Owner operators in the trucking industry see it all: careless (or impaired) drivers; drivers who clearly don’t pay attention; drivers with unsafe loads in their pickup; the all-too-frequent animated talking (and surely being distracted) while on a cell phone; and now, distracted drivers who are texting or surfing the web … who clearly are not, and cannot, pay attention properly.
Clearly, the texting issue is a big one — there is no way that a texting driver can pay attention properly to the road and to other drivers (and road conditions) around them.
This is why one owner operator association, the Owner Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) is paying close attention to bills being proposed to limit texting while driving.
Most such bills are state matters, but there are also three Congressional bills that address the issue at the federal level. Owner operators feel this is a good thing!
There are two bills (Senate and House joint efforts) dealing with “reckless texting” and “alert driving” that have been proposed by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and congressperson Carolyn McCarthy, also of New York.
There is also another bill proposed by J. Rockefeller of West Virginia and F. Lautenberg of New Jersey that suggests that states be given an incentive to pass bills to eliminate distracted driving.
The good news is, owner operators in the trucking industry are having a positive influence on one of today’s most pressing safety issues. Since owner operators “see it all”, they sure offer a great vantage point for input on the issue. Thanks, owner operators!