2019 Legislative Priorities
Support State Initiatives for Truck Driver and Technician Training.
In 2015, the trucking industry was short 48,000 drivers. If current trends hold, the trucking industry will need to hire 890,000 new drivers by 2024 to keep up with demand.
The Minnesota Trucking Association supports state initiatives for truck driver and technician training
Support Limiting Cell Phones to Hands-Free Only Use.
Safety is a core value of trucking companies. The MTA supported the successful federal effort to prohibit truck drivers from using handheld devices unless in a hands-free mode. The MTA believes a similar prohibition is right for drivers of ANY vehicle. Distracted or inattentive driving is identified in one of every four reported crashes in Minnesota. Truck driver observations strongly support this conclusion, especially as related to cell phone use.
The Minnesota Trucking Association supports limiting cell phones to hands-free-only use while operating a vehicle.
Support Continued Development of Driver-Assist Technology.
Automated and connected vehicle driver-assist technology holds great promise to assist the professional truck driver in certain aspects of the driving task. However, the truck driver will always play a vital role given the complex and hands-on nature of freight delivery. The trucking industry supports developing driver assist technology that bring benefits in the areas of safety, environment, productivity, efficiency, and driver health and wellness. The MTA believes Minnesota should be a leader in fostering driver assist technology testing and demonstration projects, and eliminate or prevent introduction of financial or policy barriers that would limit the safe advancement of these technologies.
The Minnesota Trucking Association supports the continued development of optional, efficient, and safe driver-assist technology.
Support Repealing the Seatbelt Gag Rule.
Statistics clearly demonstrate that seatbelts promote safety and save lives. This data led Minnesota to establish failure to wear a seatbelt as a primary traffic offense. However, in civil litigation use or non-use of seat belts cannot be admitted as evidence according to a statute enacted over 50 years ago. Since then, Minnesota replaced contributory negligence with comparative fault, which allows a plaintiff’s recovery to be reduced proportionally to their fault, rather than barring them from recovery altogether. We believe letting juries see all the relevant evidence will encourage greater seatbelt use and personal responsibility.
The Minnesota Trucking Association supports a repeal of the seatbelt gag rule.