The American Driver
From Drivers - For Drivers
What's News - January 2008
Tractor-trailer full of tainted ground beef stolen
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and American Fresh Foods, a Fort Worth, TX, meat
production company, have issued a public health alert because about 14,800 pounds of
ground beef products were stolen from the company’s parking lot last week. Anyone who may
have seen the stolen trailer is urged to contact the Fort Worth Crime Stoppers hotline at (817)
Bus wreck injures 49
Nearly 50 passengers on a Greyhound bus were injured on the morning of Jan. 2 near
Henderson, NC, when the driver crashed into a tractor-trailer that had slowed for a turn.
Crude oil hits $100 per barrel; 2007 remembered for high prices
Mark the date: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008. The price of light sweet crude oil has hit $100 per
barrel for the first time. Mid-day trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange showed oil
futures priced above $100, eclipsing the Nov. 23, 2007, record of $98.18.
Diesel prices climbing as 2007 ends
Fuel prices were on the rise again as 2007 came to a close. The national average price for
on-highway diesel increased 3.7 cents to reach $3.345 per gallon for the week ending Monday,
Dec. 31, 2007.
Pennsylvania’s annual bridge sale under way
The state of Pennsylvania is selling off some of its bridges, but not to private companies.
Instead, it’s putting 11 old bridges up for sale on the Internet in hopes that they’ll be bought
and moved to a location where they’ll be preserved for their historic value.
Philly road’s red-light camera program extended
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has signed a bill into law that will keep red light cameras
posted along a 14-mile stretch of U.S. Route 1. Another new law prohibits fees for collision
West Virginia lawmakers work on changes to DUI law
A special legislative panel in West Virginia voted to toughen state law and the way it punishes
drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking too much.
[Top Of Page]
Stolen trailer found in Dallas; meat still missing
A refrigerated trailer reported stolen from the American Fresh Foods parking lot in Fort Worth,
TX, has been found; however, more than 80 percent of the trailer’s 14, 800 pounds of ground
meat products – including some that tested positive for E.coli bacteria – are still missing.
C.R. England trainer gives a scare to two newbies
A truck driving instructor for a Salt Lake City-based motor carrier recently gave new meaning to
the phrase “crash course.”
Hundreds of Siricomm hot spots have gone cold
Truckers with laptops aren’t happy about losing hundreds of “hot spots” around the nation. A
Joplin, MO, company that provided truckers with Wi-Fi Internet connectivity at 450 truck stops
has ceased the service.
California, 15 other states sue EPA over rejected greenhouse gas law
California Attorney General Jerry Brown filed a civil lawsuit against the Environmental
Protection Agency on Wednesday, Jan. 2, and 15 other states signed on in the fight against the
federal government.
TXDOT schedules 57 public meeting about Trans-Texas Corridor
The Texas Department of Transportation is opening the door to public comments in an
upcoming series of meetings and hearings about one phase of the controversial Trans-Texas
Corridor proposal. Click
here for the complete schedule.
Gov. Corzine set to unveil transportation plan for New Jersey
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine plans to unveil his plans for increasing state revenue by using
transportation assets when he gives his State of the State speech on Tuesday, Jan. 8. The
governor has kept his transportation plan secret despite public demands and a court
challenge seeking to force him to reveal the plan.
Michigan governor says gas tax increase a no-go for roads
Like nearly every other state, Michigan is in need of more money to make repairs to roads and
bridges throughout the state. However, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said she doesn’t want to
increase the fuel tax rates to help reduce the funding gap.
European Union explores secure truck stops
The European Union is launching a pilot program that plenty of American and Canadian
truckers would like to see on this side of the pond. British trucking publications report that the
EU wants to set up a network of secure truck parking areas throughout Europe.
Wisconsin lawmakers target unsafe driving
The Wisconsin Assembly voted to approve a bill that is intended to keep teens from talking on
their cell phones while driving. Other legislative efforts also would add restrictions to help
make the state’s roadways safer.
Officials consider tolls for proposed elevated highway in Alabama
Transportation officials in Alabama are considering tolls to pay for proposed elevated lanes in
busy southeast Birmingham . Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Harris
said tolling is a strong option.
Nebraska senator wants new revenue source for state's roads
If a Nebraska state lawmaker gets his way, a portion of the $170 million generated annually
from motor vehicle taxes would be used for road work in the state. Sen. Tony Fulton, R-Lincoln,
is pursuing a plan to fund Nebraska state roads with motor vehicle taxes. Those taxes now are
earmarked for the state's general fund and education.
CVSA's message: Wearing seat belts saves lives
Did you know that in 2006, 703 drivers of large trucks died in truck crashes and 314 of those
drivers were not wearing seat belts? The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has launched its
“Saved by the Belt” award program to recognize those commercial motor vehicle drivers who
have buckled up and whose lives were saved or injuries significantly reduced as a result of
wearing a safety belt.
Vermont lawmaker wants to discourage uninsured drivers
Weary of all the complaints from constituents about being stuck with bills from wrecks with
uninsured drivers, a Vermont state lawmaker wants to discourage people from getting behind
the wheel without vehicle insurance.
