OOIDA issues Call to Action to Pennsylvania members

| 10/1/2001

On Friday, OOIDA issued a Call to Action to the association's Pennsylvania members to help head off another anti-trucker piece of legislation about to be introduced in Harrisburg. Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Daughin) plans to ask state lawmakers to lower speed limits for truckers to 55 mph while keeping the limit for cars at 65 mph.

Marsico is being quoted in state newspapers as saying a split speed limit would lead to a decrease in truck accidents. "Obviously, Rep. Marsico does not know the safety facts with split speed limits," says the OOIDA Call to Action, "and even if he did his perspective would not likely change."

Marsico, who apparently likes to present a "tough on trucks" image, is the author of legislation that passed earlier this year that boosts fines for logbook violations from $50 to $500.

A spokesperson in Marsico's office said the legislation will likely be introduced the week of Oct. 1, 2001.

According to the OOIDA Call to Action, there will be some support from state lawmakers for lowering truck limits given recent publicity about truck wrecks. "Our job is to let state lawmakers know that split speed limits will only cause more wrecks by assuring that cars and trucks are in constant conflict," was the message to members, who were asked to contact state lawmakers.

"These lawmakers need to know that split speed limits will make highways less safe by causing cars and trucks to be continuously passing each other," says OOIDA's Todd Spencer. "These conflicts always result in higher rates of rear and side-swipe accidents. You can also tell lawmakers that the patrol needs to focus more attention on the areas where accidents are currently happening. It's not how fast you drive - it's how you drive that impacts safety. And, as you see truck drivers doing things that could cause accidents, speak to those drivers about their actions. If your comments are not well received by the offending driver, call the motor carrier operating the truck and share your observations."

Spencer suggests truckers keep a tally of those companies called. "While a vast majority of truck drivers are good and safe operators, some aren't," he says, "Those companies that recruit and hire unsafe drivers simply because they need to fill a seatneed to get the recognition they deserve."

The association encourages truckers to notify OOIDA of those carriers who need attention. "Bad legislation never fixes problems," says Spencer, "it causes them."

Members should contact state lawmakers in Harrisburg and share their thoughts on split speed limits. If you need help finding yourstate lawmakers, please call the OOIDA membership department at 1-800-444-5791.