Don’t believe that ‘new regulations’ story that’s going viral

Have you seen that viral Facebook post attacking truckers and calling for stricter regulations? Here's what you need to know.

Truckers

A post from an anti-trucker Facebook page has gone viral on social media recently, causing outrage in the trucking community from many who assumed it was a legitimate group.

On December 10, the Facebook page “Mothers Against Tired Truckers” shared a post describing possible changes to Hours of Service and other regulations that the group discussed with “lawmakers” from Hawaii.

Great news! Last week we had a very productive meeting with congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D) Hawaii and Senator Mark…

Posted by Mothers Against Tired Truckers – MATT on Monday, December 10, 2018

In the post, the group claims they had a “successful” meeting with two lawmakers to discuss increased regulations for truckers. They claimed they discussed the following items:

  • Change current HOS regulations to 8 hrs driving, 10 hrs on duty, mandatory 1 hr rest breaks every 4 hrs. 50 hr in 7 days max to be followed by a mandatory 48-hour restart.
    Nationwide 55 mph speed limit.
  • Driver facing cameras in the cab and the sleeper berth.
  • Mandated hair follicle drug testing for trucker’s immediately following their home time before they go back out on the road.
  • Replacing the current 2-year standard for DOT physical medical cards 2 a 1 year standard with mandatory semiannual sleep apnea testing.
  • Mandate that breathalyzer ignition interlock devices be installed in all commercial vehicles.

The post was shared by several large online trucking groups and appears to have generated genuine anger among many users.

But after a closer look at the post and the and the Facebook page itself, it seems like their primary purpose is trolling truckers and spreading fake news.

Here are just a few of the red flags that stand out.

1. One of the lawmakers listed in the post — Senator Mark Schatz — doesn’t exist. The actual U.S. Senator from Hawaii is named Brian Schatz.

2. If you call the phone number listed on the group’s Facebook page, you’ll reach the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

3. Matt’s Law, which is referenced in the December 10 post, is a famous California law that allows for felony prosecution for hazing crimes like those that sometimes take place in college fraternities and sororities.

4. The group was started just two months ago.

5. The group’s “About Us” page on Facebook contains no information about who runs the page or where the group is based.

6. An October 19 Facebook post captioned “Our story and the reason behind our mission” links to a Huffington Post article featuring a totally different group — “Parents Against Tired Truckers” — which is based in Maine and which has been around for decades.

CDLLife reached out to the group for more information but we’ve yet to hear back, aside from a vaguely threatening message that our request would be forwarded to the group’s legal department.

Our take — If someone with too much time on their hands wanted to stir up thousands of members of the trucking community for no good reason, the Mothers Against Tired Truckers group just offered up a masterclass on how to do it.