Yesterday, the House Committee on Appropriations marked up the FY 2020 annual spending bill for federal transportation and housing programs. Fortunately, safety did not take a back seat to special interests, as this funding bill includes provisions to restore safety regulations and reverse dangerous rollbacks that have occurred over the past few years.
“The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) and our volunteers – the survivors and families of the victims of large truck crashes – want to thank the US House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), Chairman David Price (D-NC), and Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) for producing a safety-driven transportation Appropriations Bill for FY 2020,” said Harry Adler, Executive Director of the Truck Safety Coalition. “Restoring the information regarding the analysis of violations developed under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program will restore the public’s access to data that they pay for while improving safety by allowing shippers and brokers to make more informed hiring decisions and avoid putting the dangerous companies on our roads.”
“I am grateful that the Appropriators in Congress have stepped in to prevent the FMCSA from removing the 30-minute break,” Jane Mathis, the Vice President of TSC and a board member of Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT) remarked “The 30-minute rest break for truck drivers is the byproduct of numerous scientific studies and data, including some of the agency’s own, that show having a break after eight hours of on-duty time improves safety. The fact that the FMCSA began the regulatory process to dismantle this essential regulation is disconcerting.”
Tami Friedrich-Trakh, a board member for Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, stated, “As a Californian who has been advocating for truck safety reforms for more than two decades, I have been particularly bothered and worried by recent attempts by some Members of Congress to preempt my state’s meal and rest break laws. Congress is right to restrict funds for such efforts; instead, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should be focused on producing policies that will actually improve safety.”
“I am thankful to Chairman Price, from my home state of North Carolina, and Chairwoman Lowey for including a provision to require the FMCSA to update the annual inspection regulations to require that rear underride guards be inspected annually,” noted longtime truck underride safety advocate and CRASH Foundation board member, Jennifer Tierney. “While there is still much work to be done in improving truck underride protections – like passing the Stop Underrides Act – ensuring that rear underride guards be inspected annually is a step in the right direction.”
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