OOIDA hopes truckers’ voices will be heard at Trucking Safety Summit

August 4, 2020

Mark Schremmer


In 1995, the Federal Highway Administration hosted a Truck and Bus Safety Summit in Kansas City, Mo. The participants of the summit ranked fatigue, a lack of data regarding heavy-vehicle crashes and their related causes, and a lack of driver training as the most significant safety issues.

Looking ahead to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2020 Trucking Safety Summit scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 5, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said that not much has changed in 25 years.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh, who will serve as a panelist for the summit’s opening session, said he hopes this event will lead to actual change.

“Virtually every topic under discussion today, OOIDA told policy makers about at the first FHWA trucking safety summit a quarter century ago,” Pugh said. “Solutions require action – action from others in the supply chain and action by regulators and lawmakers. The issues I’ve mentioned aren’t going to magically disappear, and I sure as hell don’t want to be having this same conversation 25 years from now.”

2020 Trucking Safety Summit

FMCSA’s 2020 Trucking Safety Summit will be conducted as a virtual meeting from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 5. The event will be conducted on the web platform GoToWebinar. The meetings will be divided into eight sessions, but advanced registration is required for each session. Registration links can be found here.

Open forum public comments will be accepted from 4-4:30 p.m. Eastern time. All comments will be captured using the question module within the GoToWebinar application. Participants are asked to keep their comments short and succinct. Those who would like to participate in the public comment session can register here.

More detailed written comments, as well as data or analysis regarding truck safety, may be submitted at the Regulations.gov website at docket No. FMCSA-2020-0076.

Opening session

Pugh will serve as a panelist for the opening session from 9-10 a.m. The session, which will be moderated by FMCSA acting Administrator Jim Mullen, will focus on “Association Perspective” and include Pugh, ATA President Chris Spear, National Tank Truck Carriers Vice President Dan Furth, and Road Safe America President Stephen Owings as panelists.

Pugh said one of his goals is to remind the agency that owner-operators are often the most experienced and safest truck drivers in the nation.

“I’d like to talk about how small-business carriers are probably the safest people on the road,” Pugh told Land Line Now. “Most small-business carriers have a lot more experience and often have been driving for 10 years or more. They own the truck. They own the trailer, so they have skin in the game if something happens. We feel like our guys are some of the safest guys out on the road.”

A complete schedule of sessions can be found here.