Lawmaker With CDL Demands USDOT Secretary Act to Stop Highway Protests
St. Paul, MN – A Minnesota lawmaker is speaking up about the dangers presented by protests staged on major U.S. roadways and is asking the Departments of Transportation and Justice to take action to stop this practice.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd, dozens and dozens of demonstrations have been carried out on U.S. interstates and highways in cities across America.
So far, at least two people have been killed and the most infamous incident along the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis could have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people.
A State Representative in Minnesota has had enough and is asking DOT Secretary Elaine Chao and Attorney General Bill Barr to take action to prevent any more potentially deadly incidents.
On Tuesday, Rep. Cal Bahr sent letters to Chao and Barr asking that federal transportation funds be withheld from Minnesota until local leaders move to curb the highway demonstrations.
“In the last few months, we have seen two of our primary interstates blocked by protesters, Interstate 35 and Interstate 94,” Rep. Bahr wrote. “State and local officials have seemingly acquiesced and allowed protesters to illegally commandeer the interstate highway system at their leisure.”
“I know first hand how dangerous this situation can be for all concerned,” he said in a video posted to his Facebook page.
According to a release, Rep. Bahr owned a trucking company and has a lifetime of experience dealing with transportation issues and policy.
He continues to work as a commercial trucker outside of the legislative session.
While Rep. Bahr says he respects Americans’ right to peacefully protest, he believes those engaging in “criminal activity” such as blocking interstates must be held to account.
However, he says he is frustrated leaders aren’t doing more to stop it.
“While some arrests have been made the chances of actually being detained are minimal,” he commented. “Allowing situations like this to develop in Minnesota and other states strike at the heart of our interstate commerce system and our rights as citizens to move freely about the country and engage in transactions of all kinds.”
Further, Rep. Bahr asserted, “The unlawful blocking of highways by protesters is a severe infringement on the rights of all Minnesotans.”
He lashed out at local leaders for failing to “maintain order” as protesters continue to take to roadways to demonstrate.
“This will not end well if this practice is allowed to continue,” he wrote.
Both Sec. Chao and A.G. Barr have been silent on the issue since the widespread social unrest began.
Rep. Bahr’s sentiments have been expressed thousands of times on Transportation Nation Network’s (TNN) social media pages and members only comments section.
Many truckers continue to be outraged that America’s lawmakers and regulators are not taking decisive action to avert potentially deadly disasters before they occur.
TNN has reported extensively on this issue as, in many cases, protesters have taken to interstates and highways without giving warning to local officials causing authorities to scramble to shut down the roadways for the protection of all involved.
For its part, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently issued new guidance to truckers on how to proceed if you find yourself delayed or in danger due to highway protests.
Most truckers reacted to the new guidance with disdain calling it “completely unacceptable.”
Click HERE to read more.
As TNN has repeatedly reported, the Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C. § 1951) makes impeding interstate commerce a crime punishable by a fine and substantial prison time.
So far, no one who has engaged in this activity in recent weeks has been charged under this law.
It’s not just Sec. Chao and A.G. Barr who have been quiet on the growing problem though.
U.S. Congressional leaders have also not spoken up either.
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow this developing story.
Photo courtesy iradiophilly
WATCH Rep. Bahr’s video below.