WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has welcomed the new highway bill, released Wednesday by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Committee chairman Peter DeFazio said, “The INVEST in America Act is our opportunity to replace the outdated systems of the past with smarter, safer, more resilient infrastructure that fits the economy of the future.”
The bill calls for nearly $500 billion in investment over five years.
It offers increased funding for highway construction and $250 million for truck parking projects, OOIDA said.
It also has provisions that will help limit excessive detention time and predatory lease-to-own schemes, new restrictions on tolling, and further analysis of questionable H-1B visa use within the trucking industry.
“Truckers will also like what didn’t find its way into the bill, including speed limiter and side underride guard mandates, an increase in minimum insurance requirements or truck size and weight limits, and the lowering of minimum age requirements for interstate drivers,” OOIDA said.
Association president and CEO Todd Spencer said OOIDA’s efforts to shape trucking policies in the proposal have been largely successful.
“We’ve worked very closely with the chairman to ensure this bill addresses some of the top priorities of truckers, while making certain it doesn’t include several policies that would hurt small trucking businesses.”
But he said some aspects will need to be improved.
The association emphasized that while the initial text released by DeFazio is promising in several areas, it’s important to remember the bill could change drastically as it moves through the legislative process.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) also welcomed the bill.
“On behalf of ATA members helping move 71% of our nation’s freight, we applaud chairman DeFazio for fulfilling his commitment to produce a comprehensive infrastructure bill,” said ATA president and CEO Chris Spear .
“This is a real and commendable step on the part of the committee to advance the process in the House, and ultimately arrive at a negotiable solution with the Senate.”
- This story has been updated with comments from the ATA.
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