The American Driver
From Drivers - For Drivers
What's News - December 2007
‘Special detail' wakes up truckers at Flying J in Illinois
Rick Donais deals with inspections multiple times every week. But on Friday, Nov. 30, Donais
awoke about 7 a.m. to a policeman knocking on his window asking to search his Volvo dry van.
He was at the Flying J truck stop in Effingham , IL near Interstate 70 and Interstate 57.
[ go to our "Bitchboard" to read The American Driver's comments regarding this outright
violation of constitutional rights, as well as Federal Regulation rules (
click here) ]
Trucking company owner pleads guilty in CDL scheme
The list of trucking carriers using imported truck drivers through rigged CDL tests continues to
grow. Howard Schenider, 40, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Nov. 28, to a wire fraud charge.
Wishin' you were truckin' again? Arrow to the rescue
Sometimes, through no real fault of their own, life hands truckers some very tough breaks. It
might mean losing their trucks – and the means of supporting themselves and their families. A
program is under way that aims to help a trucker who's fallen on hard times. The program is
called “Back on the Road 2008.” It's the brainchild of Arrow Truck Sales which, along with
cosponsors, including OOIDA, aims to put one deserving trucker back on the road.
OOIDA drives home anti-toll position at I-80 symposium
OOIDA's position opposing interstate tolling was well received at the “Perspectives on I-80
Symposium,” Friday, Nov. 30, in Clarion, PA. About 200 people turned out to listen to the
discussions.
OOIDA hosts Truckers for Troops Telethon
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is helping Santa during the holiday
season with a special gift to those who serve our country. OOIDA will conduct its first ever
membership radio telethon, and 10 percent of the membership fees collected will be matched
by the Association to pay for care packages to be sent to U.S. troops stationed overseas.
Truckers to meet Saturday in Michigan , Maine about diesel prices
A group of logging truckers in Michigan plan to meet in Mass City on Saturday, Dec. 1, to
discuss what, if anything, can be done about diesel prices, which are averaging $3.56 per
gallon in their state. Meanwhile, in Maine , another group of truckers plan to meet in
Damariscotta on Saturday for the same reason.
Toll bill in the works in Washington state
Truck drivers and motorists in Washington would have to keep their wallets handy while
traveling in the state, if leading lawmakers in the state get their way. They want to send
legislation to the governor during the next regular session that would create a framework for
collecting tolls, Northwest Public Radio reported.
Days numbered on New Jersey bill mandating snow-free vehicles
With a little more than one month remaining in the legislative session, time is running out for a
bill in the New Jersey statehouse that would have the state get tough with drivers who fail to
clear snow and ice off their vehicles. The rule would apply to commercial and non-commercial
vehicles.
 
Top Of Page
 
Weekly Feature Article  [12/02/07]
FUEL TAXES - Where the money goes  (by Michael Howe - Challenge Magazine)
The public is told this dependence is part of the reason fuel prices are so high. No one
appreciates the price of fuel more than the American truck driver. After all, fuel costs can
account for as much as 25 percent of total operating costs. But a significant portion of that is
fuel taxes – which have little to do with the country’s dependence, or lack thereof, on foreign oil.
Motorist hits, injures trucker who was chaining up in Colorado
A truck driver was seriously injured Sunday morning, Dec. 2, when he got out to chain up and
was hit by a motorist driving a Jeep Wrangler on I-70 near Bakerville , CO.
[ A reminder to drivers...please stay alert in, or around, chain-up areas. ]
[ Safe trails and God Bless ]
Winter weather plagues truckers across northern tier
Winter weather has been a big factor for a lot of truckers in the past day or so. And there is not
much relief in sight, according to the National Weather Service.
Will border, port access depend on driver-owned fingerprint ID systems?
Picture a port trucker pressing his thumb onto a keychain-sized pad, which sends a remote
signal to a sensor nearby. A gate opens, and the driver's hazmat load rolls into the port. The
$150 pad can be used to open gates, unlock truck doors and even start an engine. Someday
you just may carry one everywhere.
Truckers meet to discuss fuel crisis; Maine governor offers relief
In response to an urgent plea from logging truckers, Maine Gov. John Baldacci declared a civil
emergency on Friday, Nov. 30, and said he'll work to ease weight restrictions on several
interstates and try to get state fuel tax reimbursements returned more quickly.
Bill would impose stiffer price-gouging penalties in New Jersey
As state lawmakers make a final push in New Jersey to approve bills before the regular
session ends in about five weeks, one bill of interest would toughen penalties for fuel price
gouging. The effort is one of several price-gouging protections being pursued by lawmakers in
the state.
