Even though truck drivers were often called heroes throughout the pandemic, it is quite common for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to receive reports about truckers being denied access to a restroom at a shipper or receiver facility.
A new bill aims to make those reports a thing of the past.
The bipartisan Trucker Bathroom Access Act, or HR9592, was introduced on Dec. 15 by Reps. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, and Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa.
The bill simply requires shipper and receiver facilities that have restrooms accessible to their customers and employees make those same restrooms available for truck drivers who are delivering or receiving a load. The legislation would not require businesses to construct new restrooms.
“I am proud to introduce legislation to ensure our great American truckers have basic access to restroom facilities while working,” Nehls said. “American truckers are this nation’s backbone, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for the tremendous contributions they made during the pandemic.”
OOIDA helped craft the bill.
“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,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “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 Reps. 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 Trucker Bathroom Access Act also is supported by the Women in Trucking Association.
“As more women enter the industry, the need for restroom access increases while access to facilities has decreased,” said Ellen Voie, president of the Women in Trucking Association. “We applaud Rep. Nehls’ and Rep. Houlahan’s support to require shippers and receivers to offer drivers this very basic need.”
More details about the Trucker Bathroom Access Act can be found here. LL