The American Driver
From Drivers - For Drivers
What's News - March 2008
Weekly Featured Article  [03/02/08]
(By Jennifer Kirby - Challenge Magazine)
[ Exit ]
Feds consider equipping cops with engine shutdown devices
Who hasn’t been sucked into a televised 20-minute car chase in all its flashing red and blue
light glory? News helicopters paint a tapestry of near-misses and the inevitable face-down
handcuffing in the road.
Spencer to California officials: ‘you’re not listening to truckers’
Waves of regulations on trucks, trains, planes and ships may be to the detriment of California’s
trade prospects, OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said during a recent panel
discussion in Los Angeles.
Illinois bills would reduce, eliminate speed gap; add weight exception
In recent history in the Illinois Legislature, bills that would reduce or eliminate the speed
differential between trucks and other vehicles have been offered for consideration. This year is
no exception.
Average price of diesel at all time high of $3.658
Across the country, the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel is at an all time high right now–
at $3.658 – up more than $1.032 per gallon from just one year ago, the U.S. Energy Information
Administration reported Monday, March 3.
Georgia Senate OKs immigration legislation
A pair of bills that would crack down on illegal immigration in Georgia has reached the halfway
point in the statehouse. One bill would toughen penalties for driving without a license in the
state while the other would outlaw “sanctuary” cities.
West Virginia House OKs public-private partnerships to fund new roads
The West Virginia House has approved a bill that is intended to open the door to public-private
partnerships in the state.
New South Dakota law allows year-round studded tires
Several bills with highway safety as their theme have been offered for consideration this year in
South Dakota. One bill authorizing certain studded tires on vehicles year-round is now law
while measures related to teen driving and seat belt use have died.
XM and Sirius officials extend deadline to merge
Officials with XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have agreed to extend a
self-imposed deadline as they wait for government approval to merge.
Springing forward: Truckers prepare for daylight saving time
Prepare to change your cell phones, watches and dash clocks Saturday night – daylight saving
time is here.
Trucking officials say Pennsylvania Turnpike study has hidden agenda
Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association agree with parts of a study
that debunks the proposed leasing of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to private investors.
AG’s office clarifies 53-foot rule for trailers in North Carolina
The assistant attorney general in North Carolina has issued an advisory letter to enforcement
officials to say that 53-foot trailers are allowed on certain highways in the state.
Hundreds of truckers turn out to fight truck ban in Hesperia
Normally, there isn’t a problem finding a seat for a meeting at Hesperia City Hall in Hesperia,
CA, which can hold up to 179 people.
Alabama bills seek tolls to ease road funding crunch
With Gov. Bob Riley touting the need to pursue alternative methods to fund road work in
Alabama, multiple efforts in the statehouse would make toll roads and privatization options in
the future.
Virginia bills focusing on truck rules, enforcement have mixed results
Several bills of interest to truck drivers have been offered at the Virginia statehouse this year.
With the finish line in sight for lawmakers, many measures have been dropped from
consideration while others continue to advance toward passage.
Nebraska bills seek funds to finish expressway system
The Nebraska expressway system is getting a lot of attention at the Capitol this year.
Surface trade up in December
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation show that
surface transportation trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico was up 3.1 percent
in December, compared with December 2006.
Fraud trial begins for truck company owner in Avon Mountain crash
The trial of a Connecticut trucking company owner began with jury selection on Monday, March
3. David Wilcox is on trial for alleged insurance fraud in connection with a deadly crash on Avon
Mountain in 2005.
Pennsylvania state lawmaker calls for end to feds' cross-border program
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker is calling for President Bush to comply with the federal law
regarding trucks from Mexico. State Rep. Dan Surra, D-Elk, has offered a resolution that urges
the Bush administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation to obey recently enacted
federal law and stop the cross-border program.
South Carolina to open seven non-facility rest areas for commercial vehicles
The South Carolina Department of Transportation has acknowledged the quandary truck
drivers face when trying to find a spot to take their full 10-hour rest break, recently announcing
plans to open seven new rest areas for truckers to park their rigs.
Idaho bill would make truck chains mandatory
A bill nearing passage in the Idaho Senate would implement the state's first chain-up law.
Neighboring Montana, Oregon and Washington already have mandatory chain rules.
Sponsored by Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Post Falls, the Idaho measure would apply to large
trucks along stretches of two roadways: Lookout and Fourth of July passes on Interstate 90;
and Lolo Pass on state Highway 12.