Weekly Featured Article [01/06/08]
THE RULEMAKING PROCESS - The process, people and purpose that govern our laws
(By Mike Howe - Challenge Magazine)
Violent foreign criminal among 37 immigrants in trailer with produce
U.S. authorities have arrested a violent criminal offender after he and 36 other illegal
immigrants were found hiding in the back of a tractor-trailer.
Utah bill would allow anonymous reporting of drivers
A Utah state lawmaker has renewed his effort that would allow people to call in anonymous
tips about dangerous drivers in the state. It is intended to help people report relatives who
might not be able to drive safely.
TWIC forces many truckers to go coastal – twice
Robert Billard makes six or seven trips a year to ports in Texas, South Carolina and Georgia,
then returns home to Colorado Springs, CO, with steel, lumber and other imports loaded onto
his flatbed and 1998 Mack truck. Billard wants to enroll in the TWIC program to make his one-
man, one-truck business more marketable. Unfortunately, he lives hundreds of miles from the
nearest enrollment centers.
Florida 's primary seat-belt bill advances
A Florida House panel advanced a bill that would make the state's seat belt law a primary
offense. The bill – HB11 – would permit police to pull over drivers in the state for not wearing
their seat belts.
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 third straight year the effort has been offered in
the state.
New Jersey legislation would OK red-light cameras
As the final hours tick away on the two-year legislative session in New Jersey , a legislative
effort that could lead to red-light cameras popping up in the state was scheduled for
consideration on the floors of both chambers Monday, Jan. 7.
Diesel prices climbing steadily again
The average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel increased 3.1 cents to $3.376 for the week
ending Monday, Jan. 7, 2008. The average was 83.9 cents higher than diesel prices posted a
year ago according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
California drivers can be denied registration for idling citation
Truckers who are base plated in California face another idling-related obstacle – the ability to
renew or register their truck.
New Mexico eyes truck idling limit to cut greenhouse gases
New Mexico is the latest state to consider a truck idling limit. According to The Associated
Press , the New Mexico Environment Department is working on a proposed idling limit for
commercial trucks that weigh 16,001 pounds and more.
Missouri bill would mandate English-only CDL tests
A bill in the Missouri House would call for trucker-hopefuls to prove they have a firm grasp of
the English language to obtain a commercial driver's license. It is one of several efforts of
interest to truck drivers in the Show-Me State.
Kentucky bill would limit access to vehicle data recorders
Big Brother might have his eye on black box data from vehicles, but a Kentucky state lawmaker
wants to make it harder for the information to be used against drivers of passenger vehicles.
New Jersey OKs use of red-light cameras
In the waning hours of the two-year legislative session in New Jersey , an effort to authorize the
use of red-light cameras throughout the state gained final approval in the Legislature.
Newcom expands truck show circuit
The Canadian publishing group behind the Truck World truck show in Ontario is expanding.
Newcom Business Media, publisher of Today's Trucking , HighwayStar and Transport Routier ,
presents the first-ever Winnipeg Truck Show, May 23-24 in Winnipeg , the provincial capital of
Manitoba .
OOIDA calls FDA food safety plan ‘seriously flawed’
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released its Food Protection Plan, outlining
the agency’s strategy for protecting the nation’s food supply chain. After careful analysis,
however, OOIDA calls the FDA’s plan “seriously flawed” and of little benefit to addressing food
safety concerns faced by truckers.
L.A., Long Beach port plan inspires similar effort in Washington state
The green wave continues to roll up the West Coast, as environmental efforts targeting port
trucks produced new rules at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and spurred
similar efforts at Washington ports.
Idaho lawmakers seek solutions to transportation funding shortfall
Higher taxes aren’t typically something that voters rush to the ballot box to support. But one
leading Idaho state lawmaker says that very well could be the case when it comes to funding
Indiana legislator pursues ‘passenger responsibility’ law
In hopes of preventing needless deaths along roadsides, an Indiana lawmaker is calling for
passage of a law that would require passengers of vehicles to act and call police in life-or-
death situations. It is the second year in a row the effort has been offered in the state.
Proposals could alter or end Virginia’s ‘bad driver’ fees
Virginia lawmakers are expected to revisit one of the most contentious issues in their state in
recent years during the 2008 legislative session. The problem stems from fees and fines
included in the massive $3 billion transportation bill approved a year ago.
OOIDA Business Seminar set for April
The next OOIDA Business Seminar is scheduled for April 8, 9 and 10 at the Association’s
headquarters in Grain Valley, MO.
Federal panel could recommend fuel tax increase
A federal panel chaired by U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters is set to release
recommendations for future transportation funding. Some people believe the report will
include a recommendation to federal lawmakers to increase federal fuel taxes.
Virginia bills focus on truck rules, enforcement
The regular legislative session opened this week in Virginia with several bills of interest to
truck drivers likely to draw consideration during the next several weeks. One bill would
authorize enforcement of vehicle weight laws by full-time sworn members of the enforcement
division of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Economists point north, south, east, west
The economic news today is confusing, to say the least. MarketWatch reports holiday retail
sales were “weak.” But Reuters reports that sales were stronger than expected – showing a
4.5 percent gain compared with holiday sales in 2006.
