The American Driver
From Drivers - For Drivers
What's News - February 2007
Trucker says sheriff’s deputies shocked him with stun gun seven times
Larry Works is looking for anyone who may have witnessed a July 29 incident at a Missouri
Petro.
Nude body found in Indiana TA parking lot
Police in Lake Station, IN, are searching for clues after the discovery of a nude female body near
a TA truck stop parking lot on Thursday, Feb. 22.
Arrrgh! Trucking company pays $300,000 for pirating software
The nation’s largest family-owned car-haul trucking company has paid $300,000 to settle
claims that it was in possession of illegal computer software on its company computers.
Trucker files federal civil rights suit against police
A 74-year-old South Carolina trucker, Victor Angeline, who spent several months and thousands
of dollars fighting DUI and drug charges that were eventually dropped has filed a federal lawsuit
against the Hoover, AL, Police Department.
Judge promises maximum penalties for improper coil securement
A judge in Jefferson County, AL, is taking a hard-line stance to punish drivers hauling large steel
coils that aren’t properly secured.
Missouri bills on tax breaks for trucks, highway contractors advance
Two bills moving through the Missouri Senate would offer tax breaks for highway contractors
and certain trucks.
‘Ag fees’ on border blasted
A high-ranking American politician has joined a lot of Canadian truckers in blasting the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s plan to slap fees on inbound trucks at border crossings.
Illiana opponents speak out
About 500 opponents of a privatized toll road that would run between Indiana and Illinois packed
a meeting in Valparaiso, IN, on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Canadian rail strike affecting truckers
The effects of a 13-day-old strike by Canadian railroad workers are being felt on both sides of
the border, on the rails and roads.
Fuel shortages causing hassles in Canada
The Ontario Trucking Association is asking the Canadian government to temporarily allow
truckers to use farm-grade diesel fuel to help offset supply problems caused by a diesel fuel
shortage.
Washington state bill would change intrastate truck rules
Unsafe trucking companies are the subject of a bill in the Washington Legislature.
Bill to eliminate split speeds in Idaho dies
An Idaho Senate panel has killed a bill that would have done away with the state’s split speed
limit. OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said what made the lawmakers gun-shy to
pursue legislation was phone calls and emails from reluctant constituents who opposed the
change.
Arkansas bill advances; would require minimum wait at wrecks
A bill in Arkansas that would require drivers involved in wrecks to remain at the scene for at least
30 minutes is headed to the governor’s desk.
Texas bill targets cell phone use in vehicles
To improve safety on roadways, a Texas state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would prohibit
drivers in the state from talking on hand-held cell phones while driving.
Australian law aims at driver fatigue
In Australia, that country’s equivalent to the U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a
driver-fatigue law that a lot of American truckers would like to see here.
Inconsistent details reported in produce hauler’s death at loading dock
Dane Ross frantically asked Dole employees to call police and stop loading trucks. He climbed
into several trailers parked at the loading dock and called out “Sheila! Sheila!” the night of his
wife died.
Possible recourse for produce haulers?
There may be hope for produce haulers who have had little or no recourse in the past to
challenge shippers and receivers when it comes to a dispute over a load.
Anti-gouging bill advances in Montana
The Montana Senate narrowly approved a bill that is designed to protect consumers in the state
from being gouged at the fuel pump.
Arizona mud flap bill flops
An attempt by an Arizona state lawmaker to outlaw certain types of truck mud flaps has gone
down the tubes.
Jackson, Conyers fault TSA background checks
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-MI, say at
least 36 railroad workers may have been fired unfairly because they failed background checks
that were recommended by the Transportation Security Administration.
Company protests TWIC contract award
Integrated Biometric Technology filed a formal protest this week to the Transportation Security
Administration’s award of a $70 million contract for the Transportation Worker Identification
Program.
Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover finalists selected
Kevin Greene wouldn’t give up his Peterbilt tractor any more than the experiences he’s shared
with the truck. The OOIDA member from Cincinnati would, however, allow the truck to be given a
new exterior and interior.
