CASE 12-1 Who Pays the Price?
Over the last 10 years the federal government has dramatically increased the number of regulations pertaining to transportation safety and security. Two such regulations are presented below. Review them and answer the case questions.
Transportation Safety—December 18, 2017, is set as the implementation day for elec-tronic logging devices (ELD) in trucks. ELDs will replace paper logbooks for truck drivers to provide better control over their compliance with Hours of Service regulations that are designed to combat driver fatigue. It is believed that paper logbooks are subject to fraud and allow drivers to exceed 11 hours of driving time per day and more than 60 hours in a seven-day period. On the other hand, drivers will not be able to easily exceed the limits as ELDs are not easily manipulated. The cost of ELD purchase, installation, and operation is the responsibility of the trucking company or the independent truck driver.
ELD critics believe that, at a cost of up to $2,500 per unit, the expense of ELD adoption is excessive for small companies and independent truckers. They also project productivity decreases of 15 percent fewer miles traveled per day and nominal rate increases of 5 to 10 percent for loads booked on the spot market. Proponents indicate that ELDs will improve the accuracy of HOS logs, improve Hours of Service compliance, reduce falsification that occurs with paper logbooks, and reduce crashes by over 1,800 annually.
Transportation Security—After the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was established and tasked with implementing regulations to protect the safety of passengers using the U.S. airline indus-try. TSA manages Secure Flight, a risk-based prescreening program to identify high-risk passengers; conducts passenger screening for illegal items before they enter the secure area of airports; and screens checked bags for explosives and other dangerous items. TSA has implemented congressionally mandated security fees to help finance the increased cost of securing the nation’s aviation transportation system. This passenger paid fee was increased to $11.20 per round trip ticket in 2014.
Critics of TSA screening programs complain that these policies increase travel time, invade privacy, are of limited effectiveness, and increase costs for passengers and airlines. Proponents of these policies argue that the safety of air passengers is more important than delays or increased costs.
1.In each of the scenarios presented in the case, opponents and proponents have divergent views of government regulations. One view is on the public benefit, the other is on the cost to individuals and/or private industry. How can you decide which view to accept?
2.In each of the scenarios earlier, identify the benefits versus the costs for both viewpoints.
3.Should the government intervene in setting regulations to increase transportation safety and security? Or should private industry take on this role? Discuss.
CASE 12-1 Who Pays the Price?