On Thursday, a group of truckers came together in Joplin, Missouri, to bring attention to regulatory issues that they say could cripple the trucking industry.
The slow roll protest happened on I-44 as more than a dozen trucks convoyed from Joplin, Missouri, to Bois D’Arc, then back to Joplin at 55 m.p.h. in an effort to raise awareness about various regulation changes that could occur as the Biden administration takes office.
The slow rollers said that they were concerned about a number of regulatory issues that could be ushered in now that Trump is out of office, including:
- Speed limiters — Safety groups across the country have called for mandated speed limiters on semi trucks for years, in spite of the fact that trucking groups say that they are dangerous. The Joplin protesters are concerned that the Biden administration could get behind these efforts to require the controversial tech on trucks.
- Skyrocketing the minimum insurance liability requirements from $750,000 to $2 million. During the summer of 2020, Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia introduced a controversial provision to a transportation bill that would result in a startling increase in minimum insurance requirements for truckers. Garcia said that the said that the insurance hike is meant to benefit the families of crash victims. The measure passed in the Democrat-led House, but was blocked in the then-Republican-led Senate. Now that Democrats hold power in both the House and the Senate, truckers are concerned that this heavy insurance burden could become a reality. Many truckers say that the insurance cost increase could put smaller companies out of business.
- Autonomous driving technology. Drivers fear for their jobs as multiple companies move forward with the development of driverless truck tech, but they’re also concerned about highway safety when there’s no one behind the wheel as a failsafe against a glitch.
Trucker G, an owner operator and trucking social media personality, told local news outlet KSN, “It wasn’t but months ago that the public was reaching out for us for help to restock these stores, now we’re reaching out for the public for help, we’re reaching out to each and every one of the people.”