Virginia House OKs transportation plan
The chances for a long-term transportation funding solution in Virginia took a positive turn this
week. House lawmakers voted 61-37 Tuesday, Feb. 6, to approve a bill that would tap into the
state’s general fund for $250 million to go for roads, rail and transit projects
Peters says transportation system ‘slipping’
Transportation Secretary Mary Peters says the country is “slipping a bit” when it comes to
keeping up with transportation needs.
Indiana Senate OKs toll road proposal
A bill that would clear the way for two privately run toll roads in Indiana was approved by the state’
s Senate this week.
Colorado bill would restrict private toll roads
A Colorado state lawmaker wants to limit the powers of the private sector and the state DOT
when it comes to building and operating toll roads.
Icy interstate blamed for fatal wreck in Nebraska
Nebraska State Police say winter weather is the likely culprit in a nine-vehicle pileup this week
that proved fatal for one trucker.
Expanded speed radar use sought in Mississippi
Officials in one Mississippi town would like to get the green light from the state to post speed
radar detection equipment along two thoroughfares within their city’s limits. Two bills under
consideration in the statehouse would grant them that authority while several other related
efforts have died.
Jury convicts trucker for 600 pounds of cocaine in reefer
A federal jury last week convicted a trucker for possessing cocaine with an estimated street
value of more than $28 million.
Goodyear Highway Hero finalists named
Four finalists have been named in the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co’s annual North America
Highway Hero award contest. Journalists in the trucking industry will select a winner, who is
scheduled to be announced March 22 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY.
KBR trucker killed by friendly fire in Iraq
The family of an American trucker working as a contractor in Iraq wants to know why he was shot
and killed in February by friendly fire. The trucker has been identified as Donald Tolfree, 52, of St.
Charles, MI,
Indiana subsidizing four-wheelers as tolls increase
As part of a plan to subsidize in-state users of the Indiana Toll Road, the state of Indiana is
paying $60 million to the private company that leased the road last year.
Washington governor interested in more tolling
Gov. Christine Gregoire is asking lawmakers in Washington state to consider more
transportation projects that would be funded by tolls.
Reopened New York truck stop brings back 111 truck parking spots
There’s some good news for those searching for truck parking in the Binghamton, NY, area.
Effort would boost Omaha-area speeds
The Nebraska Legislature approved a bill Monday, Feb. 12, that would allow all drivers to travel
faster along two stretches of roadway near Omaha.
Missouri bills offer sales tax exemption for trucks, highway contractors
Two bills offered in the Missouri Senate would offer tax breaks for highway contractors and
certain trucks.
USF Holland loses discrimination lawsuit
Two black men who worked at the USF Holland terminal in Nashville, TN, have been awarded
$350,000 each by a federal court. According to The Tennessean, the two men – Bobby Bailey
and Robert P. Smith – said they were subject to racial slurs, vandalism and harassment that
included the display of a noose.
Trucker delivers cargo, then delivers her baby at roadside visitor’s stand
OOIDA member Donna Glesk thought she could make her regular route from Erie, PA, to
Buffalo, NY, for at least a few more weeks. She was only 33 weeks pregnant, after all. Little
Aaron, however, had other ideas.
Colorado bill would boost penalties for unchained trucks
A bill in the Colorado House would boost the fines for truck drivers who fail to chain up when
required. Points also would be added to violators’ licenses.
Proposed Kansas City customs center stalls
A proposed customs center near Interstate 35 in the Kansas City area that would clear U.S. and
Canadian trucks for shipments to Mexico appears to be on hold.
Trucker pinned, killed by warehouse forklift
Police say a trucker was killed at a Manchester, NH, warehouse earlier this week after being
pinned by a forklift – the second trucker in a week to die because of a forklift-related incident.
Man dies after jumping on truck
A 45-year-old man fell to his death Monday night after he tried to hitch a ride on the side of an
18-wheeler, according to The Associated Press.
Winter weather proves deadly again in upper Midwest
Snow, ice and extreme cold continued to plague much of the nation on Wednesday.
Connecticut bills focus on trucks
Several bills have been introduced in Connecticut that address issues directly related to trucking
in the state.
