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A 15 Minute Drive Cost This Man His Job. Thanks Government.

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JBH Truck-Driver_jpgOne must enjoy the havoc the Federal Government creates in individual’s lives in the name of regulation, else one would get upset and, perhaps, become disillusioned with our government.

Recently the company I work with had a Federal DOT inspection of their log records. Logs are time sheets, kept by truck drivers, ostensibly for safety, but which are, in fact, controls over how much they can work, and when they can work. Generally speaking, the laws aren’t terribly onerous, although they often border on ridiculous. That the Federal government can inject itself into this part of business is based, one must suppose, on the interstate commerce clause. Certainly there is no place in the US Constitution where the people have written something about allowing the government to dictate safety concerns. None the less, this abuse of the people is something the industry has learned to live with.

Logs must be kept. You can’t drive too much or at the wrong time, and if you are caught disobeying the rules, even by a little bit, you get in trouble. Because of the way it works, the company must keep the records until the DOT asks for them, and if they are illegal, the company is held responsible. So companies become law enforcement agencies for the government. And if you don’t, well they will make you wish you had.

Anyway: on to the point. We have a driver who has worked for us for 12 years. He is a good, safe driver and generally keeps his log book in compliance. Unfortunately for him, he made a mistake. He drove for 15 minutes during the course of his required 8 hour break. His purpose was simple. He had arrived at the right city, but the wrong address. When he realized his mistake, he went to the correct address. Having done that, it interrupted his 8 hour break, which now had to be extended by 4 hours, to remain an eight hour break.

He didn’t think he had to do that, so didn’t and got caught. Well, the DOT, being the forgiving, friendly servants of the people that they are, decided since he had made this mistake once in 2 years, he was trouble. The driver ended up losing his job over a 15 minute mistake he made once in 2 years.

So tell me: is this the government we agreed to when we instituted the Constitution?

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