The Trump administration's decision to halt progress on a sleep apnea screening and alleviation rule for truck drivers earlier this month sent shock waves through the trucking industry and the country at large. Reaction to the decision was decidedly mixed, with numerous commenters decrying the move as a serious safety issue with potentially disastrous consequences for the motoring public. Others zeroed in on the political implications of the Trump administration’s move, while still others felt the regulation was a burdensome overreach that would have hurt productivity.
The bulk of news and opinion pieces presented the news as negative or controversial in nature, with many of the articles focusing on the public safety aspect of the rule and questioning whether fleets and individuals could be counted on to take adequate steps on their own to keep tired drivers off the road.
Here are some of the more interesting and controversial takeaways from around the country (and globe):
One America News Network: “The Former President’s Needless Rules”
The conservative news outlet One America News posted video of truck drivers celebrating the decision to halt progress on a sleep apnea rule and outlining why they feel it is not needed.
The blog Reason.com, which supports “free minds and free markets,” suggested the onslaught of negative press in the wake of the decision was the “regulatory deep state, fighting tooth and nail to preserve and expand its power in the face of Trump's deregulatory push.”
The Hill reports on Congress and federal-level regulatory issues and presented both sides of the issues fairly in its reporting on move to halt progress on a sleep apnea rule.
Fox Business: “Experts: Lives Are At Risk”
Fox News and its associated news outlets are usually reliably in President’s Trump’s corner and adamantly anti-regulation and red tape. This eyebrow-raising headline aside, Fox Business was notably neutral in its assessment of the sleep apnea decision and mainly focused on the train engineer aspect of the rule.
The Daily Mail: “Safety Experts Outraged” by Sleep Apnea Decision
News on the Trump Administration’s decision reached overseas to the U.K., where one of its leading newspapers say it could “put millions of lives at risk.”
North Jersey.com: “A Short-Sighted Move That Puts Profits Over Safety”
Hoboken, New Jersey, was the scene of a horrific commuter train crash just last year. Because of that, a slew of editorials from the Garden State were staunchly opposed to the dropping of the proposed sleep apnea rule.
Ashbury Park Press: “Lawmakers Should Defy Trump” on Sleep Apnea Decision
A letter to the editor in New Jersey’s Ashbury Park Press echoed a similar theme, suggesting that President Trump’s decision was based solely on undoing any position taken by the Obama administration.
New York Daily News: Trump Administration Decision “Will Risk Lives”
The New York Daily News, which has a long-running contentious relationship with President Trump, said the current administration is “asleep at the switch” when it comes to public safety.
El Dorado News-Times: Sleep Apnea Decision Evidence of “Ever-Shrinking Piece of Common Ground"
A journalist for this small Arkansas newspaper saw the Trump administration’s sleep apnea move in the context of the larger debate between regulations and overreach.