In The News

Bathroom Bill Encourages Restroom Access

By Brandon Baxter - Staff Writer
Posted Jan 18th 2023 8:00AM

In December, the Trucker Bathroom Access Act was introduced as a way to allow commercial drivers the basic human right of having access to restroom facilities when they are picking up or delivering freight. And if this bill gets signed into law, the Trucker Bathroom Access Act would change the game.

The bill, introduced by U.S. Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas), would ensure truckers can have access to bathroom facilities when they’re picking up or delivering cargo. It would not require businesses to construct new restrooms for the drivers, but it does require that if a business has a bathroom that is available to their customers or employees, then truck drivers will also benefit from having that same access.

The legislation would require retailers, warehouses, and other businesses to give truck drivers access to bathroom facilities when they are picking up cargo or making deliveries. It would also require that if a business has a restroom available to their customers or employees, then truckers should have the same access. Finally, it will also ensure that the operators of ports and terminals will provide bathroom access to drayage drivers.

In a statement, Nehls credited the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the Women In Trucking Association for collaborating on this legislation, while Houlahan emphasized the importance of measures like this to attract more women into the industry.

“Time and again, we’ve seen that when we include more women in our workforce, our economy prospers—that’s true for the trucking industry, too,” Houlahan said. “But restricted access to bathrooms is putting that progress in jeopardy. In response, our new bipartisan legislation will give all truckers, and female drivers in particular, the confidence of having access to a restroom when they deliver goods to businesses and American families. Especially as the trucking industry continues to face employee retention challenges, we must ensure that we are providing truckers a working environment that honors the vital role they play in growing our economy. Ultimately, keeping more drivers on the road means fewer supply chain delays and lower costs. I’m proud to partner with Representative Nehls on this straightforward effort.” 

Ellen Voie, president and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association adds, “as more women enter the trucking industry, the need for restroom access increases, while access to facilities has decreased. We applaud Representative Nehls’ support to require shippers and receivers to offer our drivers this very basic need.”

OOIDA also praises this legislation.

“The men and women of America’s trucking industry keep our supply chain moving, and it’s only reasonable that their most basic of needs be accommodated while they are on the job,” says Todd Spencer, OOIDA president and CEO. “We thank Representatives Nehls and Houlahan for showing tremendous leadership on this issue, and we look forward to continue working with [them] and our coalition partners to get this legislation signed into law.”

So, as long as this bill makes it into law, you can rest assured that the next time you (as a commercial truck driver) are making a delivery or picking up cargo, that your basic right of having access to a bathroom will indeed be making your job a little easier.