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Monday, June 23, 2014

Trucking Lobby Blocking Safety Legislation

While serious transportation work-related accidents raise public attention for increased efforts to rein in unsafe transportation issues, the strong and effective trucking lobby has created a road block for reform. Today's post is shared from
Democrat Cory Booker is waging his first floor fight in the U.S. Senate, taking on colleagues in both parties who want to suspend regulations specifying how much rest truck drivers should get each week.
The issue drew attention because of the high-profile crash involving comedian Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike this month, but it is also so closely identified with Booker’s predecessor, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, that a safety-advocacy group named a “congressional courage” award after Lauten­berg last week.
Booker, who filled Lautenberg’s term after he died last year, was also assigned to Laut­enb­erg’s spot on the subcommittee that regulates federal highways and the trucks and buses that use them. It’s natural, he said, for someone coming from such a con­gested state to make regulating large trucks a priority.
“New Jersey sent me down to fight New Jersey’s fight, and this is a New Jersey fight,” Booker said.
It’s a fight he may not win, however.
The trucking industry spends an average of $5 million on contributions to members of Congress during every two-year campaign cycle — Booker himself got $2,000 — and $10 million more...
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