On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to oppose the Daines amendment to H.R. 4745, the FY 2015 T-HUD bill. This amendment would halt efforts to improve the safety of the motorcoach industry.
The Daines amendment would prohibit the Department of Transportation (DOT) from increasing the minimum levels of insurance that bus and truck companies are required to have in order to operate. The requirement to show proof of adequate financial responsibility was set by Congress in the 1980’s as a way to ensure that motor carriers seeking entry into the industry were responsible actors, capable of covering costs if an accident occurred. But these minimum rates have been allowed to languish for decades, losing pace with inflation and the rising costs of medical expenses associated with crashes.
As part of the 2012 Surface Transportation Reauthorization (MAP-21), Congress directed DOT to report on the appropriateness of the current financial responsibility requirements for commercial motor carriers. DOT found that the current minimum requirements are due for re-evaluation and DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has since been working on a rulemaking to consider this issue. The Daines amendment would short-circuit this deliberative process and prevent the DOT from considering any adjustment to current levels.
In the interest of safety and ensuring companies transporting passengers and property on our roadways are responsible actors, we urge you to vote against the Daines amendment.