November 23, 2004
Enacts Olver Amendment;
Prevents Unsafe Foreign Trucks from Driving on U.S. Highways
Safety Playing Field for All Trucks and Buses
No Foreign Exceptions to Safety Law
Washington, D.C., November 23, 2004. Advocates for Highway
and Auto Safety (Advocates) applauded the passage this past weekend
of the Olver Amendment on truck and bus safety as part of the
omnibus appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2005. The amendment
prohibits the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA),
an agency in the U.S. Department of Transportation, from exempting
foreign trucks and buses from U.S. safety law. The FMCSA had proposed
allowing truck operators to drive trucks and buses across the
border into the U.S. even if the vehicles were not manufactured
to U.S. safety standards. Their proposal did not exempt trucks
and buses built in the U.S.
provision, named for its sponsor on the House appropriations committee,
Rep. John Olver (D-MA), was passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan
vote (339 to 70) in the House and adopted in conference. Despite
opposition from the Administration, the Olver safety amendment
was retained in the final bill.
ensure traffic safety, Congress in the 1966 National Traffic and
Motor Vehicle Safety Act required that all vehicles, including
cars, trucks and buses sold or used in the U.S. must meet U.S.
safety standards applicable when the vehicle was built. Trucks
and buses built in other countries that are imported or driven
into the U.S. are subject to the same law and requirements.
FMCSA proposed giving foreign trucks and buses a two-year grace
period from this federal safety law, while at the same time requiring
all U.S. built trucks and buses to comply. Enactment of the amendment
prevents the agency from issuing this proposal.
cannot take a two-year "holiday" from safety,"
said Jackie Gillan, vice president of Advocates. "Opening
our borders to foreign trucks should not mean we compromise safety."
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), an alliance
of consumer, health and safety groups and insurance companies
and agents working together to make America's roads safer, is
actively involved at the federal and state levels to reduce the
terrible tragedy of crashes to families across the nation.
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