The American Driver
From Drivers - For Drivers
What's News - January 2007
Oklahoma lawmakers consider split speed limits
Large trucks traveling through certain areas in Oklahoma would have to reduce their speed by
15 mph under a bill filed in the state’s House of Representatives.
Spanish company – no, not that one – wins Indiana tolling contract
There’s a new player in the roadway privatization game in the U.S. Spanish company Indra just
won an $18 million contract to upgrade the open-tolling system on the Indiana Toll Road and
build two control centers.
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.
National Geographic Channel shows how a truck is built
You drive one every day. But if you've ever wanted to see how a truck is built, the National
Geographic Channel will show you Wednesday night.
Port ID rule is under way
The Dept. of Homeland Security’s final rule for the Transportation Worker Identification
Credential (TWIC) program was published in the Federal Register today. ...
Macquarie bidding on several Texas toll roads
The Australian investment company Macquarie believes there’s money to be made in Texas
these days. Not only did Macquarie’s media division buy 40 community newspapers last
week, but its infrastructure division is bidding on several toll road projects in the Lone Star
Mississippi bill would use tolls as new revenue source
A Mississippi state lawmaker has renewed his push for legislation that would create tolls
along some roads and bridges in the state and give the state another tool to raise revenue.
Missouri bill would further limit locals’ traffic ticket revenue
A bill offered in the Missouri House is intended to curtail communities in the state that pad
their budgets with speed trap revenue. This is the second straight year the effort has been
offered in the state.
Lawmaker introduces bill to put brakes on Trans-Texas Corridor
A state lawmaker in Texas has filed a bill that, if passed, would bring Gov. Rick Perry’s plans
for the Trans-Texas Corridor to a screeching halt.
Bush nominates Macquarie official as counsel for DOT
President Bush has announced that he intends to appoint an official with toll-road investor
Macquarie to be the general counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Macquarie buys 40 Texas newspapers
Macquarie Media Group has purchased 40 community newspapers in Texas for $80 million,
according to Editor and Publisher.
Nebraska bill would allow illegal immigrants to drive
A Nebraska state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow people without Social
Security numbers to get behind the wheel. The rule would not apply to commercial drivers.
Vote delayed on toll road proposal in Indiana
An Indiana legislative panel has delayed a vote until next week on legislation that would clear
the way for two privately run toll roads.
Truckers and Law Enforcement  - WORKING TOGETHER
Safety, safety, safety! If there’s one thing the trucking industry and law enforcement officials
can agree on it is that the highways must be kept safe. Both groups are fully committed to
ensuring safety, so it should come as no surprise that by working together on the same issue
the results will be positive.
Feds finally make TWIC rule official
Thanks to a new credentialing program, hauling freight in and out of secure port areas just got
more expensive.
ATA officials applaud EOBR proposal
The American Trucking Association has come out in favor of requiring electronic on-board
recorders on some trucks.
Researchers tout limited licensing of container truckers at ports
Transportation researchers for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center are
touting a licensing proposal that would limit the “oversupply of drivers and allow those in the
field to make a profit and raise industry standards,” according to a U.S. DOT spokesman.
New Jersey group cautions against rapid adoption of privatization
While New Jersey politicians are considering the possible lease of the state’s turnpike, a
regional planning group in the state has come out with a report urging a “go slow” approach.
DNA tests no help in ongoing search for missing retired trucker
Another lead in the search for missing retired Kansas trucker Richard Lee Clark has turned up
‘Hot fuel’ a hot topic at Weights and Measures meeting
The topic of “hot fuel” was center stage at a meeting of the National Council of Weights and
Measures that’s underway in Florida this week.
ACE program to be mandatory for Texas, California and New Mexico
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has added Texas, California and New Mexico to a
growing list of border states where electronic cargo manifests are to be mandatory for all
trucks crossing the border.
It’s a private matter in Indiana
Less than a year after state officials signed off on a deal to lease the Indiana Toll Road to a
foreign group, legislation in the Indiana Senate would clear the way for two more projects.
