Bills That Will Affect Trucking
In early June, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed two bills designed to improve roads, highways, and other transportation systems into law. The new Acts intended to achieve these are the Invest in America Act and the Water Quality Protection & Job Creation Act, 2021.
Both acts aim to create employment opportunities and improve the country’s infrastructure. The INVEST in America Act in particular, includes provisions aimed at increasing the safety of trucks and their operators. Overall, roughly $547 billion will be invested in surface transportation — about $334 billion is allocated for the four-year federal highway construction and research programs.
Besides, a new truck leasing task force has been explicitly created for truck operators. The force is empowered to study the leasing contracts typically offered to truck drivers and their impact on their wages.
The committee chairperson, Peter DeFazio, emphasizes the entire committee’s hard work in passing the bill. He explains that the efforts put into the legislation will benefit Americans by ensuring the objective of providing safe transportation options. He also highlights the employment opportunity that rebuilding infrastructure opens up to Americans.
On this note, the American Public Transportation Association President Paul Skoutelas agrees with Peter DeFazio. He explains that “This forward-thinking investment will help our communities meet growing mobility demands.” Furthermore, he sees it as an opportunity to boost U.S. manufacturing and supply chains, and propel the U.S. economy forward.
Consequently, it is expected that the new law will significantly benefit the trucking industry. There were a number of provisions in the Act specifically enacted to advance the industry. For instance, the Act makes provision for a $250 million grant to construct and improve truck parking lots.
Besides, it increases funding for the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. It also establishes grants for the Commercial Driver License program to help states ensure that truck and bus safety is enforced.
Also, the DOT is expected to improve rear underride guard standards installed on new trailers and semi-trailers. Aside from that, the Act requires the secretary of transportation to collect, analyze, and utilize data about driver detention for safety purposes.
Additionally, along with the support of the American Trucking Association, this legislation has the support of Transportation for America and the Transportation Trades Department. Due to this new legislation and its objectives, we anticipate an improvement for the entire trucking industry.