Spear cites Washington policy gains

NASHVILLE, TN – Chris Spear, president and Chief Executive Officer of the American Trucking Associations, says Washington is hearing the voice of the trucking industry.

In a keynote address that offered praise for the Trump Administration, Spear told the 2017 In.Sight user conference about several policy wins that have been secured.

Spear spoke about the removal of the proposed speed-limiter regulation from the revised short-term agenda, calling the law as it was written abysmal, and cited the ATA’s continued efforts around the regulation that remains on the government’s long-term agenda.

“We are willing to engage on thoughtful, inclusive, transparent, dialogue on this issue, because it’s needed and it’s warranted,” he said, stressing that such a law has to be rewritten with more clarity.

Spear made similar comments about proposed sleep apnea testing regulations, which were also removed from the agenda because of Trump’s executive order requiring federal regulators to eliminate two regulations for every one new one that is passed.

Spear said it was clear the research done on the proposed sleep apnea testing regulation wasn’t answering all the questions being asked, so it was pulled off the books.

“We’re seeing a lot less regulatory headwind because we’re asking these tough questions,” he said. “But that does not mean we do not support good, thoughtful regulations.”

Spear said the Electronic Logging Device mandate that will come into effect in December is one of those good regulations.

“This is not some wild-eyed regulation proposed by the Obama administration,” he said noting the new law was mandated by a republican majority congress. “It’s been litigated, it’s been debated, it’s been regulated, and the force and effect of the law comes December 18, 2017.”

Spear said the ATA has spoken with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) every week on the issue, and has been assured that they are on track to enforce the new law.

“We do have questions about the roll-out, especially the enforcement plan, and we’re going to keep working with them in a transparent way to get keep everybody calm, cool, and (so) we can deploy this technology.”

Spear went on to tell members the group has seen positive results from getting American Trucking Associations member drivers and fleet owners meetings with their representatives in Washington, D.C. where they can share their personal stories. He said the group would continue to lobby legislators by putting them in front of their constituents.

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