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ATA, AASHTO, praise Mica, others, for work on transportation bill

AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley commented that, “We are pleased that the House and Senate are moving ahead on a long-term surface transportation authorization. A long-term bill that sustains the surface transportation program at current funding levels is critical to the nation’s economy and creating American jobs.”

The Trucker Staff

1/31/2012

ARLINGTON, Va. — Leaders of the American Trucking Associations and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation today praised Republican Chairman John Mica and other House leaders for their work to craft a surface transportation bill that ATA said, “will not only make needed improvements to our nation’s highway system, but will also make that system safer for trucks and cars.”

AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley commented that, “We are pleased that the House and Senate are moving ahead on a long-term surface transportation authorization. A long-term bill that sustains the surface transportation program at current funding levels is critical to the nation’s economy and creating American jobs.”

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves called the bill “a major step forward, not just for trucking, but for all users of our transportation system. From reforming how projects are delivered and refocusing the federal highway program on issues of national interest, like freight movement, Chairman Mica has laid the groundwork for significant improvements in how Americans travel.

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“Furthermore, we are pleased that the bill includes a number of safety provisions, ranging from the creation of a drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse, stricter driver training requirements and takes steps to toward establishing the first-ever crashworthiness standards for large trucks, that ATA has consistently championed.”

ATA also praised the legislation for addressing the issues of heavier truck weights and Hours of Service.

“We’re pleased that for the first time in 30 years, despite unfounded, yet curiously well-funded, attacks on the safety of our industry, the House appears set to make much-needed reforms to federal truck size-and-weight reforms,” ATA Chairman Dan England, chairman of C.R. England Inc., Salt Lake City, said. “Allowing states to choose to open their interstate highways to more productive trucks is an important step to reducing costs to American consumers and reducing congestion on our highways.

“We’re also thankful this bill directs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to initiate a field study of its proposed HOS changes, specifically the impacts of the proposed modifications to the 34-hour restart provision,” England said.

“The researchers whose work was used to justify these changes said a field study was needed to understand the safety, cost and operational implications of such a change, and we agree wholeheartedly.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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