Friday, July 25, 2014

FTDMA debuts Super ELDS in NPRM

We now join a press conference already in progress. The executive director of the Federal Truck Driver Micromanagement Agency (FTDMA) is discussing a new Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), which includes its latest safety initiative, Super Electromagnetic Logging & Driver Superintendent (Super ELDS), a personal monitoring device to be worn by professional drivers at all times.

“... so the Super ELDS will resolve the duty status issue as well as how much sleep a driver has had. We’ll have no more fatigue-related crashes. Questions?”

“Ed with Semi-Smart Recruiter Magazine here. That’s pretty cool. Can you wear a hat over it?”

“You may have to cut a hole for the antenna, Ed, but sure.”

“How does it work?”

“The Super ELDS maintains a driver log. It links to the truck engine by Bluetooth and monitors the driver to determine, among other things, on- or off-duty status.”

“Wow. How does it do that?”

“Algorithms, Ed, algorithms. Next?”

“I’m Susan from Land Line Magazine. Will Super ELDS pass muster with the Supreme Court?”

“You would be referring to a previous FTDMA initiative, ILDS, the Intravenous Logging & Driver Superintendent. The new Super ELDS just measures brain waves and stuff. It doesn’t break a driver’s skin. We believe that’s what got the justices all riled up.”

“Yes, all nine of them.”

“Ahem. Next?”

“Gail with Trucking Tycoon Magazine here. How will Super ELDS benefit socially responsible, economically efficient, and environmentally conscious big fleets?”

“Good question, Gail. Super ELDS clearly establishes responsibility. So if there’s a breach of the rules, well, the state police will know who the breacher is.”

“No fleet breaches, of course.”

“That’s a pretty good bet, Gail, ha ha ha.”

“Will Super ELDS provide any other benefits for large efficient fleets with eloquent mission statements?”

“You need to ask the Super ELDS manufacturers, Gail. I believe one offers an anti-hanky-panky module for morally conscious carriers. Next?”

Land Line, again. In the Supreme Court decision on ILDS the justices used words like invasive, overreach and tyrannical. Wouldn’t these words also describe Super ELDS?"

“What’s the big deal? Super ELDS is like a helmet with suction cups ...”

“…and an antenna.”

“Yes, Susan, and an antenna. We promote safety whenever and wherever a driver is.”

“Even when he or she is off duty?”

“If a driver is not on duty, then he or she should be sleeping. We’re just making sure of that.”

“Then why did the FTDMA drop the Diazepam injection requirement for off-duty, not-sleeping drivers in NPRM?”

“Turns out it’s not practical to inject sleep aids through the skull, Susan. Besides, injections would break the skin, and we don’t want to provoke the Supremes, now do we?”

“... and what happened to the idea of remotely shutting the truck down when a driver runs out of hours?”

“Well, the Great Big Carriers Association pointed out that critical shipments might be delayed, the economy would grind to a halt, and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ would be canceled. So are you done with your silly questions Susan? Next?”   

“Ed with Semi-Smart again. Will the Super ELDS come in colors? Can recruiters tell prospective student drivers who don’t wear hats how cool they’ll look?”

“This agency does not regulate fashion, Ed, but by all means tell your readers they’ll look really cool in their Super ELDS.”