OOIDA: ATA’s agenda not all about safety and all about reducing competition

By Land Line staff


The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association isn’t buying the arguments behind various points in ATA’s newly unveiled reworked highway agenda.

In early June, the American Trucking Associations and a handful of other groups rolled out an 18-point highway agenda to a small group of press in Washington, DC.

OOIDA says that while ATA touts things like setting speed limiters to 65 mph on all Class 7 and 8 trucks, its agenda really centers on one thing – limiting competition.

OOIDA contends that such a mandate is dangerous, expensive and unnecessary because research clearly shows that highways are the safest when all traffic flows at a uniform speed. Speed limiting trucks, while not doing the same for cars, will cause speed differentials and interactions, which will lead to more collisions.

“Truck drivers need access to that power to keep up with the speed of traffic and to be able to maneuver around dangerous situations,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice-president. “We already have speed limits in this country, so we should instead enforce those laws more effectively.”

With their sights set on limiting competition as well as on setting the stage for longer, heavier vehicles, large trucking corporations have advocated mandatory speed limiters on trucks under the guise of safety. More recently, those companies have attempted to “greenwash” the issue by citing environmental benefits.

“Large trucking companies speed limit their trucks because it is one way to manage a fleet,” continued Spencer. “With an operation of 100 or more trucks, you aren’t always sure who is handling your equipment and how they are treating it. But when driving your own truck, like the majority of the trucking industry, you are perfectly aware of what you are doing and have your own incentives to drive safely and efficiently.” LL


Editor’s note: This issue of Land Line features a special report on longer, heavier trucks and the real-life consequences. See our in-depth report beginning on Page 50.