Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.

Sen. Boxer, Slew of Opponents Again Forced to Beat Back Anti-Trucker Safety Provision in FAA Bill

barbara boxer safety FAA bill trucker

submit to reddit  

In a news conference on Friday, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) exposed a poison pill rider to the latest Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) bill that was attached at the behest of lobbyists who wish to see regulations concerning truck driver safety rolled back.  The same rider was attached to a highway bill last year before being defeated. 

The provision would prohibit states from enacting or enforcing any “law, regulation, or other provision” requiring truckers to be paid for meal and rest breaks. Let that sink in.

In her press conference, Senator Boxer lauded the work of states that have demanded higher standards on their roads and promised to continue fighting on their behalf:

Twenty states and two territories already have these laws which will be overturned by this provision. It is important to note that these laws have been upheld by the Supreme Court. But this goes far beyond the 20 states and two territories and applies to any state that would move to protect their truck drivers. And it’s about more than pay. A truck driver who fears their pay will be docked – which will be most of them – will suffer from driver fatigue. We know that driver fatigue and distracted driving are significant causes of truck-involved accidents.

This terrible anti-safety, anti-worker provision is a poison pill and has no place in the FAA bill. It has no place in any bill, which is why we killed it in the highway bill.

According to Senator Boxer, opposition to the rider is strong and includes the following groups:

• the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association;
• Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety;
• Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways;
• Parents Against Tired Truckers;
• the Trauma Foundation;
• the Truck Safety Coalition;
• Road Safe America;
• Public Citizen;
• the International Brotherhood of Teamsters;
• the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO;
• the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; and
• the American Association for Justice.

The Teamsters are among the most vocal opponents of the provision. The union’s members would be directly and negatively impacted.  President James Hoffa thanked Boxer for her relentless work on the issue:

Yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer took a stand for trucker safety by denouncing a rider that was attached to the House FAA bill that would override meal and rest break rules in 22 states. This threat to highway safety is nothing but an attempt by the American Trucking Association to keep drivers on the clock and behind the wheel as much as possible, yet again prioritizing profits ahead of people.
After we defeated the lawmakers who wanted this irresponsible provision included in the highway bill last year, these same representatives are now trying to force it upon the American driving public through the FAA bill.

I thank Sen. Boxer for continuing to fight against this rider and siding with highway safety. We have all witnessed the horrible consequences of having fatigued drivers on the highway. We will do whatever it takes to stop this provision from becoming law.”

The argument being made by the provision’s supporters can be boiled down to the following: We should standardize rules nationwide not by raising the standards of states without rules governing safety, but by lowering standards across the board. It’s easy to understand why opposition to this flawed approach is so fierce.


No Comments on “Sen. Boxer, Slew of Opponents Again Forced to Beat Back Anti-Trucker Safety Provision in FAA Bill”

No one has commented on this entry yet.

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image