In testimony before a Senate panel Wednesday, American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear underscored the trucking industry’s commitment to keeping the nation’s supply chain efficient and secure.
“ATA places great emphasis on security,” Spear said in his testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. “Our focus is on strengthening transportation security without undermining economic security.”
In his testimony, Spear said the trucking industry continues to be frustrated by the redundancy in the number of background checks that drivers must endure, and that the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC should be the single standard for the transportation industry.
“Adopting a ‘one credential or screening, many uses’ policy would fix this problem. Absent this policy, ATA’s highest security priority will continue to be the multiplicity of background checks and their associated costs and burdens,” he said. “This is why ATA supports the TWIC as the potential single credential and Security Threat Assessment that, in turn, can demonstrate and provide compliance with multiple programs and regulations.”
The reforms necessary to fully unlock the TWIC’s potential are part of the Surface Transportation and Maritime Security Act, which ATA supports.
Spear also said ATA was mindful and ready to work to ensure that as autonomous vehicle technology advances, proper cybersecurity safeguards are in place.
“Our industry will continue to work with service providers as well as government agencies to improve our cybersecurity posture and make certain that our systems and protocols are never compromised,” he said. “ATA will continue to advocate for a policy framework on autonomous vehicles that will ensure public safety and reduce threats to our nation’s infrastructure, while also encouraging innovation in this rapidly changing environment.”