Simply working in the Department of Transportation is not sufficient experience to understand the life of a truck driver. Federal organizations like the DOT need feedback and ideas from the American Trucking Association (ATA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).
Most recently, on February 4th, an important virtual meeting was held with ideas shared on how to benefit drivers. Find out what was said below.
OOIDA Testifies Before U.S. Committee
Lewie Pugh, Executive Vice President of OOIDA testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee early in February. The entire transcript of the hearing in question is titled “Protecting Transportation Workers and Passengers from COVID: Gaps in Safety, Lessons Learned, and Next Steps”.
Pugh explained to the committee the various hardships that truck drivers have endured throughout the pandemic. The VP of OOIDA then outlined several key ways the US government can help truck drivers. The following are his suggestions:
- Pass the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act to generate more semi-truck parking spots across the United States.
- Do not pass laws, such as the INSURANCE Act, that universally increase the minimum insurance requirements despite economic variations from state to state.
- Avoid passing semi-truck speed limiter requirements.
- Update the Fair Labor Standards Act to remove drivers from the overtime exemption segment.
- Give truckers the per diem option back.
- Permit food trucks at rest areas on a federal level (since some states do not permit this.)
- Suspend the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax.
- Hold off on implementing the Unified Carrier Registration payments.
- Allow truckers to see what shippers are paying brokers to avoid being scammed.
Pugh went on to acknowledge the public support issued by representatives on social media, but he noted that praise is “nice, but it doesn’t put food on the table”. Pugh wants actual laws to back up the alleged support for drivers.
The VP of OOIDA concluded the testimony by saying “We have outlined just a few of the steps that Congress can take to show their appreciation and support, but we also urge you to avoid causing unnecessary damage that would force the industry’s safest drivers off the road.”
Do you agree with his suggestions? Let us know on the Class A Drivers forums.