In the ongoing campaign to pass gargantuan infrastructure legislation on Capitol Hill, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is sounding the alarm that a key House committee voted to send legislation to the floor of the House that does not address the truck-parking shortage.
OOIDA spoke out in response to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, led by Chairmain Peter DeFazio (D-OR), advancing infrastructure legislation on Sept. 15 that failed to provide funding for truck parking projects.
“Despite the long history of broad, bipartisan support, numerous government studies and repeated pleas from truck drivers, Democrats on the T&I Committee opposed efforts to address trucking’s number one safety concern, the lack of safe parking,” said OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer in a statement. He said that as a result, “Truckers likely face another five years of a worsening crisis that jeopardizes their safety on a daily basis.
“It’s tough to swallow the fact that in a year when Congress is authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects and highway safety programs, not a single penny was set aside for truck parking, he added.
Spencer also argued that “addressing the parking shortage would also have supported efforts to reduce carbon emission from the transportation sector. Truck drivers waste approximately 56 minutes per day looking for parking, all the while needlessly burning fuel, emitting carbon and contributing to congestion.”
He added that despite the outcome, OOIDA wanted to thank the committee’s Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and also Rep. Mike Bost (IL) for having introduced an amendment that would have provided $1 billion for truck parking projects. “We will continue working with him and other allies on Capitol Hill to find opportunities to enact meaningful truck parking legislation.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association represents the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers.