‘Live From Exit 24’ talks speed limiters, parking, tolls and more
March 10, 2021
•Land Line Staff
It was a loaded show as host Mike Matousek was joined by OOIDA President Todd Spencer and OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh on the latest “Live From Exit 24.”
The Moving Forward Act – specifically speed limiters, truck parking and tolling that are part of this bill – was at the heart of the discussion on the March 10 show.
“How many times do we have to cover the same ground and talk the same issues,” Spencer said.
“The safety aspects of speed are as simple as moving everyone at the same speed. Don’t create situations where there are going to be interactions. There are also going to be times and places where speed limits are too slow or too fast. A well trained and well-motivated professional driver is the best speed limiter.”
While not a new idea, the concept of utilizing proven safety technologies to limit speed simply does not exist, according to Spencer and Pugh.
“When I started my trucking career, I drove for a company that limited speed to 55 mph,” Pugh said. “You get yourself in situations you can’t get yourself out of, going that speed. Situations around you dictate your speed more than anything. Then you end up trying to make up for lost time, which is a bad thing.”
“We’re going to do everything we can to convince lawmakers that it’s not a good idea, from a safety aspect,” Spencer said.
Listen to ‘Live From Exit 24’
When it comes to the discussion of tolls, “It has not been our experience that tolling makes much sense at all,” Spencer said.
“There’s nothing fair about tolls,” Pugh said. “When I was driving, I would pay between $10,000 and $12,000 a year just in tolls. Pennsylvania is making so much money they are using their toll money to fund public transportation and other programs.”
As the conversation shifted to the ongoing truck parking problem, Pugh said, “$25 million would have put a lot of places out there for people to park.”
“This has been a big deal for more than two decades,” Spencer said. “The problem is getting worse and worse. We can totally empathize with the frustration of those on the road. If the country is going to continue to be reliant on trucks, this requires some type of action. This is an issue drivers are going to have to communicate with lawmakers on. Rest areas aren’t just for trucks, they’re for everyone on the road.”
The need for drivers to voice their concern was backed by Pugh.
“Truckers need to get involved and discourage some of the rumors about what happens with added parking,” Pugh said.
Opposing the PRO Act
Many of those who tuned in to the program via Facebook Live left comments and questions about the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021, which would implement California’s controversial ABC Test and other union-friendly changes for union elections, bargaining processes, and many other policies. On Tuesday, March 9, the House voted 225-206 in favor of the bill. The PRO Act also passed the House in the previous congressional session but stalled in the Senate.
OOIDA opposes the bill, saying it believes it would lead to the strict ABC Test being expanded to classify workers under other laws.
“I think the PRO Act actually resembles much of AB5, in that they basically took a meat cleaver to address an issue that probably really requires a scalpel,” Spencer said. “There are issues over independence and misclassification, but it’s a lot, and probably too much.”
OOIDA talk show
“Live From Exit 24” is scheduled for 11 a.m. Central every other Wednesday. Listeners can tune in to the show on the Live From Exit 24 website, OOIDA Facebook page or on OOIDA’s YouTube channel. The next episode airs Wednesday, March 24.
“Live From Exit 24” launched as a way to expand OOIDA’s communication with members and to hear directly from drivers across the industry. OOIDA is asking for truck drivers to fill out a survey to let the Association know how you are liking the show so far. The survey is here. LL