OOIDA Declares Victory After Congressman Denies Support for Speed Limiter Mandate
Washington D.C. – On Wednesday, the Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) unleashed a call to action on Arkansas Congressman Bruce Westerman after the trucking group says it became concerned that Rep. Westerman was planning to introduce legislation to mandate the use of speed limiters in big rigs.
OOIDA took to its social media platforms and wrote:
After being one of the most vocal supporters of #ELDs in Congress, Westerman is looking for a new federal mandate to impose on truckers and he may have found it.
He’s considering introducing a bill in the U.S. House that would require you to use a #SpeedLimiter.
We think it’s time every OOIDA member let Rep. Westerman know how they feel about a speed limiter mandate by calling his office at 202-225-3772.
It did not take long before calls began to roll into the Congressman’s office, a spokesman for Rep. Westerman told Transportation Nation Network (TNN).
Rep. Westerman quickly responded by also taking to social media and calling OOIDA’s assertions “misinformation.”
This is misinformation. I have never sponsored speed limiter legislation, nor do I plan to. The only speed limiter legislation in Congress is in the Senate.
I appreciate everyone calling my office to share their thoughts, but I am against a federal mandate on speed limiters. https://t.co/xNiekxjiVV
— Rep. Bruce Westerman (@RepWesterman) November 6, 2019
OOIDA then responded to Rep. Westerman’s immediate denial by writing:
We’re glad to hear that Congressman Bruce Westerman is now publicly denying any support for a speed limiter mandate following today’s Call To Action.
On Thursday, Mike Matousek, OOIDA’s Manager of Government Affairs, offered more context to why the group called members to action against Rep. Westerman.
“We had credible information to suggest that Congressman Westerman was considering introducing a bill to mandate speed limiters, and rather than sit around and wait for it to happen, we wanted to take a proactive approach and get our grassroots advocacy going… it worked,” Matousek declared.
Matousek characterized Rep. Westerman’s record in Congress on small business trucking issues as “not good.”
He pointed to the Congressman’s support for the ELD mandate, as well as other legislation such as the DRIVE Safe Act, which if passed, would allow drivers as young as 18 years of age to operate big rigs in interstate commerce.
“We are tired of these anti-trucking mandates from Congress and yesterday was a success,” Matousek exclaimed.
OOIDA Manager of Government Affairs Mike Matousek is grateful for everyone who picked up the phone during yesterday’s Call to Action.
— OOIDA since 1973 (@OOIDA) November 7, 2019
In response, the spokesperson for Rep. Westerman told TNN, “OOIDA didn’t even contact us to ask what our position was.”
While Rep. Westerman’s spokesperson did acknowledge the Congressman had recently met with a “safety group” pushing for a speed limiter mandate, he adamantly denied the meeting resulted in the consideration of sponsoring such legislation.
“It’s not an issue I could see him supporting,” Rep. Westerman’s spokesperson said.
Wednesday’s call to action is the latest in OOIDA’s continued efforts to stop any further legislative momentum on the speed limiter issue.
In June, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, (R-GA) and Chris Coons, (D-DE) introduced the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019, S.2033.
The legislation would require all new commercial trucks with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more to be equipped with speed-limiting devices, which must be set to a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour and used at all times while in operation.
The maximum speed requirement would also be extended to existing trucks that already have the technology installed.
OOIDA has produced a video highlighting the “dangers” of speed limiters and it continues to trend on TransportationNation.com.
To watch the short video, click HERE.