OOIDA, ATA To Take Center Stage In “The State Of Trucking In America” U.S. House Hearing
Washington D.C. – The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will be holding a hearing this week entitled “Under Pressure: The State Of Trucking In America” and it promises to be quite a spectacle.
The hearing which is to be held on Wednesday, June 12, was announced last week by Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
In the announcement, the legislators said the purpose of the hearing was to “learn from stakeholders about current challenges faced by motor carriers, truck drivers, shippers, and brokers; and how these challenges impact safety, operations, jobs, and goods movement on our Nation’s roads.”
Battle Lines Are Drawn
A quick review of the “witness list” reveals some familiar names to those in the trucking community.
Most notably, Todd Spencer, president of the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), will be testifying before the committee.
In recent days OOIDA has signaled Spencer intends to discuss matters surrounding the growing detention problem, what OOIDA deems as the “driver shortage myth,” and the association’s concern about the lack of adequate driver training.
Sources confirm to Transportation Nation Network that ATA’s Spear will likely advocate for legislation increasing the federal fuel tax as a means to better fund needed infrastructure projects, as well as promote the newly re-introduced DRIVE Safe Act, which would allow for the training and hiring of 18 to 20-year-olds to drive big rigs in interstate commerce.
More Expected Topics Of Discussion
Also, expected to be discussed will be the pending hours-of-service (HOS) reform coming from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) any day now.
Just last week the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill (commonly called T-HUD) which would strip FMCSA of funding if it eliminated the 30-minute rest break provision from the current rule.
The T-HUD legislation also calls for requiring FMCSA to once again make public information regarding violations of the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, along with requiring stakeholders “to facilitate the deployment and adoption of rear and side underride protection devices.”
The mandating of front and side underride guards is a hot topic after legislation has once again been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate to require such actions.
Read more of TNN’s coverage on underride guards HERE.
These topics and more are expected to be discussed during the hearing.
Other witnesses include: Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; LaMont Byrd, Director of Health and Safety Department with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Jason Craig, Director of Government Affairs with C.H. Robinson; Rodney Noble, Senior Director of Global Procurement with PepsiCo; Mark Savage, Colorado Highway Patrol on behalf of the Commercial Vehicle Transportation Alliance (CVSA); and Andy Young, truck safety advocate.
The hearing will be live streamed and will begin at 10 a.m.
You can watch it by clicking HERE.