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How do you choose the congressional candidate worthy of your vote?

By Ryan Bowley, OOIDA director of legislative affairs

Now is one of the most critical times for truckers to be connecting with Congress. Every member of the U.S. House is up for re-election, and a third of U.S. senators are facing voters next month.

If you visit their webpages or read their campaign materials, chances are “trucking” will not show up under the deepest search, and many do not even spend much ink – real or digital – talking about transportation issues period. 

To help you get a clearer picture of where candidates and lawmakers stand on issues that matter to truckers, below are a few questions you can ask if you call their office or have a chance to interact with a candidate during a public forum, campaign event, or even at the county fair:

  • Among the biggest issues truckers face are reductions in the flexibility afforded to drivers under the hours-of-service regulations, from greater restrictions on the use of restart periods to mandatory electronic logs. Do you have a view on these restrictions?
  • What do you believe is the best way to improve highway safety: addressing training for both passenger car and trucks or requiring more technology and putting more restrictions on trucks alone?
  • Some special interests are pushing for increases in insurance levels that truckers are required to carry and pay for; do you think this is a good way to improve highway safety?
  • Do you support tolling our interstates and/or leasing our highways to foreign banks?

While these questions clearly don’t cover the full list of trucking and transportation issues, you can get a good understanding of what approach they have on issues that matter to professional drivers and small-business truckers. 

When deciding who to support, we take a lot of different issues and perspectives into account. OOIDA members and every trucker should pay special attention to trucking issues. Where a candidate stands on these issues may not be the sole reason behind your vote, but it should be part of the reason. Your business, your career, and the future of small-business trucking depend on it. LL