Tale of two testimonies
OOIDA member to Congress: Keep highway funds for highways

By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

Kristopher Kane once waited two nights and three days before a receiver would open a dock door and receive his load of frozen turkeys.

The computing glitch didn’t cost that receiver anything. Kane, however, wasted diesel, money and time that could have been spent with his family.

“Unfortunately this experience is not uncommon,” said Kane, an OOIDA life member from Oakland Mills, PA. “Drivers’ time is not accounted for in the supply chain.”

That message was part of Kane’s testimony delivered March 30 to the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. The committee das begun work on a six-year transportation funding bill.

The committee heard 40 witnesses over the course of the two-day hearing. Kane was the only working truck driver identified.

Kane talked frankly about driver detention issues highlighted by a recent GAO report requested by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR. Kane said OOIDA believes EOBRs will make it easier for motor carriers to harass drivers that might be stopped during on-duty time to get rest.

Subcommittee members should remember drivers during its important budget process, Kane said.

“Not only do you have a tremendous opportunity to offer reform, but you also during this current climate could cause further devastation if you implement unfair funding schemes or make further unfounded and costly mandates,” he said.

Kane pointed out that heavy-duty trucks total just 7 percent of the nation’s highway traffic, yet trucking companies contribute more than 36 percent of money going into the Highway Trust Fund.

“The next surface transportation authorization bill represents an opportunity to halt these diversions and refocus investment,” Kane stated in his written testimony.

Highways should not be funded, Kane said, by allowing Wall Street and foreign banks to invest in existing highways for the purpose of increasing or adding tolls to be paid by the traveling public and truckers.

OOIDA supports empowering states to allow commercialization of new rest areas and expand services at existing areas.

Kane also reiterated OOIDA’s long-held support for mandatory driver training for entry-level truck drivers. LL