Legislation introduced by the leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that would move the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program closer to a “one-stop shop” for security clearances, improving the efficiency and security of the industry, got the approval of the American Trucking Association.
“Under current law, there are still a number of background checks and other hurdles drivers must overcome in order to move America’s most hazardous freight and access sensitive areas of the supply chain,” said ATA CEO Chris Spear.
“We appreciate the efforts of Senators Thune, Nelson, Fischer and Booker for recognizing that while this scrutiny may be necessary, it need not be duplicative and we thank them for including these necessary reforms to the TWIC program in their legislation,” Spear added.
The bill, Surface Transportation and Maritime Security Act, would address a number of issues within TSA, but of particular interest to ATA is the inclusion of provisions aimed at surface transportation issues including: development of a surface transportation advisory committee; a complete assessment of the TWIC program as well as language allowing TWIC holders to obtain their hazmat endorsement without the need for additional background checks – long an issue supported by ATA.
ATA was joined in their support for the bill by other trucking organizations including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the National Tank Truck Carriers (NNTC).
“OOIDA is very much pleased with the introduction of this much needed effort," said OOIDA executive vice president Todd Spencer. " No group is more concerned with transportation security than our nation’s truck drivers who move the cargo. For too long, these hard working men and women have been frustrated with the bureaucracy and costs of duplicative and redundant background checks. They have always deserved a better system and perhaps now they will get it.”
“Surface transportation security has long been due for an overhaul. The tank truck industry's cargo is among the most tightly security-regulated commodities and we salute the senators for introducing this important legislation,” said NTTC President Dan Furth.