WASHINGTON — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) led a coalition of more than 60 trade associations in voicing opposition against any increase of federally mandated insurance minimums for motor carriers. On July 27, the coalition sent a letter to Senate transportation leadership contending that higher insurance levels would do nothing to improve highway safety and would have a severe economic impact on truckers, farmers and manufacturers by significantly increasing their operational costs.
“It’s ironic because Congress likes to praise the trucking industry when it fits their agenda,” said Todd Spencer, president and CEO of OOIDA. “Yet too many lawmakers want to economically condemn truckers so they can siphon more money to trial lawyers. This is the only thing that increasing federal insurance requirements would accomplish.”
The coalition justifies its position against the higher rates based on data and research in the letter, addressed to Roger Wicker, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Maria Cantwell, ranking member of the committee.
The coalition letter claims there is no reputable research to suggest that an increase of any amount would help reduce crash rates, and even cites an FMCSA-commissioned study that concludes that “the vast majority of CMV-caused crashes have relatively small cost consequences, and the costs are easily covered with the limits of mandatory liability insurance.”
“Follow the money,” Spencer said. “Trial lawyers would collectively pocket billions of dollars if Congress increases insurance minimums. And, their unjust enrichment creates the greatest hardship on hard-working, small-business truckers, which are the safest of all drivers.”
OOIDA is leading a growing coalition comprised of state trucking associations and a variety of groups representing industries that are currently working to help the U.S. recover from the COVID-19 pandemic including agriculture, materials and utility organizations.
“We want to thank each of our coalition partners for helping to send a message to Congress that we’re not going to tolerate this nonsense,” Spencer said.
To read the letter sent by the coalition, click here.