Letter From TSC Volunteers Opposing S.2938, The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act

In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes in the United States

Letter From TSC Volunteers Opposing S.2938, The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act

June 12, 2018

Dear Representative:

The Truck Safety Coalition, and the undersigned survivors and families of truck crash victims, write to express our strong opposition to the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely (TLAAS) Act, or any similar legislative language. Passage of this dangerous bill would effectively eliminate existing hours of service (HOS) requirements for truck drivers transporting livestock and insects in the U.S. at a time when truck crashes are at their highest levels in the past 20 years, and the resulting injuries and deaths, continue to rise. Allowing truck drivers to operate for more than an entire day while remaining in compliance would be a dereliction of your duty to protect the public and outright dangerous.

Driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety issue in trucking for decades and it continues to be a factor in too many fatal truck crashes. Our organization has been at the forefront of educating the public about this deadly problem as well as championing data driven solutions, like electronic logging devices, to address it. We have always allowed research and real-life use to inform our advocacy decisions, which is why we are adamantly against this policy change that is based on anecdotes and assumptions about the transportation of livestock and insects via trucks.

The changes prescribe in the TLAAS Act have not been studied by the appropriate agencies, reviewed by Congress, or commented on by the public. The proposed 300 air-mile radius from the trip origin, exempting livestock and insect haulers from the HOS and ELD mandates; the 15 to 18 hours of permissible driving time, once a driver exits the aforementioned air-mile radius; and the 150 air-mile exemption to HOS and ELD mandates from the point of delivery are all arbitrary. To make matters worse, proponents of this legislation have also failed to provide any justification for this proposal, such as evidence that truck drivers transporting livestock or insects are demonstrably safer than other truck drivers are or that the safety of their operations will significantly improve if Congress grants them further relief from the HOS and ELD regulations.

Another family need not lose a loved one because a truck driver transporting livestock, who would be compliant while driving in excess of 24 hours under this proposal, fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into their vehicle. Another American need not incur injury because a cattle-hauler, who could legally drive 450 air-miles without counting any time towards his daily or weekly limit under this bill, dozed off and drifted into oncoming traffic. Yet, both are more likely to occur if the TLAAS Act becomes law.

We urge Members to reject this reckless legislation and look forward to working with them to advance meaningful safety measures, including a advancing a mandate for automatic emergency braking, finalizing the heavy vehicle speed limiter rule, and passing a bill to require comprehensive underride protections on trucks and trailers. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

 

Dawn King

Davisburg, MI

President, Truck Safety Coalition (TSC)

Board Member, CRASH

Daughter of Bill Badger

Killed in truck crash 12/23/04

 

Jane Mathis

St. Augustine, FL

Vice President, TSC

Board Member, PATT

Mother of David Mathis

Mother-in-Law of Mary Kathryn Mathis

Killed in a truck crash 3/25/04

 

Randall Higginbotham

Memphis, TN

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Father of Michael Higginbotham

Killed in a truck crash, 11/18/14

 

Jennifer Tierney

Kernersville, NC

Board Member, CRASH

Daughter of James Mooney

Killed in a truck crash 9/20/83

 

Morgan Lake

Sunderland, MD

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 7/19/13

 

Monica Malarczyk

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 12/29/15

Son of Ryszard and Anita Malarczyk

Killed in a truck crash 12/29/15

 

Debra Cruz

Harlingen, TX

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 8/8/08

 

Laurie Higginbotham

Memphis, TN

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Michael Higginbotham

Killed in a truck crash, 11/18/14

 

Peter Malarczyk

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 12/29/15

Son of Ryszard and Anita Malarczyk

Killed in a truck crash 12/29/15

 

Alan Dana

Plattsburgh, NY

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Son of Janet Dana, Uncle of Caitlyn & Lauryn Dana, Brother-in-law of Laurie Dana

Killed in a truck crash 7/19/12

 

Cindy Southern

Cleveland, TN

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Wife of James Whitaker, sister-in-law Anthony Hixon and aunt of Amber Hixon

Killed in a truck crash 9/18/09

 

Beth Badger

Columbus, GA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Daughter of Bill Badger

