So if the government cracks down on companies, they would be hurting their own economy. If the trucking companies were to crack down on their own drivers, they would be hurting their own profits. If the drivers took it upon themselves to stop driving when they ran out of hours, they would be hurting their own paychecks.
So who has a vested interest in REALLY enforcing the laws?
Here's a couple more factors that play into this same scenario which make it an even WORSE idea to try to enforce limits on the drivers. Our highway system is already seriously over-crowded and there has been a big shortage of truck drivers available to the industry for several decades now.
If you further limited the amount of driving a driver could do it would take even MORE fuel-guzzling trucks clogging the already overcrowded highways and even MORE drivers to drive them which we already have a shortage of to move the same amount of freight we are moving today.
Of course the governments, trucking companies, and drivers are all acutely aware of this situation. So what is the solution? Well, that's the problem...there is no easy solution. So what is being done about it? The government does just enough public enforcement to give the impression that they are working vigilantly to keep the drivers and companies from breaking the laws and endangering the public.
In reality, the enforcement is sparse and predictable. Even when a certain state is going to do a three day crackdown they ANNOUNCE it ahead of time so everybody knows!
So even the very few that do get caught cheating just pay a small fine and continue doing what they were doing before....breaking the law and profiting from it. Believe me, everybody makes WAY more money by cheating the system than they lose by getting caught once in a great while.
That's why almost everybody cheats. Even with the electronic logs companies are beginning to use, it makes perfect economic sense from the bottom to the top...the drivers, the trucking companies, the American industries, the American people as a whole, and the local, state, and federal government officials who are all trying their best to get re-elected, all benefit when drivers cheat.
Oh, and as an added bonus, where does the money go that gets collected from the fines issued to the drivers and the trucking companies that do get caught cheating every so often? To the town, city, state, and federal governments to use any way they damn well please.
Nice little system isn't it?
As a driver you will have to decide for yourself how you want to handle this situation. Now at this point you may think you already know the answer. Some of you are saying:
“Hey, I'M not breaking the law. I don't care what my company thinks and I damn sure don't care what the government thinks. The law says I can only drive a certain number of hours and that's the way it's gonna be. They can't do anything to me if I shut down when I run out of hours so that's what I'm gonna do. Period. Besides, if I don't cheat then I can't get in trouble and then nobody can touch my license or fine me and take my money!”
Well, yes there are a number of drivers that take this approach and it makes perfect sense on the surface. I respect them for making that choice and sticking with it. Outstanding. But let me explain the situation on a little bit deeper level for you so you'll know the reality of the situation that you'll be faced with.