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Ralph Nader > Special Features > Letter to Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, Inc.
P.O. Box 81226
Seattle, WA 98108-1226

Dear Mr. Bezos,

I just learned that Mr. Paul E. Misener, VP of Global Public Policy for Amazon is testifying on Tuesday July 7, 2015 before the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The hearing is on the topic of “Technologies Transforming Transportation: Is the Government Keeping Up?”

I understand that Amazon plans to endorse a proposal at tomorrow’s hearing supported by special trucking industry lobbyists to force every state to allow oversized, extra-long trucks pulling double 33 ft. trailers, so-called Double 33s. These trucks are dangerous and deadly and countless opinion polls show overwhelming public opposition to allowing bigger and heavier trucks on our roads and highways. Every year on average about 4,000 people die in large truck crashes and 100,000 more are injured. This is equivalent to a major airplane crash every week of the year. Mr. Misener, on behalf of Amazon could make a very important contribution to the congressional debate going on right now about the anti-truck safety provisions contained in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill during his presentation to the Subcommittee by voicing opposition to the various anti-truck safety provisions contained in this bill.

Large trucking companies are lobbying Congress to gut and rollback important truck safety laws and regulations that will jeopardize safety and contribute to the needless carnage on our highways. In addition to the proposal overturning state laws and 39 states that now prohibit Double 33s, there are also provisions permitting truck drivers to work and drive as many as 82 hours a week and stopping an open federal government rulemaking looking at minimum insurance requirements for trucks and passenger-carrying buses. The Obama Administration is opposed to all of these attacks on truck safety.

I would be happy to talk with you or your staff about this legislation and the need for Amazon to advance highway safety and not deter the Washington Post from editorializing against such dangerous legislation.

My recent column on this important topic follows.


Ralph Nader