What haven’t we covered in this Blog?
When it comes to the trucking industry, we can safely say that we have covered just about everything and, let’s be honest here, it’s been a bit of a hectic couple of months for the industry. There was a strike north of the border that had many in the region shaking in their boots. The ongoing driver shortage is a hot button issue with many people and groups offering up suggestions and solutions. Then there are the efforts of many to makeover the image of the truck driver, to transform him or her into a hero of some kind.
Needless to say, there is a lot going on and we try to cover it all on the SPEED Global Blog. After all, since trucks operate 24 hours a day, it only makes sense that the issues that affect the industry be discussed 24 hours a day. We would like to take the time with this blog post to update you all on some of the things we mentioned above in addition to a couple new things. Let’s start with the driver shortage.
A few months ago, there was talk of weakening age limits for truck drivers. Basically, some believe that the most effective solution for the driver shortage is to allow teenagers to drive trucks. Predictably so, there has been a big backlash against this proposal but the idea is still percolating in the air as trucking companies are pushing Congress to make a move and allow for the use of teenage drivers through the highway funding bill.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “The highway funding bill working its way through Congress contains language that would weaken those barriers [age restrictions]. Both the House and Senate versions of the legislation would create a pilot program allowing groups of states to create “compacts” permitting truckers under 21. The Senate version lowers the minimum age to 18, while the House bill allows drivers older than 19-and-a-half.”
The proposal is not dead in the water – that’s for sure. We’ll keep you updated on the issue as it progresses. Despite all the issues and bit of controversy, America still holds her truck drivers in high regard.
We’ve got some good news for truck drivers who spend their days and nights on the road: the American people have positive thoughts about you and the industry you serve. That’s according to a recent poll compiled by Neil Newhouse. The results of the poll were announced at the recent American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibit, and they reveal some interesting statistics.
One of the main things the poll looked at is what the general public thinks about accidents involving a truck driver and another motorist on the road. The majority of poll takers noted that they believe the motorist is usually at fault, not the truck driver. Of course, car and truck accidents weren’t the only thing the poll looked at.
The poll also asked about whether or not the government should spend more money investing in roads across the country. The results were also good news for truck drivers. In fact, the poll indicates that people think spending money on highway infrastructure is second only to public education, with almost 40% of respondents citing it as the number one area where the government needed to step in.
These numbers are not surprising, considering that this poll and others have indicated that many of the roads and bridges across the country are not being properly maintained. Of course, just because a poll says something doesn’t mean it’s true, but these numbers actually back up what industry leaders have been saying for years.
With increased public support and louder voices from the industry, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the highway infrastructure across this country, as well as the trucking industry in general.