Randy Guillot, chairman of the American Trucking Associations and president of Triple G Express and Southeastern Motor Freight out of Jefferson, La., testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in which he highlighted the trucking industry’s essential role serving on the frontlines during the COVID-19 crisis.

Due to the U.S. House’s social distancing protocols, Guillot testified remotely via video conference from his home state of Louisiana. From his opening remarks:

“The COVID-19 pandemic thrust America’s trucking industry to the forefront of our national consciousness. As most activity across the country ground to a halt, America’s 3.5 million professional truck drivers kept moving. These heroes continue serving on the frontlines to ensure everyone has the goods they need to get through these challenging times.

“Truckers are the difference between a fully-stocked grocery store and one lined with empty shelves. They’re why doctors and nurses have PPE to protect themselves. They’re how test kits get to hot-spots for local officials to use to fight the virus’ spread.”

In his testimony, Guillot emphasized why protecting the industry’s workforce has been critical to mitigating the crisis and detailed how ATA and partners have taken proactive measures to provide safeguards for frontline workers. ATA spearheaded a nationwide effort to distribute 1,100 gallons of hand sanitizer along major freight corridors where truck drivers can replenish their personal supplies at no cost. ATA also procured more than 150,000 face coverings at cost for member fleets and worked with the U.S. Department of Transportation in distributing an additional 1.5 million protective masks to frontline truckers across the country.

Guillot also pressed the committee to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill this year, telling lawmakers that investing in our roads and bridges is paramount to ensuring the safety and well-being of America’s 3.5 million professional truck drivers.

“Finally, I’d be remiss if I did not note Chairman DeFazio’s introduction of a comprehensive infrastructure bill last week. Let me be clear: the single most important action this Congress can take right now to support our workforce—and to provide for their safety—is to invest in our infrastructure.

“Roads and bridges are not Democrat or Republican. We all drive on them. For the 7.7 million Americans in trucking doing their jobs day and night, moving our economy, we ask members of this committee to do theirs—and pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill this year that meets the urgent needs of our economy, our industry and the motoring public.”

His full written testimony can be found here.