Friday, February 26, 2010

Some just say it better than others

Truckers always have plenty to say. Some just say it better than others.

This week, Senior OOIDA Member Roger Chastain copied me on a letter he wrote to his elected lawmakers. Roger has been a member since 1997 and lives in Woodruff, SC. He’s an independent trucker operating under authority as a contract carrier.

With his permission, let me share a really well-written letter. It’s this kind of letter that makes an impression on our lawmakers, and it’s the kind of input that frankly stomps the heck out of the trucking stereotype that America can’t let go of. Here’s Roger’s letter:

“The efforts to transform our nation’s highways from roads built with fuel tax dollars to a tolled system and efforts to privatize our highways with a lump sum payment from corporate entities do not, in my opinion, serve in our nation’s best interest.

“President Dwight Eisenhower’s efforts to establish the Interstate Highway System with federal and state fuel taxes along with the Highway Use Tax has worked well to make our system one of the best in the world. This type of taxing should continue to be the primary source of funding.

The argument is being made that this present system is no longer effective, especially with the use of alternative fuels and our ability to obtain better fuel mileage. However, the attempt to convert to a tolling system will only serve to send users to older highways, which will be unable to withstand the increased volume of traffic.

“The present system of taxation at the pump has worked well and will continue to do so if we admit that a federal tax rate increase is necessary to maintain and grow our present highways. We ultimately know nothing is free, as our highways are sometimes referred to, but to convert to a direct tolled system for using America’s highways will serve as a deterrent to continued prosperity.

“It should also be mandated that revenues raised by fuel taxes should be used for the sole purpose of maintaining our highway infrastructure and not diverted to non-highway needs.”

Again, good job, Roger; you’ve stepped out smartly to represent the professionals behind the wheel.