Congress begins taking a closer look at trucking today with the first of several hearings scheduled to look at truck safety and hours of service rules. Also on the agenda of the House Ground Transportation Subcommittee is a discussion to possibly move the Office of Motor Carriers.

The hearings have been prompted by a belief the trucking industry has too friendly a relationship with the OMC. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, who chairs another committee that will hold hearings later this month, wants to move OMC from the Federal Highway Administration to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The hearings could benefit trucking by opening a discussion of an alternative to Wolf’s plan, advanced by several trucking industry groups: creating a Federal Trucking Administration, similar to those that oversee railroads, maritime and aviation.
Contributing Editor Oliver Patton is attending today’s hearing, and will have a report tomorrow.