Truckers asked for input on truck parking in Washington State
If you run through Washington State, you might want to participate in an online survey that is
seeking input on ways to develop and improve truck parking in the state. If you are a company
driver or a one-man, one truck operation, click
here to take the survey. If you own a trucking
company with more than one driver, click
here to take the survey.
Virginia lawmakers send Interstate 81 tolling bill to governor
A bill nearing passage in the Virginia statehouse is intended to give state legislators more
power over whether truckers and other drivers are charged tolls for using Interstate 81 in the
state. Another bill would repeal Virginia law that allows a toll plaza to be placed on Interstate 95
at the border with North Carolina.
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission seeks investors for Expressway
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is soliciting for a private investor to build 50 miles of
tolled expressways in Allegheny and Washington counties. Click
here to read the project
overview for the proposed new sections of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and the Southern
TWIC enrollment steady: enrollees now exceed 120,000
Enrollment for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential is slow but steady, with
enrollment nearing the 10 percent mark as of late February.
Oklahoma bill to restrict drivers' cell phone use dies
A bill in the Oklahoma House has died that sought to require drivers in the state to keep their
hands off their phones. Truck drivers would have been exempted in certain instances.
Utah trucker challenges city hall and wins, for now
Of the 50-plus truckers ticketed recently for truck parking ordinance violations in Roosevelt, UT,
crude hauler Justin Jorgensen was the only one who showed up to court ready to fight.
Oregon to document scale dodgers with glossy 8-by-10 photos
If you dodge the scales in Oregon for any reason, enforcement officers will send you a glossy
8-by-10 photo of the violation, in addition to a standard Class B misdemeanor citation.
Mississippi Senate OKs expanded use of speed radar
An effort to expand the use of radar by sheriff’s deputies in Mississippi is halfway through the
Wyoming doubles certain truck fees; other fee, fine hikes fail
Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal has signed a bill into law boosting the fees charged per mile
traveled for oversized or overweight trucks in the state. Two failed efforts sought to double driver’
s license fees and increase fines for speeding in trucks.
Rhode Island bills address toll bridges, revenue
Two bills in the Rhode Island House would change toll policies on the Mount Hope and Pell
U.S. Rep from Virginia calls for toll freeze on Dulles Greenway
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, has called on the Virginia General Assembly to take immediate
action and freeze scheduled toll increases on the Dulles Greenway that is operated by private
Indiana’s ‘passenger responsibility’ bill nears passage
In hopes of preventing needless deaths along roadsides, the Indiana Senate overwhelmingly
approved a bill that would require passengers of vehicles to act and call police in life-or-death
[ We, at The American Driver, have a question... How do you enforce this law? ]
CARB seeks to infuse empty global warming enforcement budget
The clean air agency that proudly accepts credit for attacking global warming emissions may
be faced with a new problem – an empty piggy bank.
Volvo unveils trucks of the future
Imagine a day when diesel is hitting $6 or $7 a gallon – only instead feeling the pain of an
empty wallet and leaving a fuel island in tears, you roll on by with a smile on your face.
Still time to weigh in on Illinois split speed bills
In recent history in the Illinois Legislature, bills that would reduce or eliminate the speed
differential between trucks and other vehicles have been offered for consideration. This year is
no exception. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has issued a Call to Action
for Illinois truckers to contact their lawmakers regarding the bills. To read that Call to Action,
here .
Talk about a broken record – they could stop playing this one anytime
We end the week with the national average price of diesel fuel shooting up 5 cents overnight to
a new record high of $3.77 a gallon. And, for the first time ever, one state has broken the $4
mark. For information on how to implement a surcharge and a formula to help you figure out
how much it should be, click
here .
Maryland bill could hurt Washington County truckers
A bill has been introduced in Maryland that could affect truck drivers who live in Washington
County and park their trucks at home. The bill – HB1599 – would make it illegal for a person to
“park a commercial semitractor or a single-unit commercial truck more than 10,000 pounds in
gross vehicle weight on a public road within a residential subdivision in the county.”
Virginia House panel rejects fuel tax increase
The search continues in Virginia for ways to generate transportation revenue. A bill has died
that sought to increase the state's fuel tax by 30 percent.
Colorado bill would reform toll road notification rules
During the past three decades, hundreds of residents in Colorado have found out the hard way
that their properties were in the path of the proposed “Super Slab” toll road. Members of the
state's House and Senate are hoping to enact a law to clear the titles of hundreds of
homeowners and force the developer to start over under proposed new notification laws.
