GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has told Congress that proposed changes to Hours-of-Service regulations are not only unnecessary but also unjustified and burdensome to small-business truckers.
"Trucking has never been safer, yet federal regulators and big businesses continue to push for mandates that hurt small-business truckers," said Todd Spencer, executive vice-president of OOIDA.
"If we truly want to see relevant highway safety improvements, a new government regulation or mandated technology won't make a difference as long as policymakers insist on continuing to ignore the problem of detention time at shippers and receivers."
OOIDA submitted a statement of record for a hearing held yesterday by the US House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending.
The hearing was titled "The Price of Uncertainty: How Much Could DOT's Proposed Billion Dollar Service Rule Cost Consumers This Holiday Season?" and focused on proposed changes to Hours-of-Service regulations and mandates for electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs).
The Association's testimony said that the changes being proposed by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) are not only unnecessary in a system that appears to be working well, but are inconsistent with guidelines which commit the government to eliminate excessive and unjustified burdens on small businesses.
OOIDA notes that the "fatigue" argument for adapted Hours-of-Service is lessened based on the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which showed fatigue was a factor in only 1.4% of all fatal wrecks involving truckers.
"This statistic is very different from what is too often misreported by mainstream media, which say that fatigue is a factor in 30 to 40% of all fatal crashes involving trucks," said Spencer.
The testimony went on to say that FMCSA itself acknowledges that this rulemaking will have a significant negative impact on small-business truckers in terms of lost productivity, and on consumers who ultimately pay higher prices for goods shipped.
"The cumulative effect of these hours-of-service rule changes, when combined with impacts from other completed or ongoing federal rule makings, and the fact that the issue of detention time continues to cost truckers valuable time and money, could well place insurmountable regulatory challenges on small business," OOIDA said in a release.