ATA Calls for Single Set of Trucking Regulations
It’s been said in the past that regulations should put companies on an equal playing field. In the trucking industry, the economic landscape can vary drastically between large carriers, small startups, and owner-operators. While some have pushed for legislation to be fitting to a carrier or organization based on their size and financial capabilities, others believe that regulations should be more universal.
American Trucking Associations leaders called for Congress to reject a recent request by organized labor groups that would impose changes and amendments to federal regulations. These state scheduling rules would lead to certain differences in requirements for certain truck drivers, and would remove the universal playing field put in place by federal regulations.
ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said: “A single set of consistent and fair regulations is essential to the trucking industry. Language currently being discussed by Congressional leaders would ensure that drivers operate under a consistent set of break rules, whether that driver is delivering a trailer full of water to Flint, Mich., or picking up a load of avocados in Temecula, Calif. That’s what Congress sought to establish with a 1994 law, and recent interpretations of that law by the courts are threatening that consistency.”
The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 was clear in stating that states are not permitted to institute their own rules governing the trucking industry. Congress was also clear that they desired for the trucking industry to operate under a single set of rules. While some support universal rules in terms of things like rest breaks for safety purposes, others sense underlying motives in the enthusiasm large organizations show for promoting universal legislation. While larger firms have the resources and staffing power to adapt to these regulations, many smaller carriers and self-employed drivers don’t. This issue will receive additional attention in the future.