During the Board Meeting in Grain Valley, Mo., this past week, Jim Johnston was re-elected president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a position he has held since 1975.
Raised in the Midwest, Johnston became a driver and then owner-operator after serving in the U.S. Navy. His driving career continued for 13 years until the oil embargoes of the early 1970s and subsequent trucking shutdowns created the need for truckers to organize in order to effectively communicate with lawmakers. He was elected in 1975 as OOIDA’s third president and gave up his truck to focus on the mission full time.
OOIDA President Jim Johnston
Johnston has been an outspoken champion for the rights and wellbeing of all professional truckers, leading legal challenges against many state governments and regulatory bodies. He has also taken on major motor carriers in court for violations in truth-in-leasing regulations and other alleged abuses of small business truckers’ rights. Dozens of OOIDA’s cases have been successful. Some of these cases are still in litigation and others in the planning stages.
His concerns with areas of commercial vehicle safety has led to his inclusion in numerous research forums. He has served on research panels of the National Academy of Science Transportation Board, the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Government Accountability Office and others dealing with various aspects of trucking operations.
He has served on the National Motor Carrier Advisory Committee to the U.S. Department of Transportation and was a member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Senior Strategic Advisory Committee. He is a former member of the ITS America Commercial Vehicle Operations Policy Subcommittee, on which he served as chairman of the committee’s Data Privacy and Control Task Force. He was instrumental in the early development of Professional Truck Driver Institute of America and has served on numerous task forces.
He continues to be regularly consulted by the administration, congressional leaders and the DOT on regulatory issues affecting the trucking industry. On Oct. 6, 2015, he was honored for his leadership and dedication to the industry on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Bill Shuster. Shuster heads up the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Johnston also currently serves as CEO of OOIDA and the Association’s subsidiaries. He was re-elected president on Saturday, Oct. 24, and sworn in by the OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. Johnston has served eight five-year terms and now begins his ninth term.
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