Arlington, VA: On the eve of Senate floor action on the highway bill, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves urged leaders in Congress to seek common ground as they work to pass the long overdue legislation.
"We've been operating under a series of extensions for more than 30 months," Graves said, "so it is long past time that we set aside partisan and parochial turf wars and come together on a well-funded, multiyear highway bill."
"By focusing on the similarities in these bills, it is my hope that the House and Senate will be able to bridge their differences in order to pass legislation that will repair our crumbling roads and bridges and advance the cause of highway safety for all motorists, particularly for the trucking industry," he said.
Graves noted that both bills would not only dedicate billions of dollars for bridge and highway projects, many with a keen eye toward improving freight movements, but they both also contained several critical safety elements.
"Both the House and Senate bills include provisions creating a national clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results and improvements to commercial driver training and licensing rules to ensure our industry is only hiring the safest, best trained drivers," Graves said. "These bills both move us toward first-of-their-kind crashworthiness standards for large trucks, as well as give our industry clear direction on the future of electronic logging."
"These are all great steps forward for trucking, and not coincidentally, they are all part of ATA's progressive safety agenda," Graves said. "We have been vocal advocates for these causes, and now is the time for Congress to act to move them forward as part of this highway bill."