Professional Drivers Ethics
Professional drivers require driving skills, proper physical and mental health, familiarity, and strong will. While on the road, professional drivers take safety precautions. They set high standards for their work by ensuring a follow-up of the code of ethics. The code of ethics pinpoints the standards of behavior associated with objectivity, obligation, and fairness. By following the code of ethics, drivers qualify to be professionals, and it ensures attaining and conveying a positive image of the truck driving industry (Fonda, Wallace, & Herzog, 2001).
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Another benefit of upholding the code of ethics is adding value to the profession. Professional drivers are expected to adhere to high ethical standard. Since most people have substantially high expectations of them, they should try to uphold high ethical standards without failure. Community trust in any profession is very vital because plenty of opportunities for those, who uphold the ethical codes, arise regularly. For the driving industry, it is of significant importance to maintain and improve community trust. Human beings are more of visual beings as they remember the actions, and this would dictate whether one gains the support or not (Kloeden, McLean, & Glonek, 2002).
Key Ethical Issues Faced by the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry is faced with quite a number of ethical concerns. There are numerous ethical issues that challenge this industry. The issues are sometimes ignored, while others are committed due to the lack of alternatives. Some of these ethical issues include:
1. The issues of the goods the drivers carry in their trucks. Most of the truck drivers make alterations on their travel logs, which enables them to avoid checkpoints and weigh stations (Kloeden et al., 2002). In some cases, illegal goods are moved across the states and country borders. These unethical behaviors by the track drivers enable people to evade taxes. Most of the goods that come in through this method are often illegal and cause harm to the society.
The code of ethics stipulates the standards relating to their conduct. Some truck drivers avoid acting responsibly. They go against the stipulated laws and statutes, thus making it hard to keep safe. Truck drivers ignoring the laws complicate the work of the traffic officers. The traffic offenders also make it difficult to trust most of the truck operators. By breaking the stipulated laws, the driver’s portray very negative images to the society. This practice increases the possibility of many accidents occurring (Marottoli et al., 2000).
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2. Greenhouse gas has also been a real ethical issue. With the rise of climate change, there have been concerns over the greenhouse gas emissions. A lot of hydrocarbons are released into the atmosphere yearly. Most of the trucks are handled individually with very few covered by a corporation, which increases the difficulty in switching biodiesel (Marottoli et al., 2000). The hydrocarbons interfere with the atmosphere, rendering global warming firsthand.
In a number of years, people may lose the beautiful environment due to the unethical dilemma posed by truck drivers using the non-biodegradable fuels. This pollution of the environment makes us lose the beauty of the environment and leads to drought too (Kloeden et al., 2002).
3. Many truck drivers ignore the idea of obtaining an insurance cover. Insurance is significant to the truck drivers, because it offers an additional safety to the insured. Most of them are freelancers, who do not make an effort of obtaining insurance covers for their tracks. In this industry, accidents are prone to occur (Kloeden et al., 2002). In case of the insurance cover absence, the injured truck drivers may experience a financial dilemma. They are forced to dig the money from their pockets, which make it costly to a considerable degree as they obtain the treatment and repair the truck.
Companies that do not have a cover for their drivers are assumed to put their own interests before those of their drivers. Therefore, in case of injuries they have to take care of the financial constraint. This shows an irresponsible behavior among truck drivers; it endangers their lives, yet they still ignore the facts. One should overlook the economic interest the insurance company has and focus on the benefits it provides. Lack of insurance cover is illegal and may cause one to face the implications of the law (Fonda et al., 2001).
4. It is required that professional truck drivers should have the relevant driving skills, technical knowhow and proper physical and mental health. For a driver to qualify fit for a journey, they have to ensure that they hold the proper qualities. They should also be of sound mind. Most of the accidents by truck drivers are attributed to fatigue. They have to keep awake for many hours, because their journeys are equally long (Fonda et al., 2001). They hardly get to sleep, because they are always on the roads. The hours of operation make it difficult for drivers to keep awake and yet deliver shipments to the right place. Hours of the day are not flexible enough to allow them obtain some rest. Without the relevant skills, very many accidents would be experienced on the roads. Therefore, following rules is of paramount significance.
