The May 20 letter to the editor from D.C. special interest group lobbyist Joan Claybrook is a dishonest attempt to spread misinformation about important safety provisions included in the transportation funding bill sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins. The Collins bill passed the Senate last week, with overwhelming bipartisan support (89-8), after it was unanimously reported out of committee (30-0).

This is not the first time Ms. Claybrook has opposed common-sense measures that actually improved the safety of Maine roads. She has criticized moving heavy trucks from Maine’s downtowns to the interstate highway, where they belong; opposed provisions that would allow truckers to avoid morning rush-hour traffic where the risk of accidents is the highest.

She has also fought to eliminate a data-driven rule that allows truckers to restart their week after a 34-hour rest period. Since this restart rule went into effect in 2004, fatal truck crashes have decreased 25 percent.

Her latest misguided effort is to attack a bill that would reduce the number of hours a truck driver can work. Ms. Claybrook’s group criticized a 2014 effort to protect the effective restart rule, saying it would let truck drivers work 82 hours after taking a restart.

In direct contradiction to this argument, Ms. Claybrook’s “safety” group, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, is now criticizing this year’s bill for setting a 73-hour cap on the maximum amount of hours a driver can work after taking a restart. Consequently, they are now criticizing a cap that decreases the maximum number of hours a driver could work.

The so-called “safety” group Ms. Claybrook represents ignores the facts, constantly changes its positions and has lost all credibility.

Sheldon Cote

director of safety, Pottle’s Transportation