Kentucky lawmakers considering bills to create toll authority
State lawmakers in the Kentucky House and Senate are considering similar bills relating to the
creation of public infrastructure authorities to finance large-scale projects such as the Ohio
River Bridges.
Mississippi bills to clear left lane die
Two bills in the Mississippi Senate died that were intended to increase safety on highways in
the state.
Alabama bills call on taxes, bonds to fund road work
Concerns about road funding are rampant in state capitols throughout the country. The
Alabama statehouse is no exception. Among other things, legislators there are looking into fuel
tax increases and bonds to help pay for transportation projects.
Weekly Featured Article [03/09/08]
(By Mike Howe - Challenge Magazine)
Record high diesel fuel prices top $4 a gallon; national average $3.81
Rumors have been floating around for weeks that the cost for a gallon of diesel was getting
ready to hit the $4 a gallon mark.
J.B. Hunt officials sale of millions in stock not ‘outrageous’
Four top officials at J.B. Hunt Transport Services sold more than $30 million in stock in
February, but at least one analyst says it may not mean anything.
TA lays off employees; plans to scale back expansion plans
Travel Centers of America has laid off 190 employees at its headquarters and other locations
and company officials said they plan to make similar reductions in their hourly work force.
Wyoming bill to create split speed limits fails to advance
A bill in the Wyoming House that called for adopting split speed limits in the state has failed to
advance for consideration.
Alabama bills tackle safety issues, idling reduction
A handful of bills introduced at the Alabama statehouse are intended to make the state’s
roadways safer. They include efforts to lower speed limits, limit left lane use and make way for
emergency vehicles. Another bill still is intended to be used as an incentive to reduce truck
Mississippi bills die that focused on open containers, headlights
A pair of bills in the Mississippi Legislature that were intended to increase safety on roadways
in the state have died because lawmakers did not advance them out of committee, effectively
killing them for the year.
DOT faces 'consequences' for continuing cross-border program
Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters was warned in a Senate hearing that choosing to
continue the cross-border trucking program despite a funding cut and congressional intent that
the program stop will have consequences.
Interim report highlights cross-border program shortcomings
The cross-border program with Mexico isn't living up to its billing according to an interim report
on the program issued by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.
GAO urged to investigate DOT's cross-border spending
Four members of Congress want the Government Accountability Office to investigate the
Department of Transportation's spending of money to conduct the cross-border trucking
$4 diesel has small business truckers dipping into reserves
The news that the price for a gallon of diesel fuel is soaring above $4 in some parts of the
country forecasts a dire situation for truck drivers. Some truckers have had to dip into their
reserves to help cover their daily operating costs, while others, without the luxury of having any
reserves, are barely hanging on.
Border patrol finds 85 illegal aliens among tractor trailers in Texas
Federal authorities arrested 85 illegal aliens last month as they were being smuggled into the
U.S., including as many as 15 Mexicans packed into the sleeper of one big rig.
Alabama bill advances; would give small towns more ticketing authority
An Alabama House panel has approved a bill that would give law enforcement officers in small
towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstate highways that pass through their cities'
limits. It is the second year in a row the effort has been put before lawmakers.
Truckers' efforts generate four bills in Maine to ease truckers' costs
State lawmakers in the Maine Legislature are considering four bills that would provide fuel-tax
rebates and other forms of relief to truckers in the forestry industry. Members of a coalition
seeking relief say a combination of high fuel prices and a decreased demand for wood
products are putting companies out of business in Maine.
Georgia bills seek to transform transportation funding
A batch of measures have been offered throughout the Georgia General Assembly that would
boost transportation funding. Several bills that attempt to help ease a $7.7 billion transportation
funding shortfall have advanced from their originating chamber to the other side of the
Virginia legislation to limit drivers' tests to English-only dies
A failed effort in Virginia was intended to help ensure that people issued driver's licenses in the
state understand English. Another failed effort sought to designate English as the official
language in the state.
L.A. truck company owner pleads guilty to smuggling apparel
A Los Angeles trucking company owner recently pleaded guilty for his part in what U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators have called the largest commercial fraud
scheme "ever uncovered on the West Coast."
New cross-border participant's safety stats lackluster
Despite assurances by Department of Transportation officials that Mexican companies in the
cross-border program are squeaky clean, one of the newest participant's safety records tells a
different tale. Avomex International received its authority to operate beyond the border zone Feb.
