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Sunday, November 7, 2014

Grassroots support needed for Sen. Collins HOS Amendment 

TCA President, Brad Bentley, needs your help in calling on our congressional leaders to reject misinformation put forth regarding truck safety, and to pass an omnibus appropriations bill that provides needed relief from unjustified and risk-raising regulations.

TCA, in partnership with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and other key industry stakeholders, is urging Congress to support a provision in the pending appropriations bill that would suspend two key elements of the current Hours Of Service (HOS) rules until their impact and effectiveness can be adequately researched.

When the new HOS rules went into effect earlier this year, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), along with a bipartisan majority of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recognized the flaws in the rule changes and voted to approve a common sense “time out” provision allowing for proper research to be conducted. Although stalled along with the rest of the appropriations bill at that time, the provision is expected to be reintroduced in the pending appropriations bill that will keep the federal government funded after December 11th.

This provision, commonly known as the Collins Amendment, would suspend two restrictions imposed on drivers using the 34-hour restart: requiring two rest periods between 1-5 AM, and arbitrarily limiting the use of the restart to once per week. (Additional Collins Amendment background below). These restrictions – according to the government’s own limited study data – are pushing more trucks onto the roads during the early morning hours, statistically the riskiest time of day for crashes. FMCSA failed to consider this increased risk when making these changes, and the Collins Amendment would suspend these changes until further research is conducted.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and various anti-trucking interests are on record opposing the Collins Amendment. At least one anti-truck advocacy group is expected to hold a press conference Monday morning when the appropriations bill moves from committee to the House floor. Ensuring that HOS rules are realistic and effective is critical to the safety and productivity of the trucking industry. TCA supports the Collins Amendment and is working on behalf of its member companies to fight for inclusion of the amendment in the pending appropriations bill.

To back up the lobbying conducted by ATA on behalf of TCA, Bentley asks each of our members to participate in a grassroots effort to immediately contact their elected representatives urging support of the Collins Amendment. Due to the extremely time-sensitive nature of this request, we’ve included a link to find the needed contact information, along with a sample letter supporting the Collins Amendment that can be copied and pasted onto your letterhead. Please take the time to contact your representative about this critical issue.

Thanks for your prompt attention to this matter,

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