Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Truckers deserve recognition for outcomes in Ohio, New York

America’s trucking professionals do their share of good deeds, and many of those deeds involve causes greater than themselves. We can’t thank truckers enough for their big hearts and for standing up for what’s right.

Truckers scored two victories in the past week, and deserve credit for the role they played in making those victories happen.

In this case, we’re talking about infrastructure – the nation’s roadways, the lifeblood of the economy – specifically the Ohio Turnpike and New York State Thruway.

Proposals in both states had the potential to rock transportation as we know it, and not in a good way: Ohio with its possible lease of the turnpike to private investors and New York with its proposed 45 percent toll increase on trucks. To say both plans would have had negative consequences for trucking and the economy is an understatement.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and both proposals were scrapped in favor of alternatives involving bonds.

While the officials can take their share of credit for backing off and coming up with alternatives, it was the groundswell at the grassroots level that made the difference.

Truckers were on the front lines throughout, responding to calls to action, contacting their lawmakers and governors’ offices, attending meetings and filing comments. Truckers were not intimidated by the rhetoric or editorials that supported the proposals. In fact, those tend to make them work harder.

If you are among those who picked up a phone in the past few months in these two states, and you’ve spoken your mind about the value of infrastructure to the economy, and how toll hikes and oppressive proposals affect you and your ability to do business, you’re on our list of people to thank. You made the difference.