Real Infrastructure is CSA Reform
Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-07)
Real Solutions, Real Infrastructure
Bill: CSA Reform Act
The big talk now in Washington is infrastructure: How to rebuild our roads, repair the nation’s airports, provide all Americans access to reliable high-speed internet. All of these are worthy endeavors that improve our economy and our way of life.
When Congress is debating these big issues, legislative items with huge economic and fiscal impact on our country, I try to look for initiatives that don’t revolve around dollar amounts (though, that is important). Aside from increasing our investments in national infrastructure, we can also identify regulatory roadblocks that are making it more costly for the transportation industry to conduct business.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program provides for safety compliance oversight and enforcement of safety standards for truck drivers and employers. The goal of helping provide safe roads for drivers and pedestrians is admirable, one supported by all Americans.
Yet, like with so many things the government does, the implementation of such a program is twisted into one with serious unintended consequences that hamper its stated goals.
One way we can help keep roads safe without new, burdensome, or unnecessary rules is to create a pilot program that allows drivers and carriers to request regular safety audits. This ensures carriers are not left to the subjective whims of the FMCSA, but rather can rely on a predictable audit schedule that provides the most up-to-date and accurate safety data.
Truck drivers are a vital component of our nation’s logistics network. Safe drivers ensure safe roads and the efficient delivery of goods. The CSA program should be an easy-to-use tool for drivers and carriers to have access to the best safety data available. Last Congress, I introduced the CSA Reform Act that would create a pilot program for carriers to request regular inspections. I am glad to see this important reform be included in the STARTER Act.
I believe a bipartisan consensus on infrastructure can be found, but it has to be on real infrastructure, and offer real solutions. We cannot turn an important issue that affects all Americans into a bonanza for left-wing projects and Green New Deal fantasies.
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