29. That is in spite of a past riddled with safety violations.
OOIDA members express frustration as diesel prices soar
Debbie Taylor misses the road and her friends she used to run with, but said she doesn't miss
the skyrocketing prices for diesel fuel, which is averaging $4 per gallon in 11 states. Taylor, an
OOIDA member from Collinsville, AL, said after nine years of trucking, she gave up the fight and
parked her truck before Christmas in 2007. Another OOIDA member, Michelle Landry, is taking
a different approach: she has a strict policy of not accepting a load that pays less than $2 per
Oklahoma bill advances; would increase fines for overweight trucks
Drivers of overweight vehicles would face escalating fines depending on just how heavy the
trucks are loaded, under a bill endorsed by the Oklahoma Senate. The Senate unanimously
approved a bill that would establish seven stages of penalties for vehicles or combinations of
vehicles in excess of the gross weight limitations. It now moves to the House for further
Washington State Legislature OKs tolling bills
A bill on its way to Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire's desk would set up a framework for
collecting tolls in the state. Another bill headed to the governor's desk would create a study
group to help determine how the state would collect tolls on the state Route 520 replacement
Arizona legislation puts photo radar under the gun
An Arizona Senate panel has approved three measures that would limit, or outright ban,
photo-radar enforcement throughout the state. A House panel endorsed a related effort. The
Senate Transportation Committee took action to thwart plans by Gov. Janet Napolitano to
eventually deploy a total of 170 mobile and stationary speed enforcement cameras and
red-light cameras along state roads. Local streets would not be affected.
Spanish firm using loan from U.S. to build segments of Texas toll road
Officials with the Spanish toll road operator Cintra have announced that the company has
secured $430 million in loans from the U.S. government to build and operate two segments of
a toll road in central Texas.
[ This is so wrong.  Why are we loaning money to a foreign company to build and operate
roads on our soil that we will have to pay to drive on? ]
States preparing to collect UCR payments
It’s that time of year when truckers need to pay fees for the new Unified Carrier Registration
Agreement. The new program, UCR, replaced the old Single-State Registration System. Its first
year was 2007. Now it’s time to pay the 2008 fees.
Truckers anxious as fuel prices quash profits
Diesel prices continued to shatter records on Friday, March 14, as 16 states are now showing
averages at or above $4 a gallon. To read comments from OOIDA President and CEO Jim
Johnston, click
here. To read a news release issued by OOIDA Friday on the fuel situation, click
Cross-Canadian reefer: border patrol nails Canada-to-Iowa pot operation
Five men pleaded guilty on March 6 and 7 in federal court to drug smuggling and money-
laundering charges connected to what immigration officials termed an “international marijuana
smuggling operation.” The operation relied on hiding hundreds of pounds of pot in a reefer
trailer’s walls, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Man wanted in Kentucky for passing bad Comcheks
Authorities in Kentucky are searching for a man whom they believe is guilty of scamming
several area banks by getting them to cash forged Comchecks. Police suspect the man may be
a truck driver and are asking anyone with information to call Hardin County detectives at (270)
Idaho road funding bill would cost truckers
In an effort to boost funding for roads and bridges in Idaho, a bill in the state’s Senate would
implement a new mileage fee on large trucks. Registration fees also would be amended. The
registration fee now is determined by the maximum gross weight of a vehicle and the total
number of miles driven on roads in the state.
Utah Legislature OKs speed limit boost
All vehicles soon could be allowed to drive a little faster along a stretch of Interstate 15 in
central and southern Utah. The state’s Senate voted 19-9 to approve a bill that would give the
Utah Department of Transportation authority to determine whether the speed limit safely can be
increased to 80 mph or higher between mileposts 222 and 64.
Oklahoma Senate votes to boost road funding
More money would be made available for improving roads and bridges throughout Oklahoma if
legislation moving through the statehouse becomes law.
Truckers’ efforts generate four bills in Maine to ease truckers’ costs
State lawmakers in the Maine Legislature are considering four bills that would provide fuel-tax
rebates and other forms of relief to truckers in the forestry industry.
