Fleet Management

Trucking Alliance: Senate Should Ditch Funding Riders that “Compromise Safety”

June 17, 2015

By David Cullen

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Photo: The Trucking Alliance
Photo: The Trucking Alliance
The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (Trucking Alliance) is urging the Senate as it works on its version of the T-HUD budget bill to reject riders to the measure attached by the House that “would compromise truck safety” by reducing funding for certain truck-safety programs and for infrastructure improvements as “both are critical to improving highway safety for truck drivers and motorists.”

President Obama has already threatened to veto the entire funding package if it makes it to his desk in the same form that it took in the House. 

The Trucking Alliance, a coalition of freight-transportation businesses that advocates for highway safety, said in a statement that the amendments in question “would halt truck safety studies that Congress mandated two years ago in MAP-21 [the current highway-funding bill]” and would “ignore a USDOT recommendation on freight policy and would force states to adopt an opposite position, one in which the industry is deeply divided.”

The group also stated that the Senate should “reject these House amendments in its transportation budget bill and adhere to the truck safety initiatives that Congress adopted in MAP-21. The amendments are a step backward for truck driver safety. Further, Congress should increase dollars for much needed truck safety programs, as well as infrastructure improvements.”

Specifically, the Trucking Alliance argues that if the riders in question remain attached to the bill, they would “delay, halt, and even contradict” certain 2012 Congressional “safety initiatives” contained within MAP-21: 

  • “A proposed amendment would prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from determining if the minimum insurance level for trucking companies is sufficient to fully compensate the victims of trucking accidents, even though the level hasn’t been increased in 35 years.” 
  • “An amendment would prohibit the USDOT from pursuing the development of wireless roadside electronic truck inspections, an emerging technology to ensure that tractor-trailers are in full regulatory compliance.” 

The Trucking Alliance also said that “cuts in the transportation budget to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could delay its ability to implement the electronic logging device mandate and the national drug and alcohol database, two critical elements for lowering large truck accidents that Congress also passed [in] MAP-21.”

The group contended that “the nation’s highways, bridges, and railways must be maintained to handle the demands of a growing population and economy. Congress must increase transportation budgets, not cut them, in order to build a safer and more sustainable freight transportation system.”

 Arguing that “Trucking is the only transportation mode that operates literally within a few feet of millions of Americans each day,” the Alliance added that “Congress should support efforts to lower the number of accidents and injuries involving truck drivers and motorists, not adopt policies that could increase them.”

The group noted that its “Policies represent the unanimous position of the Alliance Board of Directors only, and are not necessarily the opinions of businesses that financially support the Trucking Alliance.”

Among the member companies of the Alliance are three carriers whose chief executives signed a letter that calls for the Senate Committee on Appropriations to strip out the twin 33-foot trailer rider: Dupre Logistics, JB Hunt Transport and Knight Transportation.

Comments

  1. 1. JL [ June 18, 2015 @ 03:56AM ]

    This just frustrates me beyond explanation. How are trucking companies backing these regulations and asking Congress to support them? I guess it will benefit these huge trucking companies by putting us little guys out of business? If they want to implement company changes and go by the regulations proposed here, they are free to do so. Anyone can raise their coverage to any limit they want at any time. If they want to force their drivers to go by the 1AM to 5 AM restart provision, they can do so. What are they gaining by pushing the government to force it on the rest of us? So tired of battling this every time we turn around.

  2. 2. dan [ June 18, 2015 @ 04:46AM ]

    There must be some Trial Lawyers embedded in the so called "Safety Alliance ".

  3. 3. jrrw [ June 18, 2015 @ 06:03AM ]

    The "Alliance" includes 5 companies: Maverick Transportation, Knight Transportation, JB Hunt, Dupre and Boyle Transportation. They employ roughly 30,000 employees across the US.

 

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