[ Well, New Jersey state lawmakers...either get it done this time, or quit playing this game with
American citizens!!! This ploy has been over-played - it's become obvious that our government
has no intention of attacking big oil corporations...even when the robbing of American citizens
is obvious. ]
Passenger vehicle mileage standards included in energy bill
U.S. House and Senate leaders have negotiated an agreement that could raise fuel economy
standards in cars, SUVs and light trucks by 2020. The agreement does not include changes in
standards for medium-duty or heavy-duty trucks.
Know your rights: readers respond to Effingham police searches
News spreads fast among the trucking community. Several Land Line readers and OOIDA
members called and wrote letters regarding an investigation at a Flying J truck stop in
Effingham , IL on Friday, Nov. 30.
[ Miss Omeara...you, and others with the same type of thinking, is the reason police think they
can violate our fourth amendment right without repercussions. ]
Jury hits Swift with $36.5 million judgment in fatality case
Swift Transportation Co. could not produce a driver's log book following a fatal wreck, and a
jury has awarded the victim's family $36.5 million in damages.
Proposed ordinance would ban semis on residential property in town
Truckers who live in Rio Rancho, NM, may want to make sure they are home to attend a City
Council meeting on Dec. 12 to discuss a proposed truck parking ordinance, which would
prohibit heavy trucks from parking on residential property in the city. To read OOIDA's letter to
Rio Rancho truckers, click
here .
Documents soon to be required at all U.S. land border crossings
The Department of Homeland Security has issued reminders that as of Jan. 31, 2008,
truckers, travelers and anyone else coming into the U.S. at a land border crossing will be
required to have a birth certificate and photo ID or a U.S. passport.
TWIC continues rollout: feds won't enforce card requirement for months
The Transportation Security Administration is continuing to open enrollment sites for the
estimated 800,000 workers who will be required to have the Transportation Worker
Identification Credential. This week, TSA begins enrolling port workers at the Port of Mobile, AL,
and the Port of Brownsville, TX.
Missouri lawmaker opposed to highway shutdowns
Concern about traffic congestion has led one Missouri state lawmaker to draft a bill to limit the
shutdown of any major highway or interstate in the state.
Arizona bill would ban drivers from using devices while at the wheel
If an Arizona state lawmaker gets his way, a new law would target people who drive distracted.
Rep. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, is expected to offer legislation during the 2008 session that
would prohibit reading, typing or sending text messages on an electronic wireless device,
such as a BlackBerry.
Truckers weigh in on proposed parking ordinance
Truck driver Toby Padilla lived in Rio Rancho, NM, for more than 21 years without any problems
until two years ago when he and his family moved into their new home on a 1.5-acre lot, where
he also started parking his gravel truck.
Pennsylvania state senators band together to oppose I-80 tolls
Eleven state senators in Pennsylvania have teamed up to let U.S. Transportation Secretary
Mary Peters know they oppose the conversion of I-80 into a toll road.
Pennsylvania Senate OKs bill to alter access to public records
The Pennsylvania Senate has approved a bill that is intended to strengthen the ability of the
public to obtain government records.
Speed limiters could be delayed in Quebec
A proposal in Quebec for mandatory speed limiters on heavy trucks is not expected to be the
slam dunk officials hoped it would be when Transportation Minister Julie Boulet filed the
legislation earlier this month.
Congressman promising action to stop I-80 tolls
U.S. Rep. John Peterson, R-PA, vows to make it “as difficult as possible” for state and federal
transportation officials to convert Interstate 80 into a toll road in his home state.
I-5 still closed in Washington; detour more than doubles distance
State highway officials in Washington are now saying it could be this weekend or even later
before a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 can be reopened.
Florida Grinch steals speeder’s Christmas
It’s the holiday season and in Orlando, FL, that means sheriff’s officers break out their
costumes.
OOIDA objects to CARB port rule scheduled for Friday vote
The latest wave of concern about global warming is hitting U.S. ports, and OOIDA officials say
they want to ensure that long-haul truckers can access ports without having radio frequency
identifiers attached to their trucks or other invasive tracking.
Alabama bridges to get attention in upcoming session
A package of bills expected to draw consideration in the Alabama Legislature next year is
intended to help replace bad bridges throughout the state.
New Jersey bill would crack down on road rage
A bill in the New Jersey Assembly that is intended to help curb rage could come up for
consideration in the final month of the regular session.
I-5 reopens, closes, opens again in Washington
A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in Washington that was shut down by flooding on Monday, Dec.
