Truck safety groups call for veto of government funding bill

Truck safety advocates say they are concerned about anti-safety provisions that industry is trying to sneak into a government funding bill.

They are calling for President Obama to veto the funding bill if it includes provisions to extend truck drivers’ hours or allow bigger trucks on the roads.

“Americans do not want to share the road with bigger and longer trucks driven by overworked and overtired truckers,” said Jackie Gillan, president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

{mosads}Congress is negotiating an omnibus deal that would keep the federal government running after the current funding runs out next week.

But industry groups are pushing to include in the funding package what the safety advocates call a “long and deadly wish list.”

This would include increases in limits restricting the weight and length of trucks, as well as rolling back the number of hours truck drivers must rest.

But trucker safety advocates say this would make the roads more dangerous for all drivers.

They wrote this week to leaders on the Senate and House Appropriations committees asking them to reject industry requests for these so-called anti-safety provisions.

In a separate letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent this week, they ask him to push the president to veto any funding bill that contains such anti-safety provisions.

This comes as truck safety advocates say the number of crashes are increasing.

“The number of people killed in truck crashes is equivalent to a major airplane crash every week of the year,” said Daphne Izer, founder of Parents Against Tired Truckers.  

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