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Ex-trucking industry exec: safety changes urgently needed, part 1

One thing that trucking executives and lobbyists are certainly looking for when they are figuratively gearing up to do battle with an industry critic is a perceived weakness in that person that they can attack in order to undermine the message that is being delivered.

Perhaps that individual can be assailed on grounds that he or she lacks the professional qualifications and experience required to weigh in with viewpoints that merit due consideration. Perhaps that person can be knocked for being an industry outsider who is not truly privy to material goings-on in the trucking industry.

If those are going to be the tried-and-true strategies sought to be invoked against one Howard Abramson, lobbyists and trucking executives are seemingly going to be in for a hard time.

Because Abramson is one of them, a tested industry veteran who operated at the apex of power during the years he served as an executive with the American Trucking Associations, the nation’s largest industry advocacy group.

Abramson has now set pen to paper for The New York Times in an article that roundly excoriates the nation’s trucking industry for its blemished safety record and continued attempts to thwart real safety reforms.

Unsurprisingly, the ATA and other industry spokespersons are squirming.

Abramson doesn’t mince words. He states that Congress is “coddling the trucking industry” notwithstanding the efforts of the ATA and other apologists that have “consistently resisted safety improvements.”

Rather than offering an open-ended and generic critique of trucking policies, practices and industry-supported legislation, Abramson’s calling out of the industry is marked by multiple points that are grounded in detail and supporting statistics.

We’ll take a close look at his some of his key assertions in our next blog post.

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