Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA Opposes House Highway Bill
Unnecessary increase in insurance requirement remains poison pill, despite $1 billion for truck parking
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, today released his highway bill proposal which includes an unnecessary increase in minimum liability insurance for motor carriers that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says is a poison pill. While the association was pleasantly surprised the bill included a remarkable $1 billion to address the serious shortage of truck parking, OOIDA will aggressively oppose the “INVEST in America Act” until the insurance increase to $2 million and several other anti-trucker provisions are removed.
“Everyone knows this increase will do absolutely NOTHING to improve safety on our highways and will destroy small trucking businesses,” said Todd Spencer, President and CEO of OOIDA. “What good is a highway bill when it does more to support the unbridled greed of trial lawyers than truckers?”
The bill features several other provisions OOIDA opposes, including required screening for sleep apnea, restrictive limits on personal conveyance, the return of CSA scores to public view, new authority for congestion pricing, an automatic emergency braking (AEB) mandate and a potential side underride guard mandate.
While OOIDA opposes the bill for its inclusion of harmful requirements that will needlessly jeopardize small trucking businesses, the $1 billion investment in truck parking projects is a major victory for OOIDA.
“For years, we have been pushing the federal government to take the lead in addressing the number one concern for truckers – the lack of truck parking,” Spencer explained. “We’re pleased Chairman DeFazio’s proposal includes $1 billion to expand capacity. We just wish he would have left the other junk out of it.”
Beyond the truck parking investment, the bill does include other positive policies, including increased funding for highway construction, efforts to combat both excessive detention time and predatory lease-to-own schemes, and also further analysis of questionable H-1B Visa use within the trucking industry.
In the end, the poison pill of an insurance increase overshadows the beneficial features of the bill, forcing OOIDA to oppose the legislation.
“Increasing minimum insurance requirements from $750 thousand to $2 million on the heels of a major economic disruption will be nothing short of disastrous for many small motor carriers and owner-operators,” Spencer continued. “If the economic impacts of COVID-19 didn’t destroy their businesses, Congress will by enacting this catastrophic policy.”RECENT PRESS RELEASES:
Want to become an owner-operator?
Policies in House highway bill passed today favor trial lawyers over truckers
OOIDA: Bipartisan Senate highway bill not too shabby compared to House version