3, was reopened Friday, only to be temporarily closed again.
Congressman promising action to stop I-80 tolls
U.S. Rep. John Peterson, R-PA, vows to make it “as difficult as possible” for state and federal
transportation officials to convert Interstate 80 into a toll road in his home state.
Missouri, other states wrestle with driving privileges for illegal immigrants
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has said he wants to crackdown on illegal immigration by barring
people who are in the state illegally from obtaining driver’s licenses.
[ What is wrong with our government?  There's nothing to consider about driving privileges for
illegal immigrants.  
THEY'RE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS - THEY'RE HERE ILLEGALLY!!!! ]
CARB adopts statewide port rule to limit diesel emissions by 2009
The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved sweeping new rules Friday to
block older trucks from ports by late 2009 and require all trucks to meet 2007 emission
standards by late 2013.
Texas Gov. Perry appoints Robert Poole to toll road committee
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation to a committee
designed to study private investment options for toll roads in the Lone Star State. Poole is the
director of transportation studies for the Reason Foundation, a free-market think tank he
founded. He is widely known as an advocate of public-private partnerships, congestion pricing
and the leasing of infrastructure to private investors.
‘Move Over’ rule sought in New Jersey
A practice followed by professional truck drivers for decades would become law for all drivers
in New Jersey in a bill that could come up for consideration in the final month of the regular
legislative session. The proposal is designed to protect emergency personnel and certain
vehicles during roadside stops
OOIDA urges truckers to weigh in on proposed parking ordinance
Truck driver Toby Padilla lived in Rio Rancho, NM, for more than 21 years without any problems
until two years ago when he and his family moved into their new home on a 1.5-acre lot, where
he also started parking his gravel truck. Padilla said that’s when the trouble began.
Weekly Featured Article  [12/09/07]
PROUD TO SERVE MY COUNTRY  (by Arthur Smith - Challenge Magazine)
Courageous. Disciplined. Heroic. These are among the terms that define soldiers in the world’
s most powerful military – that of the United States.
Senate hearing on HOS, driver fatigue postponed
A hearing on driver fatigue and the hours-of-service regulations scheduled by the Surface
Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security Subcommittee on the
FMCSA's upcoming interim final HOS rule has been postponed.
Dart officials seek exemption from HOS provisions
Officials from Dart Trucking Co. requested an exemption from the FMCSA for 200 of their
owner-operators. They don't want those drivers to be subject to the prohibition against driving
after the 14th hour of coming on-duty, following 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
[ Good job Dart...finally some common sense regarding HOS regs ]
OOIDA member wins legal round; $22 million in fines at stake
Gary Ring's legal battle against the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
continues to ricochet through the court system. Ring, an OOIDA member from Virginia, IL, has
spent six years challenging the constitutionality of Louisiana's on-the-spot fines at weigh
stations and the administrative review of state-issued traffic citations.
Trade group calls for relief for logging truckers
The trade group that represents the lumber industry in Michigan is calling for emergency
measures to help logging truckers cope with high fuel costs. The Michigan Forest Products
Council wants the governor to declare a state of emergency so the state can seek help from
the federal government.
Massachusetts governor announces transportation funding bill
Gov. Deval Patrick has unveiled a three-year, $2.9 billion transportation bond bill intended to
help drivers in Massachusetts get around.
Kentucky bill would restrict drivers' cell phone use
If a Kentucky state lawmaker gets his way, drivers in the state would be required to keep their
hands off their phones.
Mexico’s truck fleet shows some age
Trucks in Mexico by and large are 12 years old or older according to statistics released by the
Mexico Secretary of Transportation and Highways.
Truckers’ legal team prepares for contempt hearing Friday against Arctic
A hearing is scheduled Friday, Dec. 14, in a case brought by truckers against Arctic Express
Inc. The truckers contend that the carrier and its owner should be held in contempt of court for
failing to make settlement payments as ordered by a federal judge.
Former Missouri lawmaker sentenced for trucker visa fraud
Former Missouri state Rep. Nathan Cooper was sentenced this week to 15 months in a
federal prison for his involvement in a truck driver visa fraud scheme. Cooper pleaded guilty in
August to illegally obtaining work visas for hundreds of New Zealand immigrants so they could
drive for trucking companies in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.
New Mexico to add security features to driver’s licenses
New Mexico is joining a growing number of states changing the way driver’s licenses are
issued – and changing the licenses themselves.