New law in New Jersey imposes stiffer price-gouging penalties
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed a bill into law Jan. 3 toughening penalties for fuel price
gouging. It took effect immediately. The new law, previously S383, fines fuel station operators
$1,500 for increasing the price of fuel more than once in a 24-hour period. Repeat offenders
would face a $3,000 fine.
Road safety-related bills offered in Utah
If a Utah state lawmaker gets his way, police would be permitted to pull over drivers in the state
who are not buckled up. Another safety-related effort would boost the fine for littering highways.
Industry data is crucial; census deadline only a month away
In December, more than 4 million American businesses were scheduled to receive 2007
economic census forms. It’s estimated that 180,000 transportation and warehousing
businesses will be among those, so if you are operating your own small trucking business,
those forms could be in your mailbox.
Weekly Featured Article [01/13/08]
WATER: Look at the BIG Pitcher
(Submitted By Roadside Medical - Challenge Magazine)
HOT TOPIC: Do police have right to all motorists’ blood?
For years, truckers have fought random requests for roadside urine tests. As it turns out, the
government doesn’t want your urine. Big brother wants your blood.
New Jersey tax group criticizes governor’s tolling plan
A taxpayer advocacy group in New Jersey says it has serious concerns about Gov. Jon Corzine’
s plan to drastically increase the tolls on three state toll roads and convert a state route into a
toll road. Officials with the group Save Our Assets says a $2 toll could easily increase to more
than $15 during a 14-year period when adjusted for inflation.
Where’s the beef? Stolen trailer found in Dallas; beef still missing
A stolen refrigerated trailer loaded with ground beef products, some of which tested positive for
E. coli bacteria, is creating quite a stir in the Dallas, TX, area. OOIDA Regulatory Affairs
Specialist Joe Rajkovacz said the theft of the trailer and the health alert that followed might
have been avoided by the simple use of a kingpin lock to secure the trailer.
Virginia bills target unlicensed drivers
In an effort to make roadways in Virginia a little safer, state lawmakers are eyeing stiffer
penalties for people caught driving without a license. Delegate David Albo, R-Springfield, and
Delegate Thomas Rust, R-Herndon, have offered two pieces of legislation that would require
that unlicensed drivers be arrested, fingerprinted and photographed.
Lawmaker pushes for English-only CDL tests in South Carolina
A legislative effort in the South Carolina statehouse is intended to ensure that aspiring truckers
and other drivers have a firm grasp of the English language before they obtain their licenses to
‘Ice Road Truckers’ television series on thin ice
The producers of the popular TV show “Ice Road Truckers” are going to have to find a different
ice road to shoot their series on. The Canadian Broadcasting Channel reports that The History
Channel is looking at other options, including shooting on some of the ice roads between
Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories.
Say goodbye to CFI and hello to a bigger Con-way
The trucks will still bear the CFI markings for a while, but as of Thursday, Jan. 10, the name of
the company has been changed to Con-way Truckload.
Trucker's U-turn causes four deaths
A Mexican trucker who was making a U-turn on a bridge was responsible for a wreck that killed
four people this past week at the US-Mexico border according to the director of the bridge.
Commission debated fuel tax increase vs. highway privatization
Trucking officials have a theory about why a federal commission prefers a fuel-tax increase to
fund future highway improvements. It's as simple as knowing who is on the commission, one
official says.
Idaho lawmaker pursues new ID for border crossings
A northern Idaho state lawmaker is calling for legislation that is intended to ease border
crossings from the state into Canada .
Texas emission reduction grant program now taking applications
Truckers driving in some of Texas most populated cities may be eligible for grants to buy and
install APU equipment.
Massachusetts lawmakers target driver distractions
To improve safety on Massachusetts roadways, multiple efforts likely to come up for
consideration in the statehouse would prohibit drivers in the state from talking on cell phones
and text messaging while driving.
Missouri bill would put in place price gouging protections
A Missouri state lawmaker renewed his effort to help protect consumers in the state from
being gouged at the fuel pump.
Speed bust nets $1.5 million in cocaine
A Tennessee State Trooper stopped one truck last weekend for exceeding the speed limit. He
later found cocaine in the driver's trailer and learned the driver had been deported to Mexico 10
years ago after previous drug arrests.
What's the 5-1-1? California group plans trucker information line
A California-based government association wants to learn what traffic and travel information
would most help truckers.
[ First CA enacts burdensome regulations, then they want to be our friends...what's the deal
California? (SilverSurfer) ]
Pennsylvania lawmaker proposes lease of turnpike, I-80 tolling repeal
As an alternative to putting tolls on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania , a state lawmaker plans to
introduce legislation to privatize the Pennsylvania Turnpike in three sections to help pay for
road and bridge work throughout the state.
Driving rights bills OK'd; one would help New Jersey truckers
In the final hours of the two-year legislative session in New Jersey that wrapped up Jan. 7, the
Assembly approved a legislative package that would make it easier for drivers in the state with
suspended licenses to keep their driving privileges. One bill would help truckers stay on the
Federal judge orders Arctic Express to pay up
A new payment schedule is in place in relation to a federal class action that pitted drivers
against Arctic Express Inc. The case involved the motor carrier's failure to return escrow money
to truckers.
