to allow him to do so? Isn’t this contradictory to the DOT hours of service regulation requirements of driver safety? This is the type of thing that happens every day because of trucking regulations, which is why most in the industry hope that Trump holds true to his promise to get rid of and reduce the approval of most regulations.