Proposed Pennsylvania budget calls for privatization
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell presented his proposed state budget on Tuesday – and funding
New Jersey privatization bill expected Monday
A state senator in New Jersey was expected to propose legislation Monday that would allow the
state to privatize the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic
Expressway.
Tennessee county drops truck, four-wheeler speed limits
With the state’s permission, Sullivan County in northeastern Tennessee is dropping the speed
limit for trucks on Interstates 81 and 26 from 70 mph to 55 mph.
One Utah bill would slow trucks only; another would speed up all traffic
The Utah Senate has approved a bill that includes provisions to allow all drivers to travel faster.
A separate effort would create split speeds by slowing trucks only on most highways.
Fuel tax boost sought in Massachusetts in return for toll elimination
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is touting the benefits of boosting the state’s fuel tax as a
way to help offset the loss of revenue from eliminating all tolls on the turnpike. One state
lawmaker has even filed legislation to increase the per-gallon tax rate.
Feds pursue four truckers and an acrobat for hauling illegal immigrants
Four truck drivers were arrested last week for trying to smuggle 21 illegal aliens through El
Paso, TX.
Missouri bill would increase I-70, I-44 to eight lanes
If a leading Missouri state lawmaker gets his way, the state’s two main arteries would get a little
wider. And, large trucks would get their own lanes
Feds sets fees, start dates for TWIC program
The federal government has announced the effective dates for the new TWIC program that will
be implemented at the nation’s ports.
Driver rescued as truck dangles over 200-foot drop
Snowy, wind-blown conditions contributed to a 50-car pile-up on Interstate 90 near Erie, PA, last
week that included 22 tractor trailers. The accident killed one truck driver moments after he got
out of his cab, and left another driver dangling above a 200-foot gorge.
Open-road tolling creates new challenges, congestion
Open-road tolling is supposed to be a timesaver, keeping streams of vehicles moving at
highway speeds through the use of electronic toll collection and debit accounts used by drivers.
Illinois State Police plan enforcement blitz after Super Bowl
Officials with the Illinois State Police say they’ll put an extra 120 troopers on duty Sunday night,
Feb. 4, to arrest drivers who may have had too much to drink while watching the Super Bowl.
Body of missing trucker found in lettuce trailer
Authorities believe a truck driver was crushed to death between pallets of lettuce that were being
loaded by a forklift operator. Her body was transported with the product from Arizona to Iowa this
week.
Truckers win reversal of parking ban in New Mexico
A handful of truckers in Rio Rancho, NM, have won what many usually consider to be an uphill
battle – they’ve successfully fought City Hall to overturn a ban on truck parking in residential
areas.
CA citrus freeze leaves produce haulers searching for loads
The recent severe citrus freeze in California has left many produce haulers waiting around with
empty trailers and dwindling profit margins.
Produce industry in a dither over safety standards
In September 2006, many truckers, including some OOIDA members, were stuck with the
financial and logistical responsibilities of disposing of potentially contaminated spinach. Some
were not paid for their loads of spinach that weren’t even part of the recall, because no
regulations are in place to protect truckers in situations where produce has been recalled.
Connecticut study, bill tout tolls
A legislative panel in Connecticut has recommended the state consider returning tolls to its
highways to bolster revenues for roads and combat congestion. One state lawmaker is on
board with the suggestion.
Lease deals for New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway?
If a New Jersey state lawmaker gets his way, private groups would have an opportunity to run
the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway in exchange for as much as $15 billion to
the state.
Kansas governor recommends toll increase to fund education
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius wants truckers and four-wheelers who use the state’s turnpike
to pay for a backlog of building maintenance projects at seven state universities.
ATRI publishes updated idling regulations compendium
The latest version of the American Transportation Research Institute’s Idling Regulations
Compendium is now available online and in print.
Toll road proposal advances in Indiana
An Indiana Senate panel has approved a bill that would clear the way for two privately run toll
roads in the state.
Road funding draws much consideration in Wyoming
Lawmakers in the Wyoming statehouse have been discussing several efforts to increase
transportation funding since the legislative session opened earlier this month. While most of
those efforts remain active, one bill that called for increasing the state’s excise tax on fuel has
died.
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