Missouri bill would enact stricter seat-belt rule
Police in Missouri would be allowed to pull over motorists who are not buckled up, under a bill
awaiting consideration in the state's Senate. Currently, law enforcement officers in the state
can issue seat-belt citations to drivers only after stopping a vehicle for another traffic violation,
such as speeding.
Trucker crushed in yard while working on trailer
A truck driver was crushed and killed in late December while working in a Butterball LLC truck
yard. According to the Denver Post , a truck driver who worked as a “spotter” at the Butterball
yard in Longmont , CO , stopped and got out of the truck he was driving. The driver reportedly
crawled under the truck's trailer for an unknown reason and was crushed by the truck's rear
passenger tires when the rig rolled backward.
Toll study raises questions about safety of alternate routes
Increasing tolls and privatization of public roads will lead to more traffic and dangerous
conditions on alternate routes, the authors of an academic study stated in a report released
Tuesday, Jan. 15. The study strengthens the position of the Owner-Operator Independent
Drivers Association against the U.S. Department of Transportation's move in recent years to
promote tolling and public-private partnerships.
Washington governor calls for DUI checkpoints
In an effort to crack down on drunken drivers in Washington , Gov. Christine Gregoire has
proposed legislation that would allow law enforcement to set up sobriety checkpoints.
Washington is one of 11 states that prohibit spot checks to nab drunken drivers.
Judge in ‘hot fuel' case to rule on defendants' dismissal request
A judge in U.S. District Court is considering whether to grant a motion from oil companies and
fuel retailers who want her to dismiss the case against the sale of “hot fuel.”
New Hampshire bills target toll rates
A handful of bills expected to draw consideration this year in the New Hampshire statehouse
would affect toll rates and how they are used to benefit roads in the state. Toll rates are getting
a lot of attention at the capitol following the recent increase in fees along the state's 93 miles of
toll roads.
Truckers' attorney argues Landstar case in federal appeals court
Attorneys for OOIDA and Landstar System Inc. faced off Wednesday, Jan. 16 in federal appeals
court in a multimillion-dollar case that could send ripples through the industry in terms of how
carriers' leases disclose markups and chargebacks against owner-operators.
Virginia legislation would limit drivers' tests to English-only
Out of concern for safety on the state's roads, a Virginia lawmaker has offered legislation
intended to help ensure that people issued driver's licenses in the state understand English.
Another bill up for consideration this session would designate English as the official language
in the state.
Committee in Hesperia , CA , proposes restrictions on truck parking
Truck drivers living in Hesperia , CA , may want to make plans to be home on Jan. 23. That's
because the Hesperia Community Development Advisory Committee will be meeting that night
to discuss nine proposed revisions to the city's municipal code related to commercial truck
Federal commission: Rest breaks need to stop on-duty clock
The inability of truckers to stop the on-duty clock when taking short breaks has been put in the
spotlight by a federal commission charged with making highway funding recommendations.
The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission released its
report on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The report, among other things, recommends an increase in the
federal fuel tax, tolls and congestion pricing.
New Hampshire bills focus on truck fines, inspections
Several bills of interest to truck drivers in New Hampshire have been offered for consideration
since the regular session started early this month. Among the bills focusing on the trucking
industry is a measure that would triple the fines for overloaded vehicles.
Former ‘truck-friendly’ town considers truck parking restrictions
Trucker Carlos Deharo moved to Hesperia, CA, six years ago for two reasons: his horses and,
most importantly, he could park his rig on his own property. Now, he and many other truckers
who moved to Hesperia specifically because the city was “trucker-friendly” are finding out the
rules may be changing.
Shipper says it has met Long Beach truck standard
A major Asian shipper says it already has complied with the port of Long Beach’s Clean Truck
Program. Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line officials announced they would
voluntarily stop using trucks with pre-1990 engines in January, ahead of the port’s Oct. 1
deadline, according to a company news release.
Maine legislative panel OKs bill to ease weight restrictions for loggers
The Maine Transportation Committee unanimously approved a bill Thursday, Jan. 17, that
includes a bill intended to give logging truckers in the state some temporary relief from high
fuel costs by waiving gross weight limits. Another bill would restrict the substances that can be
applied to roadways for snow removal.
Lone Star State has largest carbon footprint
When it comes to putting carbon into the air, Texas is the nation’s biggest polluter. And if it
really was its own country, as the bumper stickers proclaim, it would have the seventh-largest
carbon footprint in the world.
Wife asks for help finding missing retired trucker
The last time anyone saw 77-year-old Sterling Blades was the week before Christmas. The
retired truck driver from Scappoose , OR , was last seen at about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2007,
leaving a friend's house on the 32000 block of Church Road in Warren , OR . He was driving a
navy blue 1993 Dodge D-20 pickup with Oregon license plate TBF 558. Anyone with
information is asked to call the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office at (503) 261-2847.
Former TN trooper gets no jail after taping roadside sex act
It's safe to say there's been little waltzing in the Tennessee Highway Patrol headquarters this
week. A former Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper will reportedly receive no jail time after he
was indicated in October on 10 different counts tied to official misconduct, including allowing a
motorist to perform a sex act on him in his patrol car.
