The trucking industry is asking the Trump Administration and government leaders at all levels to assure America’s trucks—carrying essential goods like food, water, medicine, and fuel—can continue to deliver the basic and vital necessities critical to mitigating the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and its broad impact.
“As governments consider public health decisions to limit travel, shelter in place, close public facilities and quarantine communities, we ask that you consider trucking with these specific policies," says Chris Spear, American Trucking Associations president and CEO, in a letter to President Trump and VP Pence. “Absent policies like these, it will be more difficult to ensure that the shelves are stocked and emergency supplies reach first responders and medical personnel.
Spear cited the following policy imperatives:
- Exempt trucking services for the delivery of essential goods explicitly from restrictions. Guidelines that make clear the role of shipping necessities by truck will ensure smooth resupply and delivery.
- As many states shutter their DMV facilities, support the ability of the trucking industry to continue to provide critical services by providing alternatives for drivers who need to renew or obtain commercial drivers licensing credentials.
- Keep rest stops open – commercial drivers have temporary relief from Hours of Service regulations, but they must manage fatigue as they respond to this emergency, and rest stops are an irreplaceable component, along with commercial truck stops.
- Provide guidance for the health of drivers, including possible testing for COVID-19. Clear guidance on public health assets is important to our employees, just like it is for all other Americans, and our drivers are typically away from home.
As communities across the United States adapt to the unfolding pandemic, Americans are witnessing what truckers do each and every day, through good times and hard: Deliver those basic and vital necessities—food, water, fuel, medicine and health supplies—essential to daily living. ATA is calling Americans to join the call in saluting the millions of hardworking men and women throughout the trucking industry on the front lines in the country’s fight against coronavirus.