GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) supports the U.S. Department of Transportation’s goals of combating distracted driving, but voiced concerns about the DOT’s actions today.
“We support where they are going, but not how they got there,” said OOIDA’s Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. “Making their action effective immediately bypasses normal regulatory rulemaking processes. Those processes allow actions to be vetted for unintended consequences, as well as potential implementation and enforcement problems.”
Spencer continued, “We very much share in their goal, but their legal justification for taking immediate action raises many concerns.”
OOIDA said its official position on distracted driving is that “Professional truckers are the safest drivers on the road per vehicle miles traveled. They have a vested interest in highway safety as their lives and livelihoods quite literally depend on it.
“Every day on roadways across America, professional truckers witness drivers operating vehicles while engaged in activities that significantly impede their ability to attend to the task of driving safely. Experience has shown these professionals that, in particular, drivers sending text or e-mail messages while operating a vehicle are a significant hazard to themselves and to other roadway users.”
OOIDA in a news release stated that it supports government efforts to prohibit motorists from sending text or e-mail messages while operating a moving vehicle. OOIDA also calls upon government entities to aggressively pursue opportunities to educate the motoring public on safe driving practices. The Association also encourages law enforcement agencies to fully enforce existing laws pertaining to inattentive or negligent driving.
OOIDA currently has more than 157,000 members nationwide and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo., area.
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