Left-lane ban for trucks extended on Florida 's Turnpike
A truck driver caught in the left lane of a 40-mile stretch of Florida 's Turnpike could be fined
$100 and receive three points on his or her CDL, transportation officials say. The Florida
Department of Transportation is scheduled to extend a 20-mile lane restriction to 40 miles,
beginning Feb. 1, between the Golden Glades interchange in Miami-Dade County and the
Lantana toll plaza west of Lake Worth .
Texans turn out in droves to speak about corridor proposal
l Hundreds of residents are showing up at public meetings to speak their minds about the
Lone Star state's controversial Trans-Texas Corridor. Meetings began Tuesday, Jan. 15, in
Texarkana with a reported attendance of 150 people. The next two meetings in Carthage and
Lufkin drew hundreds according to news reports. Click
here for TxDOT's meeting schedule.
South Dakota governor calls for Highway Patrol budget cuts
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds told state lawmakers he wants to cut $2 million from the
Highway Patrol budget. Critics said the proposal could adversely affect highway safety by
reducing enforcement of drunken driving and speed limit laws and delaying response to
Federal judge orders Arctic Express to pay up
A new payment schedule is in place in relation to a federal class action that pitted drivers
against Arctic Express Inc. The case involved the motor carrier's failure to return escrow money
to truckers. As of Jan. 1, Arctic still owed the truckers in the class action $565,000.
Washington governor unveils tolling plan for Route 520 bridge
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has announced a funding proposal that would authorize
putting tolls on a bridge over Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue to help pay for a
replacement span.
Schwarzenegger supports toll road through beach in state park
In California , Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has come out in favor of a controversial toll road
that would run through a popular state park in Orange County .
Missouri lawmaker calls for limiting drivers' cell phone use
A Missouri state Senator has introduced a bill that would require drivers in the state to keep
their hands off their phones. Another effort would boost the legal driving age for teens.
Classic car crushed by truck with Werner Enterprises trainee, trainer
Pat Boyle – an employee at The Home Depot – parked his car along the outer edge of the
store's parking lot before every shift to prevent door dings and other scars from marring his
restored 1968 Plymouth Valiant. His tactic worked until Thursday, Jan. 10.
Canada may adopt CAFE standards
Canada 's minister of transport says the country will, for the first time, establish its own
fuel-economy standards for motor vehicles and that they will be at least as stringent as the
new rules adopted in the U.S.
Weekly Featured Article [01/20/08]
How Truck Drivers and Fleet Operators Would Be Lost Without One
(By Charu Suri - Challenge Magazine)
Toll plan opponent arrested at Corzine event
An opponent of Gov. Jon S. Corzine's toll increase plan said he and another protester were
arrested Saturday minutes before the New Jersey governor was to begin the fourth of his
public meetings promoting the plan.
Toll hike protesters feel New Jersey’s jackboot
Apparently, no one told the police in Middle Township, NJ, that freedom of speech is a
constitutional right. On Saturday, Jan. 19, police arrested two men who had leaflets and signs
protesting Gov. Jon Corzine’s plan to drastically increase tolls.
Truck parking situation no better for drivers
As the demand for truck parking spaces increases along the nation’s heavily traveled
highways, states continue to vie for federal money to help address those woes. Drivers may be
heartened to learn that relief is on the drawing board, but want to know what they’re supposed
to do in the meantime.
Trial date set in fatal Avon Mountain dump truck crash
A March 3 trial has been set for the owner of a dump truck that crashed into traffic on Avon
Mountain in Connecticut in the summer of 2005, killing four people and injuring many more.
Homeland Security says TWIC enrollment slow but steady
Nearly 1 million truck drivers and port workers have been told they will need a Transportation
Worker Identification Credential card, but only a small percentage of eligible applicants have
signed up since the program started taking enrollments in November 2007.
Virginia lawmakers seek to replace ‘bad’ driver fees
The controversial “abusive driver” fees in Virginia are facing an onslaught of legislative efforts
to scrap the law that put them in place. As a result, the state faces uncertainty for how to
replace revenue the fees were intended to generate.
Maine bill intended to reduce truck idling emissions
A bill in the Maine Legislature 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.
New law in New Jersey allows red-light cameras
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has signed a bill into law that authorizes the use of red-light
cameras throughout the state. Cameras can start going up in communities around the state
within 90 days.
C.R. England expects to finish escrow accounting soon
Accounting work has begun, and thousands of truckers may be one step closer to recovering
money from C.R. England Inc. in relation to unlawfully retained escrow funds. The escrow
funds include a maintenance reserve account, a performance bond, and a fuel/road tax escrow.
Trucker ticketed in California while searching for parking spot
OOIDA member Robert Edwards of Ozark , MO , knows firsthand about the dire parking
problem facing truckers who travel the nation's highways. Edwards, a produce hauler, received
a ticket last week and was placed out-of-service for being out of hours while he was looking for
a place to park his rig.
Proof of citizenship required after Jan. 31 at border crossings
Even with a FAST card or a government-issued ID such as a CDL, truckers and other U.S.
citizens will be required to present proof of citizenship when entering or re-entering the U.S.
after Jan. 31.
Driving rights bills signed into law in New Jersey
A legislative package in New Jersey intended to make it easier for drivers with suspended
licenses to keep their driving privileges has been signed into law. One bill helps truckers stay
on the road.
