A freshman congressman from the Sunshine State wants to change federal regulations for trucks carrying produce.
On Friday, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., brought out the “Freedom from Regulating Edible Supplies and Horticulture Trucking Act” (FRESH Trucking Act) which, he insists, will “improve safety conditions for commercial agricultural drivers by eliminating harmful regulations that can result in dangerous driving practices and spoilage of products.”
Steube pointed to the important role citrus plays in his district.
“My district is the largest citrus producing district in the United States. These citrus producers, and all the hard-working farmers and growers across my district, rely on commercial agricultural drivers to get their products from point A to point B,” Steube said on Friday. “Unfortunately, current federal regulations for drivers often create dangerous driving situations and can lead to the expiration of agricultural, horticultural, or floricultural products including fruits and flowers. This bill seeks to remedy these issues to improve safety and service.”
According to the congressman’s office, the bill “changes the hours of service and break regulations for commercial agricultural drivers, allowing them to complete their trip if they are over the maximum on-duty drive time but within 150 miles of their destination” and “removes loading and unloading time from being counted against on-duty time and gives agricultural drivers discretion to use their mandatory 30-minute break how and when they see fit across their 8-hour shift.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Friday. So far, Steube has not been able to reel in any cosponsors. As of now, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.