Owner Operators voice concerns over new regulations

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Trucking is one of the biggest industries in the Joplin area, but some members of that industry say they are just getting by.

If you were driving along the Eastbound lane of I-44 and you encountered several semis driving under the speed limit, 55 miles per hour, it wasn’t because they were having engine problems.

It was a group of owner/operators trying to raise awareness through what’s called a slow roll. The focus is some of the regulations already on the books as well as those still to come.

Trucker G, Truck Owner/Operator, said, “It wasn’t but months ago that the public was reaching out for us for help to restock these stores, now we’re reaching out for the public for help, we’re reaching out to each and every one of the people.”

What this group of owner/operators want the public to do is to educate themselves about the plight they face, and then contact their local congressperson.

So what are some of their specific complaints?

“They’re gonna be putting the speed limiters into play, you think traffic’s backed now, wait till every truck’s doing the same speed, uh they’re gonna be doing liability insurance, right now we pay $750,000 liability insurance that we have to pay, they’re wanting to bump it up to four million, it’s gonna kill the owner operators.”

They also say they fear for the future risks to everyone on the road from trucks that would literally drive themselves by computer sensors without a human behind the wheel.

“Very concerned about autonomous, it goes right back into safety, uh you know, I don’t want these trucks out here driving themselves without a driver in there as a fail safe.”

Linda Stockton, Truck Driver, said, “And here we are still, still struggling and fighting and trying to feed ourselves let alone our country.”

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