One of the most common questions when it comes to addressing issues in the trucking industry is “what can I do?” so today I’m going to address some of the things you can do. The first thing you need to do is decide if you really want to put forth any effort to help change things, if you think you shouldn’t have to put forth any effort or you have already decided that there is nothing that can be done then don’t bother reading any further…….
Great so you decided you want to be part of a solution, so let’s move forward. One of the best things you can do is to stay informed on current events in the trucking industry and I’m not talking about chatter you hear on the CB radio but rather actual articles that include statements from agencies, statistics, and other facts that pertain to the issue at hand. Take the time to read them and digest the information they contain, if you are looking for places to find information on some of the latest issues then you might want to start with one of the following:
*Pick up an issue of Landline magazine or visit the OOIDA website at www.ooida.com OOIDA provides readers pending legislation, court cases, and other important issues arising in the industry.
*Visit the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/
*Visit the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance at www.cvsa.org
*Check out Truth About Trucking at www.askthetrucker.com
*Check out CDL Life at www.cdllife.com
There are several more sources where you can keep up with important issues in the industry and eventually you will find the ones that best suit you. Once you can start gathering facts and data then you will have a better idea of what goes on behind the scenes and this gives you a better chance of planning your next move.
In most cases you will have to contact an individual, advisory panel, governing body, or even government officials themselves to let your opinions be heard. In many cases this seems to be a daunting task for people to accomplish so here are a few sources to ease your frustration level.
*Contacting a U.S. Senator can be done via www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/How_to_contact_senators.htm this website address will give you all of the information needed for contacting your senator via phone, email, or U.S. mail. Direct calls to the U.S. Capitol Switchboard can be made to (202)-224-3121 TTY users can use (202)-225-1904.
*Contacting your U.S. Representative in Congress can be done via www.house.gov/ or via phone at the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202)-224-3121 TTY users can use (202)-225-1904.
Contacting your local representatives would be done through your home state Capitol and county and city offices and the list would be pretty extensive so I will leave that up to you.
Another often overlooked method is to contact the media as it seems that sometimes getting a response from a government official doesn’t always happen unless it becomes very mainstream these days. When contacting the media be certain that you can express your concerns efficiently and accurately, an ounce of misinformation can become a gallon of trouble in very short order. Be sure to research any media outlet that you choose to use as some are more adept at covering certain issues over others do to their following of viewers and readers.
What you choose to do with the information provided is solely up to you, I can only hope that you choose to use it!!!.