The American Trucking Associations (ATA) on Tuesday applauded the House Appropriations Committee for passing a Fiscal Year 2017 transportation spending bill, addressing issues that it claims could have immediate impacts on the safety and efficiency of the trucking industry and interstate commerce across the United States.
“On behalf of ATA, I want to express our gratitude to the committee for its work in moving this bill forward,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “In addition to allocating funding for important transportation projects, this legislation will ensure that commercial drivers can still utilize the 34-hour restart provision of the hours-of-service rules.”
“Also of paramount importance, this bill would clarify Congress’ objective that interstate trucking be governed by the federal government, not individual states, in order to prevent a patchwork of regulations that needlessly complicates the lives of millions of professional drivers,” said Dave Osiecki, ATA executive vice president of national advocacy.
“Federal preemption of certain state laws, such as state rest break rules, helps to facilitate interstate commerce, benefitting consumers and the national economy, while also continuing to protect driver safety with uniform federal regulations.”
“We are grateful for the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee in addressing both of these critical issues in their base bill. This legislation would give the trucking industry certainty moving forward in today’s challenging, and recovering economy,” Graves said. “We now urge the full House to take up and quickly pass this important legislation and resolve the differences with the Senate’s passed bill, so a conferenced transportation spending bill can be expeditiously sent to President Obama for his signature.”
Some basic trucking industry facts:
- Truck-involved fatal crashes are down 21 percent since the current hours-of-service and restart rule framework went into effect in 2004.
- The American Transportation Research Institute found an uptick in crashes after the restart restrictions were imposed in 2013 as a result of a shift of more truck traffic to daytime hours.
- In surveys, professional drivers consistently say the current restart rules aid them in getting more rest and allowing them more time at home.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has said state meal and rest break rules that have been enacted by California and other states have no connection to safety.