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Bipartisan bill would give truckers access to restroom facilities

Dec. 19, 2022
The legislation would require retailers, warehouses, and other businesses to give truckers access to bathroom facilities when they are picking up cargo or making deliveries.

A basic human right is often denied to truck drivers who don’t always have access to restroom facilities when they are picking up or delivering freight. If signed into law, the Trucker Bathroom Access Act would change that.

The bill, introduced by U.S. Reps. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), would ensure truckers can access bathroom facilities when picking up or delivering cargo. It would not require businesses to construct new restrooms, but it does require that if a business has a bathroom available to their customers or employees, truckers have the same access.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) praised the legislation.

“The men and women of America’s trucking industry keep our supply chain moving, and it’s only reasonable that their most basic of needs be accommodated while they are on the job,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA president and CEO. “We’ve heard from countless drivers who have been forced to ‘hold it’ because they were not allowed to access the bathroom when they were picking up or delivering freight. We thank Representatives Nehls and Houlahan for showing tremendous leadership on this issue, and we look forward to continue working with [them] and our coalition partners to get this legislation signed into law.”

The legislation would:

  • Require retailers, warehouses, and other businesses to give truckers access to bathroom facilities when they are picking up cargo or making deliveries.
  • Require that if a business has a restroom available to their customers or employees, truckers should have the same access.
  • Require the operators of ports and terminals to provide bathroom access to drayage drivers.

See also: DOT leader touts safety, making trucking a better place to work for drivers

In a statement, Nehls credited OOIDA and the Women In Trucking Association for collaborating on this legislation, while Houlahan emphasized the importance of measures like this to attract more women into the industry.

“Time and again, we’ve seen that when we include more women in our workforce, our economy prospers—that’s true for the trucking industry, too,” Houlahan said. “But restricted access to bathrooms is putting that progress in jeopardy. In response, our new bipartisan legislation will give all truckers, and female drivers in particular, the confidence of having access to a restroom when they deliver goods to businesses and American families. Especially as the trucking industry continues to face employee retention challenges, we must ensure that we are providing truckers a working environment that honors the vital role they play in growing our economy. Ultimately, keeping more drivers on the road means fewer supply chain delays and lower costs. I’m proud to partner with Representative Nehls on this straightforward effort.” 

“As more women enter the trucking industry, the need for restroom access increases, while access to facilities has decreased,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association. “We applaud Representative Nehls’ support to require shippers and receivers to offer our drivers this very basic need.” 

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