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OOIDA director of government affairs OOIDA

Small-business truckers lead coalition vs harmful proposals 

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is leading a coalition of “dozens” of influential trade associations to oppose what it deems as four burdensome, costly and unsafe trucking mandates.

The coalition recently sent a letter to Congress urging members to reject those proposals as they work on the next surface transportation reauthorization.

The group strongly opposes mandates that would require heavy vehicles to install underride guards, speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems. The coalition also said it opposes a bill that would increase minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers by more than $4 million.

“Unlike our coalition partners, supporters of these mandates know virtually nothing about trucking,” said Todd Spencer, president and CEO of OOIDA. “The unfortunate reality is these mandates would likely decrease safety, not improve it, while imposing astronomically high costs on a wide variety of industries.

“That’s the point we’re conveying to Congress.” 

The coalition estimates the four mandates would cost its members “tens-of-billions of dollars.”
The letter goes into more details and highlights the inherent problems with imposing one-size-fits-all requirements on industries that utilize a wide array of heavy vehicles in often vastly differing ways.

In short, the coalition describes the underride guard mandate as unworkable and impractical; the speed limiter mandate as dangerous; the automatic emergency braking mandate as a hazard for drivers; and the increased insurance mandate as primarily an opportunity for trial lawyers to receive greater payouts at the expense of US businesses. 

In their effort to prevent these bills from advancing through Congress, OOIDA says it is thankful so many stakeholders are getting involved early in the legislative process.

“We’re proud to lead a broad coalition that is concerned about the direction Congress is going when it comes to trucking,” Spencer said. “We think this group will continue to grow in the coming weeks and months, and we look forward to further engaging elected officials on these critical issues.”

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