With Congress returning to Washington this week, leaders of American Trucking Associations called on lawmakers and policymakers in Washington to take several steps to improve the nation’s economy and make our highways safer.
“This time of year is a good one for self-reflection and analysis,” said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. “We hope our leaders in Washington will take the necessary steps to make our roads safer and improve the flow of goods in our economy.”
ATA’s list includes:
- Identify sustainable, efficient and reliable funding for our nation’s roads and bridges rather than seeking out the “easy money” of tolls and privatization;
- Advance important safety technology rules, including ones that limit the speed of commercial vehicles and electronically record drivers’ hours-of-service;
- Be more precise in defining “large trucks” and in looking at crash accountability so the trucking industry’s safety record can be more accurately measured and understood;
- Analyze the first phase of the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for large trucks before hastily moving ahead with a second phase;
- Review and reconsider the recently changed hours-of-service rules – particularly the restart provision;
- Use data and science, rather than emotions, when reviewing and establishing truck size and weight regulations;
- Create a long-overdue clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results;
- Improve government data and databases, from CSA to security screenings and background checks to completing the long-overdue Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey; and
- Work with state agencies to place far greater focus on commercial and noncommercial vehicle traffic enforcement rather than the current trend of more roadside vehicle inspections.
“January is a time when we take stock of where we stand and set goals for the coming year,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, “and we sincerely hope that our government leaders will take some time to reflect and to take these common sense, and in some cases, long delayed actions to improve highway safety, the environment and the efficiency of our economy.”