Hundreds of people have signed a petition asking the U.S. government to take steps to protect truck drivers from COVID-19 as they deliver essential supplies to the American people.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 800 people signed a Change.org petition created by veteran truck driver Rachelle Tuttle.
The petition calls on President Trump, Vice President Pence, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other U.S. leaders to establish guidance and assistance for truckers who contract COVID-19 while they are over the road for work.
Tuttle points to the vulnerability of truckers to the virus due to their frequent encounters with the public and fact that shippers, receivers, and rest areas are limiting their access to restroom facilities.
The three major “asks” listed in the petition can be read below.
1. Establishment of a hotline for drivers where they can receive guidance on what to do and where to go if they become ill when on the road. Due to the nature of their vehicle, up to 70 foot long and 80,000 pounds, they will likely require facilitation in regard to getting them to a clinic or hospital and later, possibly, to a motel or appropriate facility.
2. Drivers who become ill while in the course of their duties, who were forced to quarantine in a motel or other facility away from home, should be reimbursed 100% of all expenses for food, supply delivery and lodging. If a family member must travel to the truck driver, those travel expenses should be fully reimbursed.
3. Drivers who become ill in the course of their duties should be entitled to sick pay, commensurate with their average daily earnings, until such time as they are medically cleared to return to work. Additionally, a driver who tests positive, whether ill or not, but who is required to be quarantined, should also be entitled to sick pay.
Tuttle says, “Our nation’s drivers should not have to risk financial catastrophe for themselves and their families, in addition to their increased risk of illness, for absolutely no compensation, nor assistance, in the event they fall ill or test positive.”
To view or sign the petition, please click here.