The American Trucking Associations on Wednesday, May 23, asked members of the conference committee currently negotiating on the highway bill to address several issues of importance to the trucking industry.
“The trucking industry has consistently delivered for members of Congress who have asked for our support in advancing a long-term surface transportation bill, so now we hope the conferees will complete a bill that moves us all toward safer less-congested highways,” said Dan England, ATA chairman and chairman of C.R. England, based in Salt Lake City. “Trucks move more than two-thirds of the nation’s goods, and we need help from our elected leaders to continue improving our industry’s impressive record on safety and efficiency.”
ATA’s call follows a letter from ATA President and CEO Bill Graves to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) and their fellow conferees outlining ATA’s priorities:
• Preservation of the National Freight Program proposed by the Senate;
• Inclusion of the modest truck productivity provisions drafted by the House, as well as limiting of a potential study on truck productivity to one year, rather than six;
• Retention of the Bingaman amendments to protect highway users from expansion of risky infrastructure privatization schemes;
• Adoption of the Senate’s language calling for a full mandate for electronic onboard recorders;
• Including the House’s request for a full study of the restart provisions of the administration’s hours-of-service rules before those rules go into effect; and
• Prohibiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from publishing a rule on carrier safety fitness before addressing serious flaws with its Compliance Safety Accountability program.
“ATA has been a consistent supporter of passing a long-term highway bill,” Graves said. “These provisions will advance the safety and efficiency of our highway system and bolster our still-recovering economy.”