Press Release

Trucking Industry Applauds Passage of Legal Reform in Indiana

Feb 22, 2024

Washington — Today the trucking industry applauded the Indiana General Assembly for enacting civil justice reform legislation that amends the state’s seatbelt admissibility statute pertaining to automobile accident litigation. The bill, which passed the legislature with bipartisan support and now heads to Governor Holcomb’s desk, would make evidence of a litigant’s non-usage of a safety belt admissible in court in most cases. 

The trucking industry says reforms like these are critical to ensuring fairness and balance in the civil justice system and will deter the exploitation of one-sided rules that incentivize abusive and frivolous litigation in pursuit of profits rather than justice. 

“This is a commonsense measure that only increases transparency and ensures jurors have complete information when rendering a fair and just verdict,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “Indiana is one of many states in recent years to amend the so-called ‘seatbelt gag rule,’ a legacy of a bygone era when seat belt use wasn't common and the safety benefit wasn't universally accepted like it is today.”

“Indiana’s trucking industry plays a vital role in the everyday lives of Hoosiers, and lawsuit abuse presents a growing obstacle to our ability to deliver life’s essentials safely and efficiently,” said Indiana Motor Truck Association President and CEO Gary Langston. “We appreciate the House and Senate for their leadership on this issue and encourage Governor Holcomb to swiftly sign this bill into law. We look forward to the continued partnership with our state’s leaders on commonsense reforms that stand for justice, fairness and safety.” 

The trucking industry plays an essential role in the Indiana economy and is a key provider of middle-class jobs, employing approximately 231,000 Hoosiers across the state. More than 80 percent of Indiana communities rely exclusively on trucks to receive their goods.