Olver Amendment Retained In Omnibus Appropriations Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Debra Kubecka
November 23, 2004 202-408-1711 or 443-226-4744

Congress Enacts Olver Amendment;
Prevents Unsafe Foreign Trucks from Driving on U.S. Highways

Level Safety Playing Field for All Trucks and Buses
No Foreign Exceptions to Safety Law


Washington, D.C., November 23, 2004.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) applauded the passage this past weekend of the Olver Amendment on truck and bus safety as part of the omnibus appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2005. The amendment prohibits the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation, from exempting foreign trucks and buses from U.S. safety law. The FMCSA had proposed allowing truck operators to drive trucks and buses across the border into the U.S. even if the vehicles were not manufactured to U.S. safety standards. Their proposal did not exempt trucks and buses built in the U.S.

The provision, named for its sponsor on the House appropriations committee, Rep. John Olver (D-MA), was passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan vote (339 to 70) in the House and adopted in conference. Despite opposition from the Administration, the Olver safety amendment was retained in the final bill.

To ensure traffic safety, Congress in the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act required that all vehicles, including cars, trucks and buses sold or used in the U.S. must meet U.S. safety standards applicable when the vehicle was built. Trucks and buses built in other countries that are imported or driven into the U.S. are subject to the same law and requirements.

The FMCSA proposed giving foreign trucks and buses a two-year grace period from this federal safety law, while at the same time requiring all U.S. built trucks and buses to comply. Enactment of the amendment prevents the agency from issuing this proposal.

"We cannot take a two-year "holiday" from safety," said Jackie Gillan, vice president of Advocates. "Opening our borders to foreign trucks should not mean we compromise safety."


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Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America's roads safer, is actively involved at the federal and state levels to reduce the terrible tragedy of crashes to families across the nation.

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