Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Do Not Delay

SHANNON NEWTON 2

Shannon Newton
President, ATA

This year has been marked with reflection over the past 85 years since the Shippers and Carriers Association of Arkansas was formed in 1932. While it might be easy to talk about how the Association took tough stances on issues that improved conditions for Arkansas carriers, it’s much harder to be the association that takes those tough positions and persuades others to come along. Sometimes, we’ve gotten it right and led the change, and other times, like when the Association opposed deregulation, we followed the change and learned to adapt.

On every issue ATA tackles, we want to be on the right side of history.  The questions we always ask are these: Does this improve safety? Does this make carriers more efficient, more profitable or more risk averse? Does this protect our most valuable asset—professional drivers?

When the answers are yes, we don’t hesitate to stand out front, lead the discussion and speak to our legislators and other decision makers. Fortunately, on ELDs, we have been heard by those in Washington.

On Sept. 5, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-1st) penned a letter to his colleagues, urging them 'do not delay' implementation of the Dec. 18 ELD compliance deadline. He cited the overwhelming majorities from both houses of Congress that have repeatedly directed the FMCSA to complete the ELD rulemaking over the last five years.

Crawford wrote that further delay would penalize the thousands of companies who have worked to comply with the federal law, and he wasn’t the only leader from Arkansas to speak up on behalf of fleet owners who have adopted the technology in anticipation of the deadline. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-4th) joined Crawford on the House floor to oppose an amendment that would have delayed enforcement.

In fact, all four Arkansas representatives resisted stall tactics and voted to move forward with electronic logging.

ATA has supported the use of ELDs for almost two decades, serving as a leader in this national, and at times controversial, discussion.

We’ve educated our legislators, regulators, and even our members, about the benefits of electronic logging and shared stories of those who have improved CSA scores and avoided long, expensive lawsuits with electronic proof of a driver’s hours. We spoke, and Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Bruce Westerman and Steve Womack listened and showed up to vote down another delay.

When we have confidence that drivers across the nation are operating in compliance, we can take credit for a little piece of that assurance. When a driver’s name is cleared because his ELD verifies he is working within the allowable hours of service, we can celebrate with him and his company. When all carriers are held to the same high standards of compliance, Arkansas can claim to have helped level the field.

But ultimately, in the years that follow, success will be measured in safer highways. When we look back at Arkansas’s leadership in adopting this technology and saving lives, I believe this is a stance that the Arkansas trucking industry can be proud of.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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