Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

1 OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO 64029
Web Site: www.ooida.com
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Contact: press@ooida.com
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791

For Immediate Release

OOIDA commends House Republicans for rejecting unnecessary insurance increase on truckers

GOP’s highway bill proposal is void of several mandates that would harm small-business trucks but fails to provide dedicated funding for parking

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association commended Republican members of the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure for flatly rejecting proposals to increase motor carriers’ minimum liability insurance requirements in their 2021 highway bill proposal, the STARTER Act 2.0.

The legislation, introduced by Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves, would preserve existing insurance requirements, which Congressionally-authorized research indicates covers damages in more than 99 percent of crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle. This contrasts with recent Democratic highway bill proposals that would have increased coverage levels by a staggering $1.25 million.

“Republican members of the T&I Committee clearly understand how destructive an unnecessary increase to insurance requirements would be for any industry engaged in or reliant upon trucking,” said Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA. “A highway bill is supposed to spur economic growth, not jeopardize countless small businesses and blue collar jobs. We encourage House Democrats to take the same approach as Republican counterparts on this issue and reject any increase.”

The bill is void of other unproven safety mandates, such as automatic emergency braking, underride guard and obstructive sleep apnea screening requirements, which would be costly and burdensome for owner-operators. Unlike House Democrats’ 2020 highway bill, H.R. 2, the STARTER Act also doesn’t rollback recent hours-of-service and personal conveyance improvements, or require the unfair public display of motor carriers’ CSA scores.

While the bill includes language establishing a competitive grant program for the expansion of truck parking capacity – a major priority for OOIDA and its members – it fails to provide dedicated funding for projects.

“We still have work to do when it comes to securing dedicated federal funding for truck parking in the next highway bill,” explained Spencer. “This is a top safety concern for not only truckers, but also the motoring public. OOIDA will continue to push for strong federal leadership on ending the truck parking crisis.”

Unfortunately, the bill also includes a dangerous provision that would allow younger drivers (age 18 to 20) to enter the long-haul industry.

“We’re disappointed the STARTER Act 2.0 includes this risky proposal,” Spencer continued. “Rather than opening our industry to less-safe teenage drivers, Congress should take steps to improve the retention of safe, experienced drivers currently making a living behind the wheel,” added Spencer.

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