You may have heard of the planned protest by truck drivers in Washington, DC that is set to start on Friday, October 11 and goes through Sunday, October 13. If you haven’t, it’s a three-day event being organized by Truckers Ride for the Constitution. Truckers are enraged by low wages, fuel prices, regulations, the current government shutdown, the debt ceiling and more going on in politics today. Truckers plan to tie up three lines of Interstate 495 around the nation’s capital with big rigs traveling 55 MPH. Ultimately, it is a protest of the “lawlessness” of members of Congress. Members claim they “refuse to work on behalf of the American people.”
One of the promoters estimated there would be 3,000 truckers who had planned to participate in the rally with two convoys reported leaving from the Doswell Truck Stop in Doswell, Virginia. Truckers will let motorists who display the group’s calling card “T2SDA (Truckers to Shut Down America) pass and go about their days uninterrupted. The estimate of 3,000 truckers involved may be low after the group’s Facebook page has grown exponentially with coverage of the event and now features more than 100,000 “likes” with that number growing all the time.
Organizers of the event wrote in a press release:
“It has become apparent that our elected officials will never respond to the will of the people as long as their greed wealth is not jeopardized. The only thing that motivates every politician is their money – cutting off their money-flow cuts off their life-blood. The Independent Truckers in the US keep commerce flowing for benefit of the central government.”
1. Hours-of-Service Rules – The organization believes the new rules are hurting the industry and need to return to their state prior to July 1, 2013. It is believed the regulations reduce drivers’ ability to be on the road and make money.
2. CSA Crash Rating System – Truckers Ride for the Constitution sees the system as needing to be abolished due to unfair linking of accidents to drivers and carriers and negatively affecting their safety rating. Some drivers who are not at fault have been wrongly charged for accidents in the past.
3. Idling Regulations – The organization would like recognition and action on a concern regarding the California Air Resource Board’s diesel emissions regulations believing the science behind the regulations is incorrect.
4. Liability Insurance Requirements – The belief is there is too much control from the government of insurance which is giving insurers increasing ability to “control more and more of this industry.”
5. Truck Parking – The organization would like to move forward with the truck parking safety and availability provisions of Jason’s Law.
It should be noted that mainstream trucking groups are trying to make sure people realize this effort is not representative of the industry as a whole, but rather a group of individuals who have joined together.
“The individuals leading this particular effort have no direct affiliation with trucking and appear to be using truckers in order to gain media attention and air grievances not related to trucking,” said the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in a statement. “We do not support assembling an unlawful, unpermitted manner, committing crimes, making threats on our lawmakers or behaving in such a way to cast safe, professional truck drivers in a negative light.”
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