There are reckless drivers on the roads, those, who do not follow the laws that govern the roads. Such drivers endanger the lives of other road users. In other cases, motorists avoid using safety belts and put their own lives at risk. There should be regular checks on the road to ensure that laws and statutes are adhered to by all the road users (Fonda et al., 2001).
5. Another ethical constraint is petroleum prices. The ever rising prices make it so hard to maintain the trucks on the roads. The petroleum prices hike every now and then, without realizing that with the current technology, faster and cheaper means have been established in the transport industry. New truck drivers are rethinking; they are contemplating on whether to switch to the faster means (Fonda et al., 2001).
The price of petroleum is very high for most of the drivers; thus, they are trying to get other alternatives for the non-biodegradable fuels. The government should provide other alternatives that people can use freely without much worry of safety. (Fonda et al., 2001)
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Ethical Issues Conflict with Legal Issues
The legal and ethical standards are not always compatible. There could be conflicts between the two standards. In some cases, ethical dilemmas are created by the legal standards. Ethical issues conflict with legal issues, a conflict which is brought up mostly because legal issues always try to give all citizens an equal platform. Legal issues have implications if not followed or if ignored by citizens. The government prints out its issues clearly and puts it in its constitution for citizens to uphold in their day to day activities (Kloeden et al., 2002). Legal issues that concern the road safety have stern consequences in cases, where drivers fail to uphold. Legal issues assume that all road users are responsible and practice responsibility on the roads. The laws and statutes should be obeyed by the drivers without question.
Some drivers, who do not have legal documents on the roads, may be forced to face the law. This only happens, when truck drivers go against the laws and statutes in the legal jurisdiction (Fonda et al., 2001). Legal issues in most cases affect truck drivers, who practice unethical behaviors. In some cases, the penalties are not substantially high, therefore, they would repeat the mistakes again.
Legal issues should ensure that drivers do not carry illegal goods. There should be a thorough inspection on the trucks. This should happen in order to prevent the conflict between the ethical and legal standards (Fonda et al., 2001).
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The availability of vehicle radar speed detectors in the US market has helped disrupt speed limits, and this has increased the risk that other road users will be harmed. People have highly marketed the product, because it is a legal component. This highly conflicts with the ethical issue, because it provides an avenue for more accidents in the roads. The speed limits may increase past the legal limits, but because the enhancers are legal, then it is taken that the law is not broken (Kloeden et al., 2002).
The government has not yet introduced an alternative that prevents the pollution of the environment. It has not yet come up with alternatives for the diesel fuel. This conflicts with the ethical and legal standards, because ethically, it is wrong to use the diesel fuel, yet the law supports it (Fonda et al., 2001). Even though the law does not allow for pollution of the environment, it supports the use of the diesel fuel, which may pollute the environment.
Complying with the legal standards and requirements may conflict with the understanding of truck drivers. In such a circumstance, the driver may violate the ethical standard in a bid to uphold the legal standard. This leads them to violating the law. There are truck drivers, who also believe that legal standards are more significant than ethical standards; therefore, they uphold the legal standards, since they have stronger implications. This leaves the driver to violate the ethical codes (Marottoli et al., 2000).
The laws and statutes that govern the roads should be strictly followed. Motorists should adhere to them in order to enhance the road safety and improve the image of the transport industry. The ethics benefit in giving people a guideline, which they can follow so as to be fair, honest and just in their actions.
In solving the ethical dilemma, there is a combination of things that should be practiced. The first step begins with analyzing the consequences that come as a result of breaking the standards. It is essential to consider various options that are available and clarify whether it is long term or short term issue with the purpose of enhancing the problem solving process. Later on, it is crucial to analyze actions and measure whether they uphold all the standards. They should be fair, just and ones that uphold standards. Finally, there is making of the decision after a proper analysis; it is of paramount significance to choose the least problematic and the most practical solution. The government should also introduce fuel that does not pollute the environment (Kloeden et al., 2002).