ATA Praises Congress For Passage of Spending Bill

ATA

The American Trucking Association yesterday thanked Congress– specifically Senator Susan Collins– for the passage of the “common sense fix to two unjustified provisions of the current hours-of-service restart rules in this year’s omnibus spending bill.”

Senator Collins was a driving force behind the amendment the will suspend provisions on the current 34-hour restart rule.

Collins proposed the amendment, stating that the FMCSA had failed to analyze the implications and benefits of the 34-hour restart rule which put more trucks on the road during busy travel times.

“We have known since the beginning that the federal government did not properly evaluate the potential impacts of the changes it made in July 2013,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Now, thanks to the hard work of Senator Collins and many others, we have a common sense solution. Suspending these restrictions until all the proper research can be done is a reasonable step.”

“One of our members told us several of his drivers took four days off for the recent Thanksgiving holiday, yet when they returned to work, their hours were limited because that 96-hour break could not count as a 34-hour restart,” Graves said. “That’s just one of the impacts FMCSA failed to research that we hope they fully examine as a result of this congressional mandate.”

“I truly want to thank Congress for including these provisions, and for listening to the industry’s very real safety concerns on the issue and not being swayed by base emotions,” Graves said. “In debates about safety, it is often easy to make emotional, but misleading, claims about our industry and we’re pleased that those claims did not carry the day and our elected officials were won over by facts and evidence.

“The facts, in this case, show that the trucking industry is dedicated to safety. Facts that demonstrate our drivers are not overworked or pushed to extremes like our critics contend – the average driver works a little more than 50 hours per week and only 2% work more than 61 hours. There has been an increase in early hour driving by truckers – statistically the riskiest time of day and an unpopular outcome of this rule according to a national poll from Public Opinion Strategies. The fact that under the previous rule, large truck-involved crashes fell 27% in a decade,” Graves said. “These facts should be remembered not just by policymakers, but by trucking’s critics the next time they unfairly malign an industry that moves nearly 70% of the nation’s freight and does so with a commitment to safety that is second to none.”

The spending bill passed in the House and the Senate. The bill is now awaiting the President’s signature.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward