We truckers carry necessities across multiple state lines, through multiple municipalities, and interact with many individuals along the way.
I believe it is imperative as a nation, we protect drivers by addressing the likelihood a CMV operator becomes stricken with this virus.
In doing so, we ensure the rest of our society continues to have access to the goods required in our communities, while the nation undergoes multiple quarantines.
I suggest, medical personnel and portable testing sites be opened throughout the national network at each of our nation's weigh stations.
In addition, drivers should face no penalties for being infected with this virus, at no fault of their own. Drivers must feel safe to disclose their status of symptoms and not face fines, penalties or negative recordings with the FMCSA, DACA, or any other state/federal regulatory agency.
It's imperative that drivers seek medical attention when they become infected, so it's crucial they feel compelled by positive forces to do so.
It's clear, many drivers will become ill in the near future and will be placed out of service, for which they will lose a large portion of their income.
Therefore it's important, those on the front lines of perpetuating daily society, have the confidence they will be protected, aided, and made well/whole again throughout this national emergency.
I ask, you US Representatives and US Senators to address this crucial need with quick and prudent legislation.
We drivers have very little access to medical care throughout the national network, however we are in daily access to weigh stations multiple times a day, so it would be prudent to place care stations at each station along our routes and that they remain open throughout this emergency.
For instance, if a driver is near a company terminal and is showing slight signs/symptoms and their vehicle operation isn't adversely affected, order them to return to the terminal under exempted status and then placed out of service under their company safety department's order for mandated quarantine. If a driver is found to be suffering more severe symptoms and clearly has the Coronavirus, quarantine immediately and place out of service on the spot, calling 911 for immediate medical transport to nearest facility.
I know as a nation we can rise together to the level of this challenge and I urge everyone to support their communities & follow the CDC protocols throughout this trying time. Remember, we are all in this together, regardless of origin. E Pluribus Unum.
Mark Bignell, 2018 Democratic
Nominee to State Senate, District 33
& OTR Professional Driver.
Mark Bignell is an alumni of Montcalm Community College and Grand Valley State University. He is a former Democratic Nominee for Michigan State Senate and current candidate.