Killed in truck crash 12/23/04

 

Vickie Johnson

Hartwell, GA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Wife of Curt Johnson, Step-mother of Crystal Johnson

Killed in a truck crash 10/1/09

 

Michelle Lemus

Los Angeles, CA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 4/10/14

 

Marc Johnson

Hartwell, GA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Brother of Curt Johnson

Killed in truck crash 10/1/09

 

Linda Wilburn

Weatherford, OK

Board Member, PATT

Mother of Orbie Wilburn

Killed in a truck crash 9/2/02

 

Nancy Meuleners

Bloomington, MN

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 12/19/89

 

Melissa Gouge

Washington, D.C.

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Cousin of Amy Corbin

Killed in a truck crash 8/18/97

 

Marchelle Wood

Falls Church, VA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Dana Wood

Killed in a truck crash 10/15/02

 

Sandra Lance

Chesterfield, VA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Kristen Belair

Killed in a truck crash 8/26/09

 

Tina Silva

Ontario, CA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Sister of Kris Mercurio, Sister-in-Law of Alan Mercurio, Aunt of Brandie Rooker & Anthony Mercurio

Killed in a truck crash 12/27/89

 

 

Daphne Izer

Lisbon, ME

Co-Founder, Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT)

Mother of Jeff Izer

Killed in a truck crash 10/10/93

 

Julie Branon Magnan

South Burlington, VT

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 01/31/02

Wife of David Magnan

Killed in a truck crash 01/31/02

 

Kate Brown

Gurnee, IL

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Graham Brown

Injured in a truck crash 5/2/05

 

Jackie Novak

Hendersonville, NC

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Charles “Chuck” Novak

Killed in a truck crash 10/24/10

 

Santiago Calderon

Arcata, CA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 4/10/14

 

Kim Telep

Harrisburg, PA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Wife of Bradley Telep

Killed in a truck crash 8/29/12

 

Larry Liberatore

Severn, MD

Board Member, PATT

Father of Nick Liberatore

Killed in a truck crash 6/9/97

 

Warren Huffman

Odessa, MI

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Brother of Tim Huffman

Killed in a truck crash 5/6/13

 

Tami Friedrich Trakh

Corona, CA

Board Member, CRASH

Sister of Kris Mercurio, Sister-in-Law of Alan Mercurio, Aunt of Brandie Rooker & Anthony Mercurio

Killed in a truck crash 12/27/89

 

Steve Izer

Lisbon, ME

Board Member, PATT

Father of Jeff Izer

Killed in a truck crash 10/10/93

 

Ron Wood

Washington, D.C.

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Son of Betsy Wood, Brother of Lisa Wood Martin, Uncle of Chance, Brock, and Reid Martin

Killed in a truck crash 9/20/04

 

Ed Slattery

Lutherville, MD

Board Member, PATT

Husband of Susan Slattery

Killed in a truck crash 8/16/10

Sons Matthew & Peter Slattery critically injured in a truck crash 8/16/10

 

Amy Fletcher

Perrysburg, OH

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Wife of John Fletcher

Killed in a truck crash 1/24/12

 

Wanda Lindsay

New Braunfels, TX

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Wife of John Lindsay

Killed in a truck crash 5/7/10

 

Michelle Novak

Delevan, NY

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Aunt of Charles “Chuck” Novak

Killed in a truck crash 10/24/10

 

Paul Badger

Davidson, NC

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Son of Bill Badger

Killed in truck crash 12/23/04

 

Tammy Huffman

Odessa, MI

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Sister-in-law of Tim Huffman

Killed in a truck crash 5/6/13

 

Christina Mahaney

Jackman, ME

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 7/19/11

Mother of Liam Mahaney

Killed in a truck crash 7/19/11

 

Ashley McMillan

Memphis, TN

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Girlfriend of Michael Higginbotham

Killed in a truck crash 11/18/14

 

Bruce King

Davisburg, MI

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Son-in-law of Bill Badger

Killed in truck crash 12/23/04

 

Frank Wood

Falls Church, VA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Father of Dana Wood

Killed in a truck crash 10/15/02