New Hampshire bill seeks English requirement for CDL applicants
A state lawmaker in New Hampshire wants to make it clear that aspiring truck drivers must
have a firm grasp of the English language before they obtain licenses to drive.
New Hampshire bill would ban on-road texting
A bill in a New Hampshire House panel is intended to curb drivers' text messaging in the state.
Sponsored by Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua, the bill would ban drivers from reading, typing
or sending text messages on an electronic wireless device, such as a BlackBerry. It also
would ban playing video games while driving.
Diesel prices drop 5.6 cents, oil prices near $89 per barrel
The national average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel dropped 5.6 cents to $3.270 for
the week ending Monday, Jan. 21, 2008.
Indiana legislation tackles time zone issues
An Indiana bill would require a public question to be put on the ballot asking voters in certain
counties in the state whether they prefer the Eastern or Central time zone. A separate effort
would put the question to a statewide vote.
Nebraska changes rest area rules to accommodate truckers' HOS regs
Most states offer some truck parking at their public rest areas; however, it's the limit on the
number of hours truckers can park there that often causes a quandary for drivers. Recently,
Nebraska officials changed the parking maximum at rest areas from eight hours to 10 hours to
match the federal HOS rules.
New law in Maine eases weight restrictions for loggers
Logging truckers in Maine this week were given a little relief from the high costs of doing
business in the state. Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill into law Tuesday, Jan. 22, that is
intended to give logging truckers some temporary relief from high fuel costs by waiving gross
weight limits in the state.
English-only CDL testing requirement advances in South Carolina
A South Carolina Senate panel has advanced a bill intended to ensure that aspiring truckers
and other drivers have a firm grasp of the English language before they obtain their licenses to
South Dakota bills would tweak ethanol, biodiesel tax rates
Concern for revenues to help fund road and bridge work in South Dakota has led one state
lawmaker to pursue legislation that would generate more money for the state by removing the
2-cent fuel tax exemption on gasoline containing ethanol offered in the state.
Virginia House OKs bill to repeal ‘bad-driver' fees
Efforts to rid Virginia of so-called bad driver fees are gaining momentum in the statehouse.
One bill to repeal the abusive driving fees is halfway through the statehouse.
New Jersey Senate leader wants toll meeting arrest investigated
The New Jersey State Senate Republican leader is calling for an investigation into the arrest of
a former mayor during a meeting about Gov. Jon Corzine's proposed toll increases.
Critics say Corzine rushing toll plan
New Jersey Senate Republicans are criticizing the way Gov. Jon Corzine is conducting his
public information campaign about his proposal to restructure state finances through a series
of toll increases. Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, said Corzine's town hall meetings to promote
the toll hikes are nothing more than slide presentations and quotes from the governor's “State
of the State” speech.
Missouri bill would split speeds, restrict hours behind the wheel
If a Missouri state lawmaker gets his way, large trucks would need to slow down on major
routes throughout the state. They also would be further limited in how many hours they can
spend on roads in the state each day.
Compromise reached in truck parking ordinance in Rio Rancho
For the second time in less than two years, truckers in Rio Rancho, NM, have defeated efforts
by the City Council to ban all truck parking in residential areas.
California town moves forward with plan to restrict truck parking
Truck drivers living in Hesperia , CA , banded together on Thursday, Jan. 23, to fight proposed
changes to the city's municipal code regarding truck parking in residential areas. Once
considered a “truck-friendly” community, the Hesperia Community Development Advisory
Committee recently unveiled a plan to revise nine provisions in the city's truck parking code.
New Hampshire bill addresses ‘hot fuel'
A New Hampshire lawmaker is pursuing a change to state law to help ensure consumers get
what they pay for at the fuel pump. Sponsored by Sen. Peter Burling, D-Cornish, the bill
addresses the problem of “hot fuel” that has gained notoriety throughout the nation in recent
Virginia bill to prohibit ‘texting' while driving is shelved
An effort in the Virginia House to prohibit drivers from text messaging while driving has been
put on hold until next year. Another driver-distraction bill, however, remains active. Sponsored
by Rep. Robert Mathieson, D-Virginia Beach , that measure would require pets, including
diesel dogs and cabin cats, to be clear of the vehicle's driving area while cruising down the
Inexperienced driver uses bad judgment; crashes on day two
One truck driver is probably wishing he could have just stayed home on Friday, Jan 18. That’s
because on his second day on the job, he attempted to make a narrow right turn, but didn’t
have enough space. He wound up taking out a Dunkin’ Donut sign, which then fell on a parked
Nebraska bill would add wholesale fuel tax
A new tax could be added to wholesale fuel purchases in Nebraska if a state lawmaker gets
her way. Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine, chairwoman of the Legislature’s Transportation
Committee, has introduced a bill that would establish a tax of 5 percent per gallon on the price
of motor fuels at the wholesale level – allowing the tax to increase with the price of fuel. The
majority of revenues would be routed to the state’s Highway Trust Fund with one-third of the
revenues earmarked for cities and counties.
Toll meetings continue in New Jersey
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s series of “town hall” meetings to promote his proposal to pay
off state debt by increasing tolls continues Monday, Jan. 28, in Camden, NJ. Click here for
updates to the meeting schedule.
