As talk continues to grow, especially on the Internet, about a proposed truck shutdown scheduled for July 5, the country's largest organization of owner-operators and truck drivers has spoken out against the action.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. last week released its official position on the proposed July 5 strike, organized by Idaho truckers Randy and Roy Powell. The brothers put together an organization calling itself Truckers Against Discrimination.
The Powell brothers' demands are removal of split speed limits in all states, removal of lane restrictions in all states, and equal fines for traffic violations for all vehicles. They are asking drivers to shut down starting July 5 at noon, central time, and are asking supporters to tie a royal blue ribbon to each of their truck's mirrors.
In a statement posted on its web site last week, OOIDA explains that one of the main reasons OOIDA was formed was to address the types of issues outlined by the shutdown organizers. These "create an unfair and unjustified burden on hard working truckers who in reality are by far the safest operators on the road." OOIDA has lobbied, effectively in many instances, on the state and federal level to get changes made on these issues, particularly the split speed limits.
However, OOIDA says, its board of directors voted unanimously not to support the strike. "We feel that the two individuals who called for the action were extremely irresponsible and could in fact have cause more hard than good…. state and federal legislatures do not respond well to threats. In fact, in several states where uniform speed limits are presently being considered, we have had to overcome an adverse reaction by some legislators who were tempted to vote against uniform speed limits, just to show that they will not succumb to threats."