There’s a way to settle this dispute: Enforce the laws we already have
Re “Amazon sues over mandatory vehicle IDs” (Page A1, May 20): The solution to the Amazon dust-up with the town of Braintree is simple. Enforce the state laws that require vehicles engaged in commercial activities to follow the rules pertaining to those activities. This includes commercial plates, insurance, and vehicle markings.
In my trash-hauling business, I have to have the right plates and insurance, and my vehicles are all marked with my name, city, and phone number. Additionally, my city requires my waste haulers permit number to be on the trucks as well.
I was once told by a Massachusetts state trooper that there is no casual commercial activity. If you use the vehicle to provide service for pay, that is the activity you need to comply with.
So drivers for Amazon, DoorDash, Uber, and others, whether contractor or owner-operator, have really just one option, which is compliance. Why state transportation and police agencies don’t just enforce laws already on the books is beyond me. The so-called new economy doesn’t change the basic nature of what is happening.
By all means, we should track Amazon’s carbon footprint
Of course Amazon doesn’t want to label its ubiquitous delivery vans. Amazon’s white trucks clog our streets and help to give our area the dubious distinction of having the worst traffic congestion in the country. Delivery service vehicles, along with thousands of ride-sharing cars, are increasing CO2 emissions, just when Massachusetts needs to meet its greenhouse-gas goals. Asthma rates are also rising in our area, due to a surge in particulate matter.
Boston and surrounding communities should follow Braintree’s lead, so that residents can place blame where it is due. And while we’re at it, why not require that Amazon, along with other delivery services, convert its fleet to electric vehicles? Surely there’s room for solar panels on the roof of Amazon’s enormous warehouse, to create the power those trucks would need. Those regulations would help us breathe cleaner air, while we combat the ongoing, escalating effects of climate change.