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10/6/2016 12:06:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Spear: Industry Is Strong, But Unity Is Imperative

John Sommers II for Transport Topics
LAS VEGAS — In his first state of the industry address to American Trucking Associations membership, ATA President Chris Spear said trucking’s state is strong, but its future is uncertain without leadership, unity and "an aggressive pursuit of results."

“Trucking is already one of the most regulated and taxed industries in America,” said Spear, speaking Oct. 3 at the opening session of ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition. “In the eyes of some elected officials we look like a money-filled pinata. I’m here to tell you that those days, these impressions are over.”

Spear said that trucking’s future is closely linked to what happens in Washington, D.C., noting that federal regulators and states are being allowed to “go unchecked and issue mandates as if they were parking tickets.”

He added that “sound public policies such as funding of the nation’s infrastructure are being suffocated by a bunch of cubical-dwelling idealogues who think it’s cool to shut down our government.”

Spear said that ATA’s first lobbying efforts are focused on ensuring a permanent hours-of-service fix of the restart provision and pre-empting states such as California from “adding new layers of meal and rest break requirements on carriers operating across state lines.”

“Both of these issues have enjoyed broad support and careful, coordinated grass-roots and grass-tops advocacy on Capitol Hill,” Spear said. “And I’m confident that everyone’s hard work will pay off.”

He pledged that ATA will get a “seat at the table” to help shape the path of autonomous vehicle technology that has so far largely been driven by the automobile industry.

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By Eric Miller
Staff Reporter

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