Maryland governor calls for work zone cameras to nab speeders
If Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gets his way, cameras would be posted to enforce speed
limits in work zones throughout the state.
Virginia bill would ban open containers in vehicles
A bill in Virginia has been filed for consideration during the 2008 regular session that is
intended to make the state’s roadways a little safer.
Joey Holiday debuts new CD
Trucking music artist Joey Holiday’s new CD made its debut Tuesday, Dec. 11, on the Dave
Nemo Program on XM Satellite Radio’s Open Road Channel 171.
Nunley family continues on after loss of father, trucker
The Christmas season hits every grieving family hard, and the tight-knit Nunley family is no
different. Darrell Nunley, a trucker from Severn, MD, died in his sleeper at the age of 38 this
past June from a congenital heart problem. Darrell left behind a wife, OOIDA member Shawn
Nunley, and three young boys.
Economists tossing around the ‘R’ word
In a recession, economic activity slows down – and so does the trucking industry. For the first
time in a long time, some financial publications are using that dreaded ‘R’ word – saying a
recession could be around the corner.
Italian truckers protest diesel prices; country at a standstill
In Italy, a three-day-old strike by thousands of truckers who are protesting high diesel fuel
prices has shut down much of the nation’s economy.
OOIDA, coalition to Mary Peters: Deny I-80 tolls
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked the U.S. Department of
Transportation to “just say no” to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission by denying its
request to toll Interstate 80 in the state.
Pennsylvania House reps write to DOT to stop I-80 tolls
Less than one week after state senators sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary
Peters in opposition to interstate tolling, a dozen representatives from the Pennsylvania House
have followed suit with a letter of their own.
Truckers are loud and clear on NY Thruway toll increases
In New York, lawmakers are getting an earful on the toll increases planned for the New York
Thruway. “This is New York’s Main Street; it goes right across the doggone state,” said OOIDA
member Gene Schafer, Corfu, NY. “Increased tolls won’t do.” The New York Assembly’s
Standing Committee on Transportation will gather public concerns of truckers and others at
upcoming public hearings.
California to get say in toll road plan
Pending approval at the federal level, California could yet have its say in the proposed
construction of a toll road in Orange and San Diego counties that runs partially through a state
park.
Lawmaker tries for fourth time to add tolls to I-70 in Missouri
A Missouri state lawmaker has renewed his effort to eliminate a couple of barriers prohibiting
toll roads and bridges in the state. Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit, has filed legislation that
would enable the state’s Highways and Transportation Commission to fund, build and operate
toll roads and bridges, specifically, on Interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis.
CFI plays Santa to hundreds
The management and employees at Contract Freighters Inc. in Joplin, MO, are definitely
observing the true spirit of Christmas.
L.A., Long Beach ports consider new container fee to generate $1.6 billion
The Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission plans to consider on Monday, Dec. 17, approving
a new fee of $35 per every 20-foot equivalent unit shipping container in order to raise $1.6
billion for a truck replacement program.
Guadalupe Cooling: Not in the bathroom business
Guadalupe, CA – Disgusting. That’s the way a produce hauler described a situation he
recently encountered when picking up a load of produce in late November.
Guilty plea for CDL fraud at Missouri trucking school
The Department of Justice recently announced another guilty plea in the case of officials at a
truck-driving school in West Plains, MO, conspiring to fraudulently approve CDL testers.
Asphalt contractor pays $8 million to avoid federal lawsuit
A highway contractor in Clarksville , IN , has agreed to pay more than $8 million to settle
federal allegations that it cheated on asphalt samples it provided for testing for road projects in
Indiana and Kentucky .
Ohio lawmaker calls for English-only CDL tests
Aspiring truck drivers in Ohio would need to have a firm grasp of the English language to
obtain a commercial driver's license, under legislation offered by a state lawmaker. Rep.
William Batchelder, R-Medina, has offered a bill that would require the state's CDL test to be
given entirely in English.
TWIC enrollment hits ports in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York
Several ports each week are opening enrollment for truckers and others into the
Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, and the twin ports of Long Beach and
Los Angeles began enrollment on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Truckers opposed to truck parking ban in Rio Rancho fight back
Rio Rancho, NM, resident and gravel hauler Toby Padilla said he views Wednesday night's
City Council meeting as a small win for truckers who live in city limits and who park their rigs
on their residential property.
Feds revise fuel price forecast
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has sharply increased its estimate of what diesel
fuel will cost in the coming months. Back in November, the EIA predicted diesel would average
$3.15 per gallon for the fourth quarter of 2007.
