When Nanny State meets Police State – Minnesota State Patrol Gets Sued

Have you heard about the latest lawsuit against the Minnesota State Patrol? It’s based on a checklist they created to determine if a Commercial Driver is fatigued and should be taken off the road.

On the surface this seems like a good idea, but there are some problems.

One problem is, The Department of Transportation already has rules and guidlines for determining what constitutes driver fatigue.

A second problem is The Mn State Patrol created their own criteria and then attempted to keep it a secret.
As reported by Landlinenow

Now, a memo has been sent from the e-mail account of an officer in the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Minnesota State Patrol. In the memo, other enforcement officers are told to keep quiet about the checklist, even when they’re using it, even to the trucker they’re using it on.

Here’s the memo:

“Due to much publicity, both on a local and national level, several inquiries are being made about our fatigue report by the State Legislature, news media, etc.

“We as an organization do not want to damage what we have worked so hard to accomplish. Please use your interviewing skills to determine if the driver is fatigued.

“I ask that you do not tell the drivers that you need to fill out a checklist (worksheet), that you are taking a survey or any other statements that you use to reference the report.

“The report is for you to use to document what you observed; statements made by the driver; notes for you to reference to about the event; and as a guide to gather the various indicators from different areas on the report.”

As if that isn’t disturbing enough you really must see the checklist. I obtained a hardcopy and then called upon some sources to get a digital version for you.

Here it is. (a special thanks to Neb Trucking)

Here’s how it works. They take their arbitrary list and for each item that applies the driver get’s a check. After a certain number of checks it’s determined that the driver is fatigued and can’t drive.

Let’s address some of the more ridiculous questions: “Pets in Vehicle”, “Cell Phone”, “Computer”.

 That’s right, if the driver has any of the above they are on the path to being considered fatigued.

How about this one “Driver II” – Yup, if there’s a second driver,as is common safety measure to avoid fatigue, the driver gets a check towards being fatigued.

Let’s take a look at few more “Unshaven”, “Use of prescription meds”, “allergies”, “Money concerns”, “Job/Home stress”, “Driver neck size”.

Setting aside the very illegal act of requiring someone to disclose personal medical information, neck size, really?

So now we have a lawsuit (view in it’s entirety)

It appears that law enforcement is now not only in the act of saying what should be a law, but also making up their own laws as they go along.

What do you think?



1 Comment so far

  1. Email exposes MN State Patrol memos - Truckers' Trucking Forum | Message Board | Discussion (pingback) on May 18th, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

    […] it. more here>> Nanny State meets Police State Here is a news article from MN >> When Nanny State meets Police State – Minnesota State Patrol Gets Sued […]

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