The highway bill and what you need to know

June 16, 2021

SJ Munoz

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Details and differences were explained as the June 16 “Live From Exit 24” took a look at the proposed highway bills.

OOIDA President Todd Spencer, OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh and OOIDA Director of Government Affairs Collin Long joined host Mike Matousek for an hourlong conversation.

“For truckers it’s important because the bill provides funds for roads and sets policy for the trucking industry for a period of time,” Long said. “This is our opportunity to have pro-trucker policies put in place. We want to make as many good things stick and prevent as many bad things from happening.”

There also are difficulties with a divided Congress as a Sept. 30 deadline approaches, Long added.

“Neither chamber has identified a way to pay for it, and major differences between the House and Senate bills remain,” he said.

Listen to ‘Live From Exit 24’



The conversation was wide-ranging and touched on truck parking, tolling, safety, hours of service, minimum insurance rates and more.

“There was a lot of stuff in it (the House highway bill) we didn’t care for, increasing bumping minimum insurance rates,” Spencer said. “This would really create an economic hurdle for many small businesses. The highlight from our perspective is a significant amount of money was set aside specifically for truck parking. If you have all these demands, you have to accommodate for the trucks that are going to help meet those needs.”

Spencer was also complimentary of the work done by the OOIDA staff in Washington, D.C.

“When you hear lawmakers talk and they’re saying things you can identify with, you know who they’ve been talking to,” he said. “Kudos to Collin and crew for informing those parties.”

From the perspective of someone who spent decades driving the Interstate 95 corridor, Pugh said he’s pleased with the truck parking proposal, but there’s much more to be done.

“The parking is a good thing,” he said. “But if I was still out on the road I would be thinking when is this ever going to end? When are they going to do the right thing as far as infrastructure so my truck isn’t being destroyed as I bounce down the highway. They need to come up with a fair and equitable method of raising funds.”

There’s still time for changes to the proposed legislation, Long said.

OOIDA encourages you to contact your representatives and let your voice be heard.

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, June 30.

Survey

“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. Help guide what’s addressed during the program. The survey is here. LL

SJ Munoz is the newest edition to the Land Line Media team. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and PrepsKC.com.