Paccar recalls Petes, Kenworths with brake issues
Nearly 2,800 Peterbilts and Kenworths are subject to recall because they might have brake
hoses that aren’t up to spec and that could lead to braking failure. Paccar is voluntarily
recalling trucks equipped with Eaton Synflex Eclipse extruded-nylon air brake hose tubing. The
fewer than 3,000 trucks manufactured by Peterbilt and Kenworth in October and November of
2007 are subject to the recall.
Private partner withdraws from I-81 project in Virginia
The construction and engineering firm KBR has pulled out of a proposed $13-billion proposal
for Interstate 81 in Virginia, sending talks of a large-scale widening project to the back burner.
VDOT Spokesman Jeff Caldwell told Land Line that the state still intends to proceed with a
number of smaller, localized improvement projects along I-81, but there are no immediate
plans to replace KBR or the consortium known as Star Solutions to proceed with a large-scale
New Hampshire bills seek changes to speed limits and lane use
A variety of measures of interest to truck drivers have been added to the legislative agenda this
year in New Hampshire. The legislation includes changes to speed limits and lane use, and
maintenance at rest stops. One bill would increase speed limits on interstates and divided
highways in the state from 65 mph to 70 mph.
Kentucky bill would expand local authority for road funds
The leading Senate lawmaker in Kentucky has a plan to help local governments raise revenue
locally to speed up major transportation projects. Projects mentioned that would benefit from
the legislation include two new bridges across the Ohio River in Louisville, KY, and the
reworking of a downtown interchange.
Federal Highway Administrator Capka resigns
Without saying why he quit or what he’ll do now, Federal Highway Administrator Richard Capka
has resigned. Capka’s last day won’t be until the end of February. The FHWA Deputy
Administrator Jim Ray will step in as acting administrator at that point.
Weekly Featured Article  [01/27/08]
(By Joan Tupponce - Challenge Magazine)
Storms force closure of Interstate 80 in California, Wyoming
Wild, windy weather continues to challenge truckers in Wyoming and California.
Auditor says New York toll hikes ‘not warranted’
A state official who audited the New York Thruway Authority says the authority officials should
call off proposed toll increases and wait for further analysis. “It’s easy to raise tolls, but the
Thruway Authority should take a hard look in the mirror before it pushes another toll hike on
New Yorkers,” New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli stated in a press release.
New Hampshire bills would alter fuel tax rate, transportation funding
Many bills of interest to truck drivers are up for consideration in the New Hampshire
statehouse. The measures include changes to fuel tax rates and incentives for the use of
alternative fuels. One bill would increase the state’s tax rate applied to fuel purchases by 6
Massachusetts House approves phoning, texting ban while driving
To improve safety on Massachusetts roadways, the state’s House approved a bill that would
prohibit drivers in the state from talking on hand-held cell phones and text messaging while
Efforts would place limits on red-light cameras in Missouri
A pair of bills in the Missouri statehouse would put restrictions on cities’ use of automated
cameras to ticket drivers. The cameras, which are in use in at least two dozen Missouri towns,
snap pictures of red-light runners’ or speeders’ vehicles. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’
owners, regardless of who was driving at the time.
National average price of diesel dips to $3.259
The national average price of on-highway diesel decreased 1.1 cents to $3.259 per gallon for
the week ending Monday, Jan. 28, 2008. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported
that the price for diesel was 84.6 cents more than it was one year ago.
Storms hammer West
Several interstates were shut down yesterday or Monday night – but were open again Tuesday
morning – as winter storms brought high winds and as much as 30 inches of snow to parts of
the West.
Senate committee to hear federal fuel tax proposal
A Senate committee is scheduled to review a proposal by an appointed transportation
commission. The proposal includes an increase in federal fuel taxes by 25 cents to 40 cents
per gallon.
Wyoming bill would boost fuel tax
An effort expected to draw consideration during the upcoming legislative session in Wyoming
would increase the state's fuel tax by a dime per gallon during the next three years.
Kentucky to open two new Rest Havens with 100 truck parking spots
There's some good news for truckers traveling through Kentucky who need a safe place to park
their rigs for their 10-hour rest period. About 100 new truck parking spaces will be available at
the two new Rest Havens, which are exclusively for commercial trucks, in Kentucky . Both
locations will officially open at midnight on Friday, Feb. 1.
Nebraska bills focus on trucking issues
A Nebraska state lawmaker has offered legislation of interest to the trucking industry. Sen. Deb
Fischer of Valentine, chairwoman of the Legislature's Transportation Committee, has
introduced two bills that are intended to be used as an incentive to reduce idling and
discourage violating out-of-service orders.
Pennsylvania eyes statewide idling ban, accepts public comments
Truckers who work or pass through Pennsylvania have been invited to comment on the
Keystone State 's recent proposed ban on truck idling. According to information from the
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, state officials are considering a
proposal that would limit idling of trucks, school buses and transit buses to five minutes per
hour in most cases.