Niagara bridge tolls to increase Feb. 1
The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission will launch its first toll increases in nine years on Feb.
1, but the reason isn’t entirely based on increased costs. Tolls for five-axle trucks will go up 30
Victim identified in Virginia truck stop shooting
Police have released the name of a trucker who was shot to death Sunday morning, Jan. 14,
at a truck stop in Chesapeake, VA.
Added road dollars sought in Utah
The state of Utah needs to do something to pump life into the state’s struggling transportation
system, according to a pair of state lawmakers.
Some Indiana Toll Road workers opt to leave privatized jobs
Employees of the Indiana Toll Road are facing a deadline this week. They must decide
whether they want to work for the foreign businesses that leased the road in July 2006.
Arrest made in fatal shooting of Texas trucker
In the city of Grand Prairie, TX – on the outskirts of Dallas – police have arrested a 19-year-old
man in connection with the killing of a Plano, TX, truck driver.
Arizona bill would tap ‘rainy day fund’ for roads
An Arizona Senate panel has approved a bill that would pull money from the state’s “rainy day
fund” and use it for road projects.
Alaska could privatize ‘bridge to nowhere’
There’s a new twist in an already controversial bridge project in Alaska. According to the
Anchorage Daily News, the proposed Knik Arm Bridge, which would link Anchorage with some
undeveloped wetlands, could become a private venture.
Utah bill focuses on speed limits, safe travel
A Utah Senate panel has approved a bill that includes provisions to allow drivers to travel
faster and more safely.
Bridge demolition in Maryland to cause lane closings, detour
The demolition of the old Maryland 210 overpass is scheduled for this weekend, with work set
to begin Friday night, Jan. 19.
Bones found in Mississippi linked to missing trucker
Trucker James Tate disappeared on Dec. 17, 2004, his trailer was found in Bartlett, TN, and
his tractor found 10 miles away in Memphis a day later. Now, more than two years later, a
phone tip may have lead authorities to the remains of the Tylertown, MS, man who was in his
mid-thirties when he went missing.
Minnesota bill calls for tax increases to fund transportation
A transportation funding package has been offered in the Minnesota Senate to help pay for
road and transit work. The effort includes a proposed 50-percent increase in the state’s fuel
Virginia bills include new tolls, fees for transportation fund
The new legislative session opened a week ago in Virginia with transportation funding
dominating discussion.
Feds thwart shipments totaling a million pounds of illegal food
Three federal agencies have combined forces to stop more than a million pounds of tainted
food at the Port of Newark since 2005.
Lawmaker wants to rein in Indiana’s privatization
An Indiana lawmaker has come up with legislation that could slow down – or even stop – any
future attempts to privatize the state’s highways.
Wyoming flunks watchdog group’s safety test
Wyoming is the worst state in the nation when it comes to passing highway safety laws,
according to a new study by a highway safety watchdog group.
Virginia bills address road safety
Since the Virginia General Assembly opened its new session earlier this month, several bills
have been introduced that are intended to address highway safety concerns.
Virginia bill would create regional bridge, tunnel authority
A bill in the Virginia House would create a regional transportation authority with the power to
levy tolls to pay for roadwork and upgrades on all major bridges and tunnels in Hampton
Group opposes private toll loop around Indianapolis
Opposition is mounting against a proposal by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for a private investor
to design and build a 75-mile tolled loop around Indianapolis.
Indiana bills would limit privatization
Democrats in the Indiana General Assembly upset about Gov. Mitch Daniels’ deal from a year
ago to lease the Indiana Toll Road are readying legislation to boost oversight of the
privatization process.
Commission suggests I-80 tolls to block privatization in Pennsylvania
If it was surprising that Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell received 48 letters from companies
expressing interest in privatizing the state’s east-west turnpike, it was even more surprising
that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission submitted one of the letters. Turnpike
commissioners would rather see the revenue remain within the Pennsylvania Department of
Transportation system and not go to the private sector.
Virginia lawmakers again tackle transportation funding
The new legislative session opened in Virginia this week with transportation funding
dominating the discussions.
