American Trucking Associations has launched a new media campaign highlighting the personal toll of the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure.
ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said on an April 3 conference call the campaign is part of the trucking industry’s continued push to get the federal government to step up its infrastructure funding.
Fixing the nation’s “roads and bridges simply can’t wait any longer,” Spear said. He called 2019 “a key year” in moving legislation forward because the Highway Trust Fund could go broke next year. In addition, it will be extremely difficult to pass significant legislation during a presidential election year.
Spear added if President Trump “put his full weight behind it… I am confident the votes are there in both chambers [of Congress.]."
The media blitz includes a television commercial airing in the Washington, DC, area starting this week. There is also a digital push, with the ad highlighted on the Roadtoabetterfuture.com web site.
Spear said in the coming weeks the message will be expanded to areas represented by key lawmakers that head up the infrastructure debate.
ATA said one goal of the campaign is to have the general public contact their representatives to take action.
“What’s often missing from the infrastructure debate in Washington is the appreciation of the human toll and how the issue of crumbling roads and bridges impacts virtually every American, often with unfortunate consequences,” said Spear.
ATA and other groups have been pushing for what they call an increase in the federal fuel user fee to fund maintenance. In the absence of federal action, more states are taking actions including raise fuel taxes and implementing new tolls.
“The dismal state of our nation’s roads and bridges forces the average commuter to waste 42 hours a year sitting in traffic,” said Spear. “Between time lost and the $1600 in vehicle damage and wasted gas the average American is saddled with, we are no longer at the brink – we are living in a crisis situation.