The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked U.S. legislators to reject House and Senate proposals that would allow tolls on existing interstate highways.
OOIDA has also placed an ad in Capitol Hill's newspapers, Roll Call and The Hill, reaffirming the organization's strong belief that "tolls are taxes." (To see the ad, click here.)
Provisions in the recently passed Senate highway reauthorization bill would, if signed into law, give states broad authority to impose interstate tolls. The House Transportation Committee is also considering projects to permit tolls on interstates.
In a Feb. 20 letter to House leaders, OOIDA and other groups said, "Highway users already pay more than $100 billion per year in federal, state and local highway user fees. Tolls on existing, general-purpose freeways would amount to charging highway users rent on a facility that they have already paid for and continue to support through continued payment of fuel taxes, registration fees and other highway use taxes.
"Converting interstates to toll roads will force motorists on to local roads, which are at least four times more dangerous than interstates. Tolls will increase traffic congestion on these local roads, disrupt communities and result in unanticipated maintenance costs on arteries that were not designed to handle the type and volume of traffic that traffic diversion will cause.
(To read the full text of the letter, click here)