Aug. 8, 2017

Trump Giveaway to Rail and Trucking Industries Endangers Millions of Lives

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that they are no longer pursuing a regulation that would require truck drivers and train engineers to be tested for sleep apnea, a fatigue-inducing disorder blamed for deadly rail crashes in New York City and New Jersey and several highway crashes.

America would be better off if the Trump administration were asleep at the regulatory switch. Then, at least, lifesaving rules – such as a requirement to ensure truck drivers and train engineers be tested for sleep disorders requiring treatment – would continue forward. Instead, hopped up on extreme doses of deregulating energy drinks, the administration is frenetically rushing to endanger Americans.

Do the revolving-door appointees at the U.S. Department of Transportation really believe that there should be no requirement to test truckers and train engineers for sleep disorders? What basis do they have for ignoring the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board? Is there any reason to consider this anything other than a gift to the trucking and rail industries, to be paid for with the lives of innocent Americans?