Alabama bill would give small towns greater speed enforcement authority
A bill in the Alabama House that is expected to draw consideration during the upcoming
regular session would give small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstate
highways. It is the second year in a row the effort will be considered in the statehouse.
Wrecks could prompt fines in Manitoba
The Canadian province of Manitoba may start holding truckers financially accountable for any
damage they do to guardrails, bridges and other highway infrastructure.
Missouri DOT goes vegan
The Department of Transportation in Missouri is experimenting with what you might call the
vegetable highway. According to press releases, it plans to mix the juice from sugar beets with
a salt solution to de-ice highways in the winter.
‘Truckin' Santa' heads to Biloxi , MS
Although donations are down this year, OOIDA member Craig Hansen, known as the “Truckin'
Santa,” said he's not discouraged. Hansen and his wife, Debbie, of High Ridge , MO , are
heading out on Monday, Dec. 17, to Biloxi , MS , to help more than 200 families who probably
wouldn't have Christmas this year without Craig and Debbie's help.
OOIDA on the front lines of I-80 toll fight in Pennsylvania
OOIDA's relentless assault on the proposal in Pennsylvania to convert Interstate 80 into a toll
road continued Friday, Dec. 14. OOIDA Senior Government Affairs Associate Mike Joyce, a
Pennsylvania native, drove 300 miles from Washington , DC , to Grove City , PA , to testify at a
Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee hearing.
Congressman raises more questions about Greenway toll operator
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, asked the Virginia General Assembly and Gov. Tim Kaine to
conduct hearings to examine the business practices of the private foreign company that
operates the Dulles Greenway.
New Mexico road projects – including I-25 – on hold
Add New Mexico to the growing list of states that have hit the wall when it comes to funding
their highway projects.
CARB gives overview of emission-cutting measures to come
California car drivers should drive more efficiently, use mass transit, and look for hybrids and
other emission-busting technologies, the California Air Resources Board announced Friday.
Unfortunately for truckers, that's not where the environmental agency stopped.
Economic indicators remain mixed
With fuel prices, the slump in the housing market and the credit crunch dragging the economy
down, there was some good economic news this week. Retail sales in November increased
twice as much as had been forecast.
Interlock devices sought for drunken driving offenders in Alaska
An effort in Alaska that is expected to draw consideration in the statehouse next year would get
tough with drivers who repeatedly get behind the wheel after drinking too much. Rep. Kevin
Meyer, R-Anchorage, is expected to renew his push for legislation that would require people
with previous drunken driving convictions to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.
Featured Weekly Article  [12/16/07]
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS - Acknowledge those who are defending our freedom.
(by Morgan Reeve - Challenge Magazine)
‘Truckers for Troops' telethon continues to generate donations
While OOIDA staff continues to log and tally donations received during the Association's
“Truckers for Troops” telethon, work has already begun on preparation of the care packages
that the telethon funds will pay for. OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston announced that
the Association would continue to accept donations for the troops through Dec. 31.
Feds charge KBR employees in fuel theft scheme in Afghanistan
Two former employees of defense contractor KBR have been charged with helping Afghan
truck drivers steal fuel.
Toll collectors on Indiana Toll Road join Teamsters
By a slim margin, toll collectors on the Indiana Toll Road have voted to be represented by the
Teamsters Union . The vote was 108 to 103, with 18 workers not voting. Union officials told
The Associated Press that toll collectors organized by the Teamsters in other states earn
nearly $21 per hour, whereas in Indiana , they're paid between $10 and $14 per hour.
Pennsylvania bill intended to reduce idling emissions stalls
The Pennsylvania Senate has put on hold until next year consideration of a bill that is intended
to reduce unnecessary idling of large trucks throughout the state. In most instances, drivers
idling their trucks while sleeping or resting would be exempt from the rule.
Michigan bill would boost funding, not tolls, for Mackinac Bridge
A bill midway through the Michigan statehouse would use transportation dollars for upkeep on
the Mackinac Bridge rather than toll increases.
South Carolina bill would make way for emergency vehicles
A commonsense practice that road veterans have followed for decades would become
mandatory for all drivers if legislation in South Carolina becomes law. Another bill would get
tough with commercial drivers found to be driving under the influence.
Long Beach port board OKs new container fee to pay for clean truck plan
In the latest of a recent flurry of port emission rules, the Port of Long Beach 's governing body
voted Monday, Dec. 17, to impose a $35 fee for every 20 feet of container length.