Money for road work sought in Arkansas
Road groups in Arkansas are expected to press state lawmakers in the session that opened
Monday, Jan. 8, to use general revenues and a sizeable chunk of an estimated $843 million
budget surplus to pay for road work.
Authorities report multiple rock-throwing incidents on highways
Truckers and motorists have been busy dodging flying objects on U.S. highways in recent
days, according to several local law enforcement agencies.
CNN poll: 97 percent say ‘no’ to privatized highways
Ninety-seven percent of respondents to a recent poll by CNN said they do not believe U.S.
highways and roads should be owned by private companies, while only 3 percent said yes.
Delaware on list of states seeking private leases for toll roads
The list of states looking to cash in by selling or leasing state-owned toll roads now includes
North Dakota bill would fast-track road work
A bill offered in North Dakota is intended to put road and bridge work in the state in the fast
DOT model legislation for highway privatization is ‘flawed’
When U.S. Department of Transportation officials announced this week that they would
provide states with model legislation to pursue private leases for highways and infrastructure,
OOIDA officials were furious.
Florida lawmaker targets lane ‘zippers’
Those motorists who speed up beside you then cut you off when their lane ends are once
again the target of legislation in Florida.
Truck traffic, axle weights among bills before Maine lawmakers
Three bills of interest to truckers are under consideration in the Maine Legislature.
Security concerns put Port of Miami on heightened alert
Tensions were running high at the Port of Miami Monday, after two incidents reinforced the
need for stringent security at one of the nation’s busiest shipping hubs.
OOIDA issues Call to Action in California regarding ‘leafy greens’
If you haul produce in or out of California, you may want to make plans to attend a public
hearing regarding the implementation of a proposed California Leafy Green Products Handler
Marketing Agreement.
Could more privatization be on the horizon in Indiana?
After the leasing of the Indiana Toll Road a year ago, it should be obvious to residents in the
state that Gov. Mitch Daniels is a fan of privatization. It should also be no surprise that the
governor is looking into other leasing deals.
Free flu shots available for truckers in West Memphis, AR
If you’re traveling through West Memphis, AR, there’s a free flu shot with your name on it at the
local truck stop.
Hot fuel lawsuits filed in Kansas and Missouri courts
Three more lawsuits have been filed against fuel retailers over the issue of “hot fuel.”
Group calls for higher tolls on busy Utah roads
A Utah taxpayer group is working on a bill to suggest to lawmakers that would allow toll
collection in the state to be based on traffic congestion.
Detectives have ‘good leads’ in apparent truck robbery
Detectives in Broward County, FL, say they have some very good leads in the alleged
abduction and robbery of a trucker early Thursday morning, Jan. 4.
California bill would ban tracking devices in driver’s licenses
A California state lawmaker has renewed his effort to prohibit the use of radio-frequency
identification devices in driver’s licenses. The devices aren’t used by the state’s Department of
Motor Vehicles, but they are legal.
Funding solutions for I-80 sought in Wyoming
Wyoming lawmakers will discuss how the state should maintain Interstate 80 during the
regular session that starts next week.
Mississippi reopens long-closed rest stop
Some states are talking about closing rest areas, but Mississippi - which closed many of its
rest stops years ago - is reopening one.
Kansas trucking group breaks from ATA stance on two major issues
Despite a different line spouted by the American Trucking Association, the Kansas Motor
Carrier’s Association’s Board of Directors is making itself very clear – don’t privatize our toll
roads, and don’t force us to put speed limiters on our trucks.
Oklahoma shuts down speed traps
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has designated three towns – Caney, Moffett and
Stringtown – as speed traps, and has forced two of them to shut down their enforcement on
nearby highways.
Missouri, Texas bills address ‘hot fuel’
A Missouri state lawmaker wants to make sure consumers get what they pay for at the fuel
pump. A similar effort is underway in Texas.
Tolls going up on privately leased Canadian road
Truckers who use the 407 Express Toll Route north of Toronto, Canada, will see a toll
increase on Feb. 1.
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