Getting down to the issues

The topic of sleep apnea and FMCSA’s interest in regulatory initiatives provoked lively discussion with OOIDA pointing to sleep study flaws, lack of data and conflicts of interest. Comments to the agency on sleep apnea close June 8. OOIDA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Scott Grenerth reported a “very engaged outpouring of comments” from OOIDA members.

The lack of truck parking is a monster problem, one that was discussed in open session and special session with three guests from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: Acting Administrator Scott Darling, Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenburg, and head of the Missouri Division Office Julie Lane. See more on Page 56.

“We can’t just keep talking about it,” said Spencer, “We actually have to do something. Truckers must have parking, and it must be safe and secure.”

The board has a new Ad Hoc Parking Committee that will be upping the effort to push workable truck parking solutions to the forefront. The committee members are Tilden Curl, Johanne Couture, Bryan Spoon, Steve Davenport, Scott Grenerth, Lou Esposito, Mark Elrod, Collin Long and Mike Matousek.

On the topic of parking, Grenerth reported that the Federal Highway Administration will have four regional parking workshops – one in Maryland, one in Salt Lake City, one at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, and one at OOIDA during the fall board meeting set for Oct. 5-8. The last parking workshop will be Oct. 5 (Wednesday).

OOIDA Director of Government Affairs Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, along with Jay Grimes and Collin Long of OOIDA’s D.C. office discussed the top issues on the Association’s legislative agenda and strategies being planned. They updated the board on the activity on Capitol Hill and reported on legislative target issues that passed or failed to make it into the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act.

“Just because legislation is silent it doesn’t mean the issue is dead,” O’Neill-Kaumo told the group. “We are still dealing with issues pertaining to size and weight, under-21 CDL drivers, and detention time that didn’t make it into the bill.”

Spencer says the Association is closely watching the progress on the FAST Act’s deadlines on mandated reports and studies on those issues.

“The Delay in Goods Movement study, for instance, is all about documenting the amount and severity of the problem of drivers being delayed,” said Spencer. “Delays that greatly undermine our supply chain and also discourage good people from pursuing truck driving as a career.”

Spencer said the FAST Act calls for the Office of the Inspector General to report on the average length of time delayed before loading and unloading and to complete the report in one year.

“This is the biggest inefficiency in trucking,” he said emphatically. “It has to be fixed.” LL