Arkansas Trucking Association

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Arkansas Trucking Association Praises Congress for Highway Bill

Legislation Will Make Moving Goods Safer and More Efficient

Little Rock, Ar. – Today, leaders of the Arkansas Trucking Association (ATA) commended the House and Senate for working toward a long-term transportation bill that will fund infrastructure projects for the next five years and support advances in efficiency and safety across the national highways we all share.

Just ahead of the expiration on Friday, the conference committee announced yesterday that they had reached an agreement on a $281 billion highway and transit bill that addresses many of ATA’s priorities. The new bill, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act, is expected to be signed late this week or early next week.

It is vital to our economy and the safety of citizens that transportation be adequately funded,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “Our industry is dependent upon such legislation in order to advance our progressive safety initiatives and initiate regulatory reform. While no bill is perfect, the FAST Act contains many measures to make highways safer and keep infrastructure funded for the next five years.”

ATA is grateful to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle for working together on a bill that addresses several key issues for our industry. The final bill advances the use of hair testing for federal mandated drug tests pending guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services, makes it easier for veterans to enter the trucking industry, initiates reform of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA safety monitoring system and sets aside dedicated funds for important highway freight projects.

“Our industry is facing a huge driver shortage, exacerbated by demographic challenges,” said Newton. “The pilot program allowing veterans under the age of 21 to drive commercial trucks across state lines is a step in the right direction to attracting young people to our industry.”

The passage of a long-term highway bill has been at the top of the ATA’s agenda this year. The association is happy with the important victories for safety included in the bill. Additionally, ATA is pleased to see limitations placed on allowing conversion of untolled Interstate highways to toll roads. Toll roads are unpopular and inefficient in spending dollars dedicated to transportation.

“While work remains in advocating for additional measures related to truck safety and industry regulation, this bill is a tremendous step forward for trucking in many respects and we urge the House and Senate to pass it and President Obama to sign it into law before any more short-term extensions are needed,’ said Newton.

Some industry issues not addressed in the bill include the potential patchwork of state rules allowing states to impose their own work and rest rules and the desire for a more robust and inclusive graduated CDL program, allowing younger drivers to enter the industry.

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
You are here: Home News In Brief ATA praises Congress for Highway Bill