As Congress resumes sessions in Washington for the New Year, the American Trucking Association issued a press release on Wednesday asking lawmakers to move forward on many of the unaddressed issues that still plague the transportation industry. Some of the requests revolve around completing tasks already underway, and others bring up other longstanding issues, which Congress has not yet addressed. According to the press release, the New Year is an ideal time to reflect on changes that need to be made. Among the changes and actions requested from Congress by the ATA, the press release mentioned these specific issues:
- The ATA calls on Congress to find realistic and sustainable ways to reliably fund the upgrades needed on roadways and bridges. The press release asks Congress to quit going after the “easy money” that comes from toll roads and bridges, as well as privatization of roads.
- To initiate rules that affect the safety of roadways through technology, including speed limits for commercial vehicles as well as electronic means to accurately track a driver’s hours of service.
- To precisely define what a “large truck” is, so that the safety records of commercial vehicles can be tracked more reliably.
- To thoroughly analyze the first phase of the greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards by the Environmental Protection Agency before moving on to phase two of the project.
- To revisit the issues surrounding the new hours of service regulations, particularly the provision governing restarts, which truckers maintain leads to more fatigued driving than before the regulations were put into place.
- To rely on scientifically proven data in order to establish truck size and weight restrictions, instead of emotions.
- To establish a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results, which the ATA says is long overdue.
- To finally complete the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey, as well as other government databases including security screenings
- To reduce roadside vehicle inspections in favor of traffic enforcement for both commercial and private vehicles.
The press release was printed by Newswire on January 8 as Congress resumed session following the holiday break.