CARB's amended port regulation still may hurt long-haul truckers
One week after the dust settled from a new port truck rule, one OOIDA official is saying the
California Air Resources Board has likely burdened interstate truckers with red tape. In early
December, CARB unanimously approved a new statewide rule aimed at cutting port truck
emissions.
Nevada study group pushing for private toll roads
In hopes of tapping into public-private partnerships to build highways in Nevada , a special
panel created by the governor has decided to call on state lawmakers to make it happen. The
study committee, created by Gov. Jim Gibbons, recommended asking the Nevada Legislature
to authorize pursuing deals with private groups to build highways.
OOIDA set to take action against Ontario speed limiters
“Do it now” is the latest advice from OOIDA's government affairs staff to truckers in an effort to
oppose mandatory speed limiters in the Canadian province of Ontario . The Association has
issued a Call to Action on the matter. It includes additional details and information on how to
submit comments. Click here to read that OOIDA Call to Action.
Missouri bills address truck-related issues
With a few weeks remaining until the start of the legislative session in Missouri , several bills
of interest to truck drivers have been prefiled for consideration at the statehouse. Among those
efforts are incentives to reduce idling, mandate biodiesel use and allow local enforcement of
truck rules.
U.S. removes Bosnian trucker from United States for alleged war crimes
U.S. authorities have decided to deport and permanently ban entry for a foreign truck driver
accused of war crimes in the 1990s.
Passport rule may be delayed
A Department of Homeland Security rule that would require passports at all United States
border crossings may be delayed for at least a year for truckers and others coming and going
to the U.S.
Maine truckers consider protesting at state capitol about fuel prices
Logging truckers in Maine have been trying to get the governor to give them 90 days of relief
from the state fuel tax to ease problems caused by high diesel prices. They say they may stage
a protest at the state capitol next month. OOIDA member Larry Sidelinger, who heads a group
called the Coalition for Lower Fuel Prices, said the state has an emergency fund that could
make up for the temporary loss of the diesel tax. But he said the governor is dragging his
heels.
Bush signs energy bill; heavy truck fuel mileage to be studied
A federal energy bill that President Bush has signed into law includes a fuel mileage study for
heavy trucks, increased mileage standards for passenger vehicles, and a mandate for
increased use of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
Pennsylvania Senate OKs biodiesel bills
Two bills halfway through the Pennsylvania statehouse are intended to boost the state’s use of
biofuels through production subsidies and content requirements.
Ohio bill that sought to toughen rules on road rage on hold for now
A bill in the Ohio Senate intended to help curb incidents of aggressive driving in the state will
have to wait until next year to find out whether it will become law. Sponsored by Sen. Tim
Grendell, R-Chesterland, the bill would define road rage and set penalties.
Kenworth extends $1,500 rebate to OOIDA members
Officials with Kenworth Truck Co. have announced an extension through 2008 of their
successful rebate program for members of OOIDA on qualifying new sleeper truck purchases.
Originally introduced six years ago, the program offers a $1,500 rebate to OOIDA members on
qualifying purchases of new Kenworth sleeper trucks.
New focus needed after HOS decision
If the federal government ever wants to make meaningful strides in reducing driver fatigue,
OOIDA says the lack of regard for drivers' time must still be addressed. Trucker Walter Krupski
delivered that message for the Association Wednesday, Dec. 19, in his testimony at a hearing
before the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Safety,
Security, and Infrastructure on the hours-of-service regulations.
OOIDA: Threat of Mexico blocking trade with U.S. unsubstantiated
On the eve of final passage of the omnibus appropriations bill, the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce officials said if funding for the cross-border trucking program is cut, Mexico might
limit imports of some U.S. agriculture products.
Truck lane restrictions begin near St. Louis on New Year's Day
Large trucks traveling through St. Louis no longer will be allowed to use the far left lane along
a stretch of interstate on the west side of the metro area starting New Year's Day. Trucks with a
registered gross weight of 24,001 pounds or more will be prohibited from driving in the far left
lane of Interstate 70 within three miles of its intersection with state Route 370 in St. Charles
County .
OOIDA ‘Telethon for Troops' tops $40,000 for care packages
OOIDA today announced the preliminary results of the “Truckers for Troops” telethon, and the
numbers are, well, simply amazing. The Association's goal was to raise $5,000 for care
packages for our troops overseas. Instead, the grand total as of Thursday, Dec. 20, came to
more than $41,500.
EPA slaps California with first-ever emission waiver rejection
The Environmental Protection Agency has rejected California 's attempt to set its own
greenhouse gas emission levels for cars, light trucks and SUVs – the first time the federal
agency has refused a waiver among more than 50 such requests. Since 2005, California has
sought an EPA waiver to begin requiring the nation's first greenhouse gas emission standards
for new vehicles sold in California . The law has been approved by 16 other states, and is one
of several ways California is trying to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.
