OOIDA on the Road – August/September 2020

The Spirit brings industry issues to drivers in the Upper Midwest

August-September 2020

Land Line Staff

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As summer heats up, OOIDA’s tour trailer is scheduled to spend some quality time in the Upper Midwest region of the U.S.

The Spirit of the American Trucker has stops scheduled for Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

The stops allow drivers to talk with Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit, bringing him reports on what they are seeing. They like to give feedback on what the Association is doing and get some clarification on stances it has taken.

Jon brings with him materials to help explain issues. He also comes prepared to help drivers get involved themselves as a factor of change by contacting lawmakers and letting their voices be heard. The impact is greater when professional commercial drivers pull together on issues.

One issue, raising minimum insurance standards for commercial motor carriers, has been a pernicious weed this summer.

In July 2019, Reps. Matthew Cartwright, D-Pa., and Chuy Garcia, D-Ill., introduced a bill raising the federal minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers from $750,000 to nearly $5 million. OOIDA and professional drivers fought the bill. Watchdog groups and mainstream journalists noted how the bill would benefit the family law firm of one of the sponsors, Rep. Cartwright.

OOIDA has been onto Cartwright’s bias. He had introduced a similar bill in 2013.

Then an amendment that increased the minimum insurance requirement to $2 million was attached to the highway bill. OOIDA supported the highway bill in concept, but it couldn’t swallow Garcia’s amendment. The Association and its members contacted lawmakers to tell them that in no uncertain terms. The fight isn’t over.

One way to help dig in and fight is to stop by The Spirit to get updates and give feedback. LL