The American Trucking Associations testified before a House Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 17, about the status and uses of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. Philip L. Byrd Sr., president and chief executive officer of Charleston, S.C.-based Bulldog Hiway Express, spoke on behalf of ATA at a hearing held by the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
Byrd asked the committee to ensure that the TWIC is used as the single, universally accepted security credential for transportation workers that pre-empts all other security and access programs. ATA supports the original concept of TWIC having one enrollment process, one fee and one background check called a security threat assessment, so that it can become a singular credential.
Many drivers now are required to have multiple credentials for various ports, government facilities and state-administered security and access programs. “The present STA environment of multiple checks does not bode well for my drivers’ morale,” Byrd said. “Worse yet, it creates a significant challenge for retention and recruitment of qualified drivers that may seek gainful employment elsewhere to avoid such a costly and cumbersome work environment.”
Byrd also called on Congress to require the Transportation Security Administration to immediately recognize U.S. commercial drivers who possess a TWIC as already compliant with the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment program. Statute already allows this practice, and TSA currently allows Canadian and Mexican commercial drivers who have TWICs to use it as verification of their ability to transport hazardous materials.