Lawmaker Says USDOT is “Failing Truckers” Amid Rising Violence, Supports Shutdown
Jefferson City, MO – A Missouri lawmaker calling for an immediate suspension of Hours of Service (HOS) regulations due to rising violence in major cities across the nation now says he supports an organized trucker shutdown.
Missouri State Representative Mike Moon is once again raising the stakes in efforts to pressure United States Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to take action to protect truckers in these unprecedented times.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) exclusively reported on Monday that Rep. Moon sent a letter to Missouri Governor Mike Parson warning truckers face peril due to ongoing widespread social uprisings and protesters blocking interstates and highways.
“Violent protests threaten the disruption of American lives and commerce,” he wrote. “Because of the increased risks, truckers must be afforded every opportunity to travel safely and deliver their load(s) to the intended destination.”
He called for the immediate suspension of HOS rules and argued the “inability to choose the safest route places drivers in imminent danger of assault, injury and or death, potential loss of freight, and damage to their vehicles.”
On Wednesday, Rep. Moon spoke exclusively with TNN about the response he has received so far.
Plus, he didn’t hesitate to call out Sec. Chao and Acting Administrator Mullen for failing to take action to protect truckers during the rise in violence.
“Safety is at stake now,” he declared. “If we can allow truckers to use a little bit more time to divert around these hot spot areas, then do it! It’s not just about money, it’s about safety.”
He said USDOT and FMCSA leaders should put themselves in truckers’ shoes.
“If they were required to drive a truck through a hot spot zone, they know full well they wouldn’t do it,” Rep. Moon stated.
An FMCSA spokesperson told TNN on Tuesday the Agency is “concerned about any violence toward truckers” and is “actively reviewing its statutory authorities concerning this issue.”
Click HERE to read much more of FMCSA’s response.
Rep. Moon isn’t buying it.
“President Trump has given Sec. Chao the green light to do whatever it takes to keep interstate commerce unimpeded, but I don’t think she has taken any action yet,” he said.
In May, Mr. Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) giving broad authority to each Department head to slash regulations that could hinder economic recovery.
At the EO signing, the President even directed specific comments to Sec. Chao.
“Elaine, you can do things that nobody would believe in your Department,” Mr. Trump said.
“Sec. Chao and Acting Administrator Mullen say ‘I don’t have any authority to do it,’ but they could,” Rep. Moon insisted. “It’s the right thing to do and they should do it. There’s no reason not to do it unless they are against President Trump, and that could very well be.”
The State congressman tells TNN the stakes are becoming so high that he would “100 percent support” a short-term trucker shutdown.
“We have about a three day food supply on store shelves,” he said. “I’m not talking about starving people. I am talking about missing a meal. I can guarantee you they would be on the phone with their local representative saying ‘we have to do something about this trucking problem.’ Truckers would have the leverage to bargain at that point.”
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As for the response Rep. Moon’s letter has received so far from Missouri’s governor… crickets.
That’s not going to stop Mr. Moon from continuing to press the issue though.
He also sent the letter to both U.S. Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), along with scores of other State lawmakers.
“I’ll continue to help in any way I can,” he pledged.