Trucking Group May Slap Lawsuit on Texas City “Discriminating” Against Truckers
Midland, TX – A trucking group is considering filing a civil rights action against a Texas city it says is actively engaged in discriminating against professional truck drivers.
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) is gathering information in preparation for a possible lawsuit against the city of Midland, TX.
The possible legal action stems from a local ordinance which took effect in October of 2018 which allows the city to fine truckers parked illegally on private/commercial property up to $500.
Big rig parking bans are very common in residential areas, but James Lamb, president of the SBTC, says Midland’s commercial property parking ban “interferes with interstate commerce” and “discriminates against truck drivers.”
“You can’t treat truckers this way,” Lamb told Transportation Nation Network (TNN). “You can’t treat working people like that and single them out based on their occupation. You can’t pass discriminatory policy against trucks.”
Lamb first tried taking his case to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
In February of 2019, the SBTC filed an hours of service (HOS) exemption application arguing Midland’s ordinance is a “violation of their (truckers) 14th Amendment Right to ‘Equal Protection of the Law.’”
Specifically, the application asserted Midland’s policy “deters and coerces drivers from complying with federal HOS regulations” since it prevents them from being able to stop within the city after running out of hours or face a hefty fine.
The SBTC asked the FMCSA, pursuant to it’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, to preempt Midland or any municipality from enacting local ordinances that “prevent interstate truck drivers from complying with the Federal HOS regulations.”
The FMCSA rejected the SBTC’s request calling it a “local issue.”
Never one to give up or shy away from a fight, Lamb is now setting his sights on a possible civil rights legal action.
To that end, the SBTC issued a Call to Action on Friday asking drivers to report any instances in which they have received tickets for parking in non residential areas within Midland.
In addition to parking citations, the SBTC urged, “If you were coerced by the city of Midland’s no truck parking ordinance to not stop in Midland and were thereafter cited for an HOS violation, we would like to hear about that as well.”
If you have been adversely impacted, and would like to report such instance(s), you are asked to email [email protected].