Look Who's Lobbying for Truckers - the State Police

May 14, 2015

Police Are Lobbying For Truck Drivers

While politics makes strange bedfellows, it is often the lobbyist who are paid to get into bed with special interest groups. Thus is the case in the current we-say, they-say debate about longer and heavier trucks on the highways. According to The New York Times, it was an organization known as the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks that footed the bill for David Latimer, a retired South Carolina state trooper and vice chairman of the National Troopers Coalition, to go to Washington and warn Capital Hill of the dangers to good American citizens if 33-foot trailers are allowed on the nation's highways.

The rail industry

The railroad industry could lose as much as $6 billion annually if heavier trucks are allowed on the road. Though many people think the railroad industry is in decline, it remains an economical, albeit painfully slow, method of moving goods across country. Just in time (JIT) manufacturing works better with the faster over-the-road transport of more precise amounts of needed product. It was also a railway strike in 1992 which idled a General Motors plant that employed 75,000 people by halting their essential supply of incoming materials.

Buying trust

Rather than sending some company executives or industry experts to Washington, the railroad industry opts for someone who dedicated their career to public service to make their case against bigger trucks. In addition to Mr. Latimer, it paid for the trips of state troopers, sheriffs, and police chiefs from Texas, Michigan, and Ohio.

Mr. Latimer was also paid $70,000 a year by the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks. He eventually had to step down from his position with the National Troopers Coalition, after his pay from the rail group came to light.

Stay with TruckertoTrucker.com for the latest trucking industry news. Congress must renew the Highway Trust Fund before May 31. We will keep you updated on the progress and how any changes in language could affect you.

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