FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2022
CONTACT: Pete Daniels / firstname.lastname@example.org / 301-442-2249
Statement of Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), Opposing Amendment Degrading Truck Safety Rules Adopted as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill
Today, the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations adopted an amendment as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), and Related Agencies funding bill that will exacerbate known safety dangers associated with large trucks. The amendment, offered by Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) and passed by the Committee on a voice vote, exempts livestock and insect haulers from a rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD).
ELDs provide an objective record of a truck driver’s on-duty time and ensure compliance with hours of service (HOS) limits. Driver fatigue is a safety hazard repeatedly cited by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that since the implementation of the ELD rule, the percentage of driver inspections with an HOS violation has decreased significantly. Preserving truck safety rules is especially critical as data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that last year 5,601 people were killed in large truck crashes – an increase of 13 percent over the previous year.
The exemption advanced by the House Appropriations Committee today will endanger truck drivers, the livestock they are hauling and all motorists. Coupled with the provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. L. 117-58) that expanded the HOS exemption for livestock haulers, this amendment further degrades oversight of these carriers that may already drive for unlimited hours during large sections of their trips, increasing the potential for fatigue. We commend THUD Chairman David Price (D-NC) for having introduced a “clean” bill without this or other anti-safety riders and thank Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) for speaking in opposition to this amendment today. Advocates urges this provision be stricken from the final appropriations bill.
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.