On Wednesday, lawmakers in the House of Representatives approved an amendment that would more than double minimum insurance requirements for commercial vehicles.
On Wednesday evening, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved an amendment introduced by Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia to a transportation bill called the INVEST Act by a 37 to 27 vote.
Garcia’s amendment would effectively increase current insurance liability requirements for commercial vehicle drivers from $750,000 to $2 million.
While the amendment has come under fire from members of the trucking industry who believe that it could force smaller carriers and owner-operators to shut down because of costs, Garcia took to Twitter on Wednesday to defend the massive insurance liability increase.
“Minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers were established in 1980 & have never been adjusted for inflation. It’s inadequate and saddles families with crippling medical care costs resulting from catastrophic crashes,” Garcia wrote. “My amendment w/ @RepEspaillat, @RepCohen & @RepHankJohnson modestly increases the minimum insurance requirements & requires that it keep up w/inflation. This isn’t about trial lawyers or an attack on truckers. It’s about supporting families who have lost loved ones.”
Trucking safety groups lauded the passing of Garcia’s amendment as a victory for crash victim’s families.
#SaferTrucking Update: @RepChuyGarcia Amendment 062 to the #InfrastructureBill passed by a vote of (37 Aye – 27 Nays)! This amendment will help families who have survived truck crashes and help make the trucking industry safer.
— Institute for Safer Trucking (@_SaferTrucking) June 18, 2020
The INVEST Act still needs to pass in the House and Senate before the amendment could go into effect.