Trucking Veteran Named One of President Obama’s Champions of Change

Ralph Garcia

With 32 years experience as a professional driver and more than 3 million accident-free miles, Ralph Garcia has seen a lot of America. For those who have watched him lead his team to 12 first place victories at the New Mexico State Truck Driving Championships, it comes as no surprise that this responsible driver was chosen as one of President Obama’s Champions of Change. Mr. Garcia was nominated by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and, when chosen, was one of 20 transportation professionals invited to the White House in May 2011.

Champions of Change

Champions of Change are individuals honored by the White House for their contributions to American society. The White House Champion of Change title is bestowed on “ordinary Americans…doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”

Every week, a different category is chosen such as Transportation, Arts Education, Veterans or Small Business. Champions are chosen for their contributions within that category.

Why Ralph Garcia?

The New Mexico State Truck Driving Championships are safety competitions that test the skill of participating truck drivers. They are also an opportunity to qualify for the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC). Mr. Garcia has placed 14 times in the New Mexico championships, 12 of which were blue ribbon finishes. He has also participated in the NTDC. Mr. Garcia has received numerous safety awards, including being named New Mexico Driver of the Month three times.

As a captain in the elite America’s Road Team, Mr. Garcia speaks to the news media, schools, community groups and industry and government officials about highway safety. He also expresses the necessity and importance of the trucking industry.

Upon receiving the Champions of Change award, Mr. Garcia said, “It was an honor to be invited to the White House to promote something I believe in so strongly – the importance of the trucking industry.”

Mr. Garcia also spoke out against the proposed changes to the hours of service regulations. He cited his own dedication to safe driving and the three million accident-free miles he has driven as reasons why the current system is working. He believes the new regulations will end up hurting drivers like him –professional truckers who are committed to road safety. It is a refreshing example for all drivers – commercial and non-commercial alike – to see a driver taking personal responsibility for his involvement in road safety.

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http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/transportation/ralph-garcia

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