NTSB recommends FMCSA implement EOBRs for all trucks
One federal agency is telling another federal agency that electronic on-board recorders are
needed on all heavy trucks and not just the trucks of companies that have bad safety records.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed on-board recorders for the “bad
actors” in the industry.
New York Thruway toll increases OK'd despite calls for reform
With a 10-percent toll increase already in place for January 2008, the New York Thruway
Authority Board of Directors voted to increase tolls an additional 5 percent in 2009 and another
5 percent in 2010.
Weekly Featured Article  [12/23/07]
RAISING THE ROOF - A home away from home for the rich and famous
(By Joan Tupponce - Challenge Magazine)
CARB set to begin enforcing new truck rules on Jan. 1, 2008
Truckers headed into California in the New Year should be aware of a few additions and
changes to the Golden State 's emission rules. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2008, California will
begin enforcing the first of several new statewide rules aimed at curbing greenhouse gas
emissions.
Foreign firm to build, operate HOT lanes on Capital Beltway
A company with roots in Australia will control 90 percent of the design, finance, construction
and operation of high-occupancy toll lanes on the Capital Beltway in Washington , DC , and
Virginia.
Officials approve container fee at port of L.A. to buy clean engines
The Port of Los Angeles has approved the second part of a three-phased plan for cutting truck
emissions, and new container fees will pay part of the bill. The Harbor Commission approved
a $35 fee on Thursday, Dec. 20, for every 20 feet of loaded equivalent cargo container leaving
the port beginning on June 1, 2008.
How clean is your favorite fast food restaurant?
Most truck drivers don't have a lot of options when it comes to their food choices, so many
choose fast food because of the convenience factor – it's quick and easy and they can get back
on the road. If you frequent fast food restaurants, you might want to take a look at this list to find
out how your favorite fast food chain ranks as far as cleanliness.
TA opens new truck stop in Greenwood , LA
Officials with TravelCenters of America announced on Tuesday, Dec. 18, that the chain has
opened a new travel center located on Interstate 20 at Exit 5 in Greenwood , LA.
Pennsylvania House approves bill to alter access to public records
Widely regarded as having one of the nation's weakest right-to-know laws, the Pennsylvania
House unanimously approved an effort to overhaul the state's open records law and
strengthen the ability of requesters to obtain government records.
Bakersfield, CA, targets truckers for parking on streets, dirt lots
Across the country, many cities have started cracking down on where truckers can and cannot
park their rigs. If you pull over and park alongside the road in the city limits of Bakersfield, CA,
you may pay a hefty fine.
Massachusetts proposal could lead to local tanker truck bans
A Massachusetts state lawmaker would like to see rules put in place that would allow
communities to prohibit tanker trucks from using local traffic rotaries, which are referred to as
roundabouts in some areas.
Biodiesel study positive so far, but questions arise
At the halfway point of a two-year study, a road test of biodiesel performance is working well
despite a few exceptions. The “Two Million Mile Haul” is a joint venture of the Iowa Central
Community College, Decker Truck Line of Fort Dodge, IA, and interested partners including the
National Biodiesel Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
New Oregon laws designed to reduce gridlock
A pair of laws scheduled to take effect Tuesday, Jan. 1, in Oregon are intended to help keep
traffic moving along the state’s roadways. One new law is intended to reduce gridlock caused
by vehicles that obstruct traffic flow. It requires drivers to remove their vehicles from traffic lanes
after minor wrecks or stalls.
Tougher snow-free vehicle rule sidetracked in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Senate recently wrapped up its work for the year without approving a bill that
is intended to encourage drivers to clear snow and ice off their vehicles. However, it isn’t a
dead issue.
Hey kids, here’s a good poster contest
Most truckers want their loved ones to buckle up, but are not so careful when it comes to their
own safety habits. According to government statistics, while 81 percent of the general driving
population wears a safety belt, only 59 percent of commercial vehicle drivers buckle up when
they climb behind the wheel. OOIDA and Natso, the national organization of truck stop and
travel center owners, have joined with the U.S. Department of Transportation to planning a
kids’ poster contest promoting safety belt use among truck drivers.
