MARCY — U.S. Representative Richard Hanna and members of the trucking community Tuesday discussed the negative impacts a new federal rule is having on the trucking industry, small businesses and every day consumers in the Mohawk Valley.
Hanna, R-Barneveld, hosted the news conference at Teal’s Express, a family-owned business that has been in the trucking industry for more than 100 years. He said the holiday season is a busy time of year for the trucking industry, as there’s an increased amount of goods and products being moved across the nation. The busy season has become increasingly more difficult thanks to a new rule established this summer, he said.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on July 1, imposed new rules on how many hours commercial truck drivers can spend on the road. The new Hours of Service rule is expected to result in an annual cost of $376 million to the trucking industry and will have negative impacts on other small businesses which rely on trucking services such as timely delivery of food, retail and construction products, said Hanna.
“There are legitimate concerns that this new rule makes our roads less safe and hurts small business,” he said. “Today, we heard from the truck drivers right here in our community about the negative impacts this government regulation is having on the industry.”
Concerns have been raised that the new rules cause more congestion during peak morning travel and could push drivers to be more aggressive during the hours they do spend on the road. This rule could cost businesses and consumers billions of dollars and it is plausible that it will actually decrease safety on the roads, said Hanna.
That is why Hanna introduced a bill to delay the regulation until an independent assessment of the rule is complete. The TRUE Safety Act has support from 53 U.S. Representatives from both political parties.
If passed, the TRUE Safety Act would delay the new rule and truckers would abide by the rules that were in place before July 1.
Brian Brundige, safety director at Terpening Trucking in Syracuse, said he supports Hanna’s bill.
“This new rule was not properly studied prior to implementation,” Brundige said. “Our country has been a 24/7 transportation society for a long time now. All this new rule does is force trucks on the road during key driving times that would otherwise be avoided. The trucking industry strives every day to be safe. The pool of experienced drivers is already strained, and now companies will be forced to use inexperienced drivers to make up for less time on the road, which increases our liability and the safety of all motorists.”
“The TRUE Safety Act is a bipartisan effort to press the ‘pause button’ on this new rule while an independent assessment is completed to ensure the rule makes sense and will not actually harm the travelling public and American economy,” said Hanna.