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As Governor Lee calls for fewer trucking regulations, some raise safety concerns

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) – Gov. Bill Lee has joined 14 other Republican governors pushing “Operation Open Road” – a combined effort to deregulate trucking as the country struggles with supply chain problems.

They are asking President Joe Biden to suspend federal regulations, but some say they are necessary to keep drivers safe.

The plan is simple according to the 50th Governor of Tennessee.

“Allow trucks to run longer to have different weight restrictions, we call on the federal government to lower the age requirements,” Governor Lee said.

The decision is to relax regulations to allow more operators of large rigs to work faster.

“Of course we miss the house, we miss the family, but I think we are helping the people,” said Farnham Ali, a truck driver.

Truckers like Ali say the current rules are meant to protect drivers.

“Everything is under control because of the security,” Ali said.

But the debate continues as Lee pushes for heavier loads and longer road times

On Governor Lee’s Facebook, Brian Skaggs wrote: “You’ve lost your mind. Truck accidents on the roads will triple. Not at all a smart decision in my opinion. I have been a CDL holder for 23 years. This is not the way to solve this problem.

But others like Wes Oberman praise the move.

“As a road hauler, we very much appreciate any help we receive,” Oberman said. “Our industry is highly regulated.”

Ali says a lot of companies want more drivers, especially right now.

But despite the demand from drivers, lowering the driving age from 21 to 18 doesn’t seem like a good idea to some.

“Sometimes yes and sometimes it’s hard to say yes,” Ali said. “Because younger, less responsible, that’s what I believe. “

But a closer look at Governor Lee’s trucking decree does nothing to allow for an immediate easing of regulations.

Instead, EO 93 asks relevant departments to work together to identify what might be deregulated and who the department should work with to get more applicants.

Commercial driver’s license courses typically last three weeks.

The decree does not replace federal laws and regulations.


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