Bill aims to provide restroom access to truckers

December 15, 2022

Mark Schremmer


A new bipartisan bill supported by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association aims to make sure truck drivers have restroom access when they are waiting at a shipper or receiver.

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, introduced the bill on Thursday, Dec. 15. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa.

“I am proud to introduce legislation to ensure our great American truckers have basic access to restroom facilities while working,” Nehls said in a news release. “American truckers are this nation’s backbone, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for the tremendous contributions they made during the pandemic. I thank OOIDA and the Women in Trucking Association for partnering with me on this important legislation.”

OOIDA often hears reports of truck drivers being declined by shippers and receivers to use the restroom. The Association also advocated for similar legislation that was recently passed in Washington.

“The men and women of America’s trucking industry keep our supply chain moving, and it’s only reasonable that their most basic of needs be accommodated while they are on the job,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “We’ve heard from countless drivers who have been forced to ‘hold it’ because they were not allowed to access the bathroom when they were picking up or delivering freight. We thank Reps. Nehls and Houlahan for showing tremendous leadership on this issue, and we look forward to continue working with him and our coalition partners to get this legislation signed into law.”

The restroom legislation would:

  • Require retailers, warehouses, and other businesses to give truckers access to bathroom facilities when they are picking up cargo or making deliveries.
  • Not require businesses to construct new restrooms. It only requires that if a business has a restroom available to their customers or employees, truckers should have the same access.
  • Require the operators of ports and terminals to provide bathroom access to drayage drivers.

The Women in Trucking Association also supports the bipartisan bill.

“As more women enter the industry, the need for restroom access increases while access to facilities has decreased,” said Ellen Voie, president of the Women in Trucking Association. “We applaud Rep. Nehls’ and Rep. Houlahan’s support to require shippers and receivers to offer drivers this very basic need.”

Houlahan said that restroom access is critical in the trucking industry’s attempt to recruit more drivers.

“Time and again, we’ve seen that when we include women in our workforce, our economy prospers,” Houlahan said. “That’s true for the trucking industry, too. But restricted access to bathrooms is putting that progress in jeopardy. In response, our bipartisan legislation will give all truckers, and female drivers in particular, the confidence of having access to a restroom when they deliver goods to businesses and American families.

“Especially as the trucking industry continues to face employee retention challenges, we must ensure that we are providing truckers a working environment that honors the vital role they play in growing our economy. Ultimately, keeping more drivers on the road means fewer supply chain delays and lower costs. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Nehls on this straightforward effort.” LL