Weekly Featured Article [12/30/07]
HOW TO GET A GREAT NIGHT'S SLEEP
(By Dr. Todd Zeh - Challenge Magazine)
Police searches at Illinois truck stop spark questions
For three weeks, John Herrmann has heard questions from truckers worried about whether
they should park at his truck stop for the night. Herrmann, general manager of Flying J truck
stop in Effingham, IL, was working during the early morning hours of Nov. 30, when a detail of
Effingham County-area law enforcement officers woke several drivers by saying “DEA” and
asking to see the inside of their cabs.
Dispute about a pack of gum ends in fatal shooting
Some of the truckers at a Salt Lake City truck stop were eyewitnesses to a killing on
Wednesday, Dec. 26. The Deseret Morning News reports that a 31-year-old security guard was
shot to death by a man who was arguing loudly with a clerk over the purchase of a package of
gum.
Tennessee law to thwart employment of illegal immigrants effective Jan. 1
A new law in Tennessee that goes on the books the first of the year allows the state to
suspend business licenses for companies found to have “knowingly” employed illegal
immigrants.
Pennsylvania bill allowing local radar delayed until next year
The work year in the Pennsylvania statehouse is shutting down without passage of a bill that
would allow local police to use radar to nab speeders. However, it isn’t a dead issue. The
measure remained in the House Transportation Committee when lawmakers started
wrapping up the 2007 regular session. It can be brought back for consideration there during
the session that begins Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008.
Florida bill would OK statewide use of photo-red cameras
An effort renewed in the Florida Legislature would allow cameras to be posted throughout the
state to nab red-light runners. It marks the fifth straight year that legislation has been offered in
the state to authorize statewide use of red light cameras.
U.S. Representative says speed limiters will hurt Michigan’s trade
A U.S. representative from Michigan is concerned that a proposal for mandatory speed limiters
in the Canadian province of Ontario will have a negative impact on cross-border trade. Rep.
Joseph Knollenberg, R-MI, wrote a letter to Ontario Transportation Minister James Bradley
expressing concerns that a proposal for mandatory speed limiters on big trucks in Ontario
could possibly violate the intent of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Volvo voluntarily recalls trucks
Volvo has initiated a voluntary recall of 125,000 heavy-duty trucks in North America because of
a fire hazard. According to documents filed with the NHTSA, the company is recalling 2003
through 2008 model year trucks. Models affected include the Volvo VN, VHD, VNM and VT that
were manufactured from between November 2002 through October 2007.
Pennsylvania bills to split speeds, restrict left lanes, boost truck fines stall
The Pennsylvania Senate wrapped up its work for 2007 in December without advancing a pair
of bills of interest to truck drivers. However, they could both be brought back for consideration.
One bill that remained in committee at the end of the 2007 session would require truck drivers
to travel 5 mph slower than they do now and stay in the right lanes on certain highways in the
state.
Minnesota needs a quick fix for CDL program
Unless it can quickly improve its system for issuing CDLs, the state of Minnesota could miss
out on $20 million in federal highway funds next year.
EPA will turn over greenhouse gas documents to Congress
For almost two years, California has waited for the U.S. EPA to OK the state’s greenhouse gas
standards. When the answer came back “no,” environmentally active politicians wanted to
know why not. Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency said this week that they will
turn over all documents related to the agency’s thwarting of California’s greenhouse gas
emission law to Congress. The law would affect new cars and light trucks.
Georgia drivers, speeders eyed to fund trauma care
A leading state lawmaker in Georgia wants truck drivers and motorists to pay a little extra to
help fund a statewide trauma network. The state’s worst speeders also would be tapped to
chip in for the fund.
Oregon laws targeting red-light runners, drunken drivers effective Jan. 1
As soon as the calendar turns over to Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008, two new laws will take effect in
Oregon. They are intended to make roadways in the state a little safer. One allows a lot more
automated cameras to be posted throughout the state while the other is aimed at drunken
drivers.
Truck lane restrictions begin near St. Louis on Tuesday
Large trucks traveling through St. Louis no longer will be allowed to use the far left lane along
a stretch of interstate on the west side of the metro area starting New Year’s Day. Trucks with a
registered gross weight of 24,001 pounds or more will be prohibited from driving in the far left
lane of Interstate 70 within three miles of its intersection with state Route 370.
Boston’s Big Dig project officially complete
After 16 years and nearly $15 billion, Boston’s Big Dig underground highway system is
scheduled to be officially declared complete on New Year’s Eve.
Three ports in British Columbia merge operations
The administrative and operations aspects of three seaports in lower British Columbia are
being merged into one operation. The new operation will be called the Vancouver Fraser Port
Authority and will combine the port authorities for Vancouver, Fraser River and North Frazer.