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From somehow who knows: critique of Congress, trucking industry

It’s hardly rare, of course, for the U.S. Congress to be subjected to harsh criticism for one reason or another, so it might not qualify as a top-tier news item to note that national legislators have recently been targeted in a harsh review offered up by an ex-trucking industry executive.

But then again, maybe it does, given that Howard Abramson, a former and long-time industry insider who occupied a top-rung power position, is the source of some very specific and detailed lambasting that should reasonably put many politicians on the defensive.

Among many other points Abramson advances, here’s one very unambiguous criticism he levels at Capitol Hill. He says that, while increasing numbers of Americans are dying in truck accidents nationally, “Congress continues to do the trucking industry’s bidding by frustrating the very regulators the government has empowered to oversee motor carriers.”

Abramson was an executive with the powerful American Trucking Associations for more than 15 years, so he would seemingly know well what he’s talking about. Centrally, he charges the ATA and the commercial trucking industry generally with stalling and reactionary tactics that undermine the public’s safety.

“[T]he industry has consistently resisted safety improvements,” he says, while at the same time Congress is inexplicably “coddling” it.

In a New York Times article focusing on commercial truck accidents and ineffectual regulatory oversight, Abramson strongly stresses a concern that Congress is falling short on its duty to responsibly regulate the national trucking fleet, succumbing to industry arguments that he contends are “laughable.”

We’ll delve into some specifics in next week’s post. We believe that readers will find Abramson’s material bullet points — as well as the statistics he supplies to corroborate his assertions — notable, to say the least.

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