Fear and loathing along proposed Trans-Texas Corridor
Some Texans are afraid of losing their land to the Trans-Texas Corridor while others loathe the
thought of a quarter-mile-wide swath of toll roads and railway lines transforming the
countryside into a superhighway. People continue to turn out in droves at public meetings
concerning the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor proposal, specifically the portion known as
the TTC-69 proposed from Brownsville to Texarkana .
Missouri bills would promote idling reduction, repeal HHG mover reg
Two bills in the Missouri General Assembly are of interest to household goods haulers and
truckers who want to reduce the amount of time they spend idling their rigs.
Virginia Senate OKs primary seat-belt bill
A bill that would allow police to pull over drivers for not wearing their seat belts has passed the
Virginia Senate. Sponsored by Sen. Patricia Ticer, D-Alexandria, the bill would allow for primary
enforcement of the state's seat belt law.
Trucker Buddy executive director departs
The woman who has steered the Trucker Buddy program for the past two years is stepping
down. Executive Director Roxane Rose said she wants to spend more time with another
passion, which is animal rescue operations and animal shelters.
Alabama Web site allows truckers to buy permits online
A Web site created by the state of Alabama is a useful new tool for truckers. The Web site
shows road and weather conditions, maps, rest areas and current construction zones. The site
also provides information on permits and licensing and allows truckers to pay for some
permits and licenses online.
[ This website link has been added to our "drivers services - alabama" page ]
Storms slow truckers, close mountain passes
Snow, high winds and closed highways made trucking a challenge in much of the central and
western part of the country on Tuesday. A combination of snow, high winds, wrecks and low
visibility temporarily shut down interstates in Minnesota , Colorado , Wyoming and Washington .
Indiana bills address road restrictions, truck weights
A couple of bills introduced in the Indiana General Assembly are of particular interest to
truckers. One would open more roadways to heavier trucks while the other would divert
revenues from overweight truck violations to the law enforcement agencies that issued the
Truckers, Bulkmatic Transport Co. reach settlement agreement
OOIDA and 10 individual drivers, plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Bulkmatic Transport Company
that is pending in federal district court in Chicago , have settled their claims against the carrier.
BBC News crew rides along with OOIDA member DuWayne Marshall
Back in the 1960s, American artist Andy Warhol predicted everyone would be world-famous for
15 minutes. That's true and then some for OOIDA member and produce hauler DuWayne
Marshall of Watertown, WI, who recently spent three days driving a BBC News crew across the
U.S. Click
here to watch the BBC's online account.
South Carolina Senate OKs English-only CDL testing requirement
A measure that is halfway through the South Carolina statehouse is intended to ensure that
aspiring truckers and other drivers have a firm grasp of the English language before they obtain
their licenses to drive.
Kentucky bill would restrict drivers' cell phone use
A bill in the Kentucky House would require drivers in the state to keep their hands off their
Maine bill would extend car inspections to two years; no truck changes
Many motorists in Maine would be able to wait twice as long between vehicle inspections if a
state lawmaker gets his way. Commercial vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers would remain on
the yearly inspection schedule.
Harvard study links diesel exhaust to deaths
A new study out of Harvard University, which was first published in the August 2007 edition of
Environmental Health Perspectives, cites diesel exhaust as a likely contributor to deaths from
heart disease among truckers. The researchers say that truckers are 50 percent more likely to
die of heart disease than the general population.
Let them drink gas
Wyoming residents would rather pay more taxes to put beer in their bellies than pay more to put
fuel in their tanks.
Senators raise privacy issues about federal mileage tax proposal
Members of a U.S. Senate committee have raised the issue of privacy in response to a
recommendation by a federal transportation commission to replace the federal fuel tax with a
mileage-based tax.
Missouri lawmaker offers state road funding plan
A state senator is proposing an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would increase
funding for highways without increasing tax rates. Sen. John Loudon, R-Chesterfield, said he is
concerned about long-term funding options in the state because of an expected hit in future
federal funding. To combat the problem, he has offered a measure that would earmark 10
percent of state revenue growth each year for roads, bridges and other transportation projects.
Tax break for biodiesel advances in South Dakota
The South Dakota Senate approved a bill that would provide a tax break for biodiesel use. A
separate effort to repeal a tax break on ethanol use failed. Senators unanimously approved a
bill to reduce the fuel tax on diesel that contains at least 5 percent biodiesel by 2 cents per
gallon. The fuel tax applied to regular gasoline and diesel now is 22 cents per gallon. The bill –
SB148 – would trim the per-gallon tax on biodiesel to 20 cents.
OOIDA, GAO cite similar concerns about FDA food safety plan
Can the U.S. Food and Drug Administration adequately ensure the safety of the nation’s food
supply? After careful analysis of the FDA’s Food Protection Plan, OOIDA and the U.S.
Government Accountability Office both agree the answer is no, unless critical changes are
made soon.
Special license tags sought for DUI offenders in Virginia
Some motorists convicted of driving under the influence in Virginia would be required to wear a
“scarlet letter,” of sorts. Delegate Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake, introduced a bill that would
require people with three or more DUI convictions to attach bright yellow license plates with red
letters and numbers to their vehicles.
Rhode Island bill would raise age to 75 for two-year license renewals
If a Rhode Island state lawmaker gets his way, drivers in the state who turn 70 would get
another five years before being required to renew their driver’s licenses every two years.