American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Speartold members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that the nation’s preeminent trucking advocacy group is committed to working with lawmakers as they begin work on a transportation reauthorization bill.  Spear also spoke to the industry’s commitment to strengthen and grow the industry’s workforce, as well as to maintain fair and free trade.

“ATA pledges to help this subcommittee write legislation that takes into consideration the state and future of the trucking industry, looking beyond the hood – 5, 10, 15 years out – and how we can improve safety through innovation; how we can grow a diverse, well-trained workforce that shores up the very real and well-documented shortage of talent; how trucking can generate and invest real money into our decaying infrastructure; and, how trucking can help you shape free and fair trade agreements that make the United States the strongest economy in the world.”

In his testimony, Spear said the industry is committed to safety on the nation’s highways, and to the deployment of proven technologies that will make the roads safer.

“Safety anchors the very foundation of the trucking industry, shaping our core values and decision making,” he said. “That is why the trucking industry invests approximately $10 billion annually in safety initiatives, including onboard technologies such as electronic logging devices, collision avoidance systems and video-event recorders.

“These investments also include driver safety training, driver safety incentive pay and compliance with safety regulations,” Spear said, “and while some of these investments are made to meet a myriad of regulatory requirements, many of them are voluntary, progressive safety initiatives adopted by our members and they’re paying dividends in highway safety.”

Spear’s full testimony, which can be read here, outlines ATA’s agenda for reauthorization, which includes data-driven improvements to the current hours-of-service rules, rejection of onerous mandates for dubious technologies, support for proven safety technology systems, enhanced employer notification systems, use of hair samples for mandated drug screenings, workforce development measures like the DRIVE-Safe Act and increased infrastructure investment.