An online group with over 9,000 followers calling itself Black Smoke Matters is trying to organize a shutdown of truckers on April 12, 2019. This is to protest a variety of conditions affecting drivers, including hours of service and training levels.
This group also put together a protest on October 6th, 2018, where they blocked off three lanes on I-95 in Washington DC. for serval minutes in protest of the industries current issues.
With little reform to the problems they protested on in October, they are asking truckers nationwide to join them on April 12th to shut down their trucks for the entire day. The Black Smoke group has laid out an outline for the top issues they want resolved:
- HOS reform that makes sense for all
- Training/safety standards for all drivers
- Parking/availability: Shippers and receivers taking too long during unloading
- FMCSA standard in regulations/inspection: They need to be on the same level across the board, no more self interpretations
- Drivers voice for all future regulation proposals: There needs to be involvement from drivers before making new regulations
It is unclear exactly how much momentum this movement has gained, it is safe to say without resolution to these issues it will gain a bigger following. It isn't surprising that this industry is getting to the point of protesting. It has had an arms length of issues in the past years and they only seem to be getting worse. Mainly due to the driver shortage which has a ripple effect on the entire industry.
To some Black Smokes actions seem a little over the top, but it is easy to see that they are doing this for the future benefits of trucking. If this protest does happen on April 12th, it will be interesting to see who's involved, how many, and the impact it has on companies for the day.