ATA tells feds to butt out of driver detention issue
WASHINGTON -- The American Trucking Associations doesn't want the federal government interfering in the relationships between truckers and shippers.
ATA's Board of Directors voted to oppose efforts at regulating driver detention time at loading docks.
Earlier this year, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. introduced legislation to establish a maximum number of hours drivers may be detained without being paid and study the problem of industry detention.
The effort is supported by the FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee as well as the Owner-Operators Independent Driver Association.
The ATA says instead that detention time is an issue to be negotiated between carriers and shippers, and Washington should stay out of it.
"ATA and its members value the time of our drivers," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said following the board's decision. "However, federal intervention into this area would have significant impacts on the contractual agreements between carriers and shippers."
In a letter to FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro, the MCSAC said the agency should seek legal authority over issues that contribute to safety violations. Undue detainment, it argues, can cause drivers to violate hours of service rules and affect safety on the road.
"The ability of carriers to negotiate rates, routes and service with our shippers is very important to us," said ATA Chairman Barbara Windsor, president and CEO of Hahn Transportation. "Federal regulation in this area would directly affect shipping rates and would significantly change the playing field for carriers and shippers."
Added ATA first vice chairman Dan England, chairman and president of C.R. England: "No carrier wants to see our drivers' time wasted," said. "However, this is not an issue that can be handled with a 'one-size, fits all' regulation and as a result is best addressed in contractual agreements between carriers and shippers."