June 27, 2007 2:30 PM, EDT

L.A. Truckers Run Convoy to Back Ports’ Emissions Plan

A convoy of 100 diesel trucks motored slowly along the Harbor Freeway from South Los Angeles to the Port of Long Beach Wednesday as part of a push for cleaner air and better working conditions for drivers, television station KTLA reported on its Web site.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the truckers caused no problems on the freeway, the station reported.

The convoy was led on its two-hour trip by a hearse, used to symbolize premature deaths caused by pollution emitted at the port and the neighboring Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It was organized by the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports, a group that includes truck drivers and environmental, health, labor and community groups in southern Los Angeles County, the Times said.

The group supports a draft plan by the ports to cut diesel pollution from trucks by 80% in five years.

The plan would also increase drivers' income by requiring trucking companies to hire their truckers as employees, rather than pay them at a lower rate as independent contractors, the Times said.