OOIDA to represent truckers at trucking safety summit
March 4, 2020
FMCSA is bringing industry stakeholders together to discuss plans on how to improve truck safety, and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has a seat at the table.
OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh has been invited to serve on a panel as part of the 2020 FMCSA Trucking Safety Summit scheduled for March 19 at the U.S. Department of Transportation Building in Washington, D.C.
Pugh said it is important for OOIDA, who has more than 160,000 members, to participate in order to represent truck drivers and small-business motor carriers.
“I say all the time that it’s real easy to stomp our feet and just say, ‘No.’ But you have to offer real-world solutions,” Pugh said. “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the table. So, hopefully, we can make a difference.”
According to the agency, the event will feature in-depth discussion regarding all aspects of truck safety, the latest safety data and emerging technologies.
“Our goal is to use this summit as a productive dialogue between FMCSA, industry, law enforcement and safety advocates to help improve our shared goal of road safety for all Americans,” FMCSA wrote in its notice.
The formal conference will give invited stakeholders – including motor carriers, truck drivers, safety technology developers and users, federal and state partners, and safety groups – as well as members of the public a chance to share their ideas on improving truck safety.
Pugh said he hopes there will be opportunities to weigh in on such topics as speed limiters, underride guards, providing drivers more flexibility within the hours of service, detention pay and driver training.
In February, Pugh testified about the state of the trucking industry at a U.S. Senate Transportation and Safety Subcommittee hearing. As part of the hearing, he urged lawmakers to start turning to truck drivers for solutions on how to improve safety within the industry.
“Most truckers don’t wear suits on a daily basis,” he said. “They don’t have advanced degrees in engineering or economics, but they know trucking. Truckers aren’t the problem. They are the solution, and Congress should treat them accordingly.”
The safety summit is scheduled from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on March 19. As part of the conference, there will be a brief public comment period in the afternoon.
Those who wish to speak must register in advance by emailing the FMCSA’s Janettarose Greene at FMCSA-PIO@dot.gov. Oral comments are asked to be limited to two or three minutes. Proposed questions to panelists can all be sent to the email address listed above.
Participation in the public event is free, but advance registration is required. Registration is due by March 10. The agency said it will cap registration at 200 people. Only people who plan to attend in person are asked to register for the event.
A livestream broadcast of the event is planned.
The FMCSA also plans to provide a place for the public to submit written comments, data or analysis on trucking safety.