ATA seeks to continue regulatory relief post-Rita

American Trucking Assns. (ATA) president & CEO Bill Graves today requested that states implement and extend emergency trucking regulation relief s instituted after Hurricane Katrina so that the trucking industry can respond as effectively as possible after Hurricane Rita hits.

“Keeping emergency regulations in place will allow trucking companies to maximize their carrying capacity and expedite their deliveries to affected areas,” Graves said. “The trucking industry responded quickly and effectively to Katrina, supplying relief supplies, temporary housing and other critically needed products.

The industry was helped tremendously by states that relaxed regulations on commercial vehicles.”

ATA wants states to:

· Ensure that motor carrier safety enforcement personnel are aware that under a Presidential declaration of emergency, truck drivers transporting goods as part of a relief effort are exempt from federal hours-of-service regulations;

· Authorize the operation of heavier vehicles than would normally be allowed under state law, provided the trucks are shipping relief supplies to the affected area;

· Direct the state’s oversize and overweight permitting office to expedite the permitting process for loads intended to aid in the relief effort;

· Waive requirements for the purchase of trip permits for registration and fuel tax for motor carriers involved both in direct relief efforts and in the broader operating changes necessitated by the national transportation emergency;

· Offer leniency to drivers who are residents of the regions devastated by the hurricanes and whose Commercial Drivers’ Licenses may have expired;

· Monitor fuel prices throughout individual states to ensure that retailers do not take advantage of the uncertain situation regarding fuel supply;

· Instruct weight enforcement personnel to give trucks a minimal weight tolerance so that drivers who have filled their fuel tanks to capacity to avoid running out of fuel do not risk an overweight citation;

· Implement U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waivers exempting refiners from the 500 ppm sulfur standards for on-road diesel fuel.

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