They say we live in a free country, yet we need to have licenses for many of the things we do. We need a license to drive a car and there are even more stringent tests to gain a commercial drivers license. So why do we need licenses? I know some people would cynically argue that licenses are just another revenue stream for governments – and I dare say they have been used to that end at times too. However, licenses really are a necessary evil in our modern world.
Sure, you can drive a truck. But can you drive it well? Do you know the rules of the road? Do you know the rules that relate specifically to truck driving, for example, how many hours you are allowed to drive? Licenses are designed to test would-be truck drivers in both their knowledge of truck driving rules and regulations, and on their truck driving skills. We all want safe roads to drive on, and that is why we have such stringent rules and the requirement for licensing.
Modern trucks are lethal weapons. Having tons of steel hurtling down the highway at speeds of up to 100mph is no laughing matter. A fully laden truck can take over a hundred yards to stop. Where the fastest runner in the world can run that 100 yards (or 100 meters) in just over nine seconds – a fully laden truck can travel that distance in three or four seconds. That’s a lot of force if there’s something that meets it head on.
Truck drivers need to be licensed for their own safety as well as others. Licensing sets a truck driving safety standard that helps to ensure our roads are safe, and that we are safe. It also ensure that everyone is following the same sets of rules, not setting their own as they drive around.