Statement on Anti-Safety Amdt. to Transportation Funding Bill

  • July 16, 2021
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
CONTACT: Allison Kennedy / / 360-281-7033

Statement of Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, in Opposition to Anti-Safety Amendment Adopted to the Fiscal Year 2022 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations held a markup of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) funding bill.  During the markup, an amendment offered by Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) was adopted that will jeopardize safety for all road users by exempting livestock and insect haulers from an essential truck safety rule.

Specifically, the amendment allows these carriers to evade the electronic logging device (ELD) rule.  ELDs provide an objective record of a driver’s on-duty time and ensure compliance with hours of service (HOS) limits.  Since the implementation of the ELD rule in December 2017, the percentage of driver inspections with HOS violations has decreased substantially.  Yet, special interests continue to use the appropriations process to seek dangerous carve-outs from this effective safety rule despite the grim reality that fatal truck crashes continue to occur at an alarmingly high rate.  This amendment is especially egregious in light of the fact that just this month the U.S. House passed the authorizing INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) which did not include any ELD exemptions.

All truck drivers, regardless of what they are hauling, are susceptible to fatigue.  Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) thanks Representative David Price (D-NC), Chair of the THUD Subcommittee, for speaking out in opposition of this controversial policy rider and emphasizing safety in the THUD bill and report.  As the bill moves to the House Floor, Advocates urges that this provision be stricken or the lives of truck drivers and the animals they’re hauling, as well as everyone on the roads with them will be imperiled.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to improve road safety in the U.S.  Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.