Many truckers 'close to the wall' as fuel costs through the roof
OOIDA member Dave Crosby parked his truck in late January. He told Land Line on Thursday,
March 13, he's not moving it again until he can start making a decent living wage again. In the
mean time, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has revised the government's
predictions, stating that diesel prices will average $3.70 per gallon in March and April, and then
drop to an average of $3.45 for the year. As of Thursday, ProMiles was showing the national
average price at $3.92 per gallon, up 3 cents from Wednesday's average.
Pennsylvania motor carriers prefer tax increase to tolling I-80
The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association opposes measures to toll Interstate 80 and lease
the Pennsylvania Turnpike to private investors, an official said Tuesday, March 10.
West Virginia Legislature OKs public-private partnerships for new roads
A bill on its way to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin's desk is intended to open the door to
public-private partnerships for roads, as well as tolling on those roads, in the state.
Utah bill to outlaw ticket quotas dies
A bill in Utah that was intended to prevent law enforcement officers from going on ticket writing
sprees has died. The Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee
voted 3-2 in opposition to a House-approved bill - HB264 - that would have prohibited all law
enforcement agencies in the state from setting traffic ticket quotas.
Kentucky House approves bill to limit election-year road spending
In an effort to help funding for roads, the Kentucky House overwhelmingly approved a bill that is
intended to prevent political abuse of emergency road funds during gubernatorial election
years. Supporters cite actions by former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, a Republican, during the 2007
election season. As a result, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear was left with inadequate revenue
in the fund, they say.
Weekly Featured Article [03/16/08]
Kicking Bad Habits - that Can Lead to Rear-End Collisions
(Challenge Magazine)
National diesel average at $3.974; prices continue to shatter records
The cost for a gallon of diesel has risen to the $4 mark or above in 19 states now, according to
ProMiles. This is frustrating news for truckers who have watched helplessly as diesel prices
continue to shatter new records every week.
Small business truckers pondering fuel, rate miseries
Carl Brown, Gainesville, GA, knows that brokers and companies pushing owner-operators to
haul cheap is nothing new to the industry. But he said with costs so high, he’s amazed at how
willing some truckers are to keep hauling cheap freight.
Swift-owned trailer’s $8 million in pot sets California record
The California Highway Patrol reportedly found $8 million worth of marijuana after pulling over a
Swift Transportation-owned truck and trailer on Tuesday, March 11, in Calexico, CA.
Canadian trucker jailed for smuggling marijuana
A Canadian truck driver was sentenced to 37 months behind bars after authorities found 50
kilograms of marijuana squirreled away under his load of wood chips.
Despite court rejection, CARB will enforce ship emission rules
Trucking isn’t the only industry being sized up by the California Air Resources Board.
EPA outlines new national port requirements for trains, ships
Joining a growing trend of public officials calling for more port regulations, the Environmental
Protection Agency’s leader outlined plans Friday to cut locomotive and ship emissions by 90
Wisconsin governor seeks budget fix; transportation funds sought elsewhere
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has unveiled his strategy to repair a budget imbalance in the state
without raising taxes. It includes diverting road funds to other uses.
Alabama bill would increase car insurance requirements
Motorists in Alabama would be required to carry more liability insurance if a bill unanimously
approved by the state’s House becomes law. It now moves to the Senate.
CVSA Roadcheck set for June 3-5; seatbelts a top priority
When 10,000 inspectors deploy to 1,000 inspection sites this summer for the CVSA’s annual
Roadcheck enforcement blitz, seatbelt usage will be among their top priorities. The 72-hour
Roadcheck is scheduled for June 3, 4 and 5 and will take place in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Interstate 95 in Philadelphia closed for at least two days
A three-mile stretch of Interstate 95 just north of downtown Philadelphia was shut down in both
directions Tuesday, March 18, and is expected to remain closed for at least two days. Rush
hour traffic was backed up for miles Tuesday morning according to local media reports.
Truckers, auto workers nervous as diesel, gas prices soar
The cost for a gallon of diesel had risen to the $4 mark or above in 23 states as of Tuesday,
March 18, according to ProMiles. Truckers continue to watch as prices shatter record highs,
and auto workers are also cautiously watching fuel prices as the cost of gasoline inches closer
to the $4 mark.
New Jersey bill addresses truck weight enforcement
A bill in the New Jersey Assembly would allow sheriffs to weigh, measure and inspect
commercial vehicles.
Gov. Rendell’s former employer working on Turnpike lease, I-80 tolls
A law firm that employed Gov. Ed Rendell before he moved into the governor’s mansion is
advising the state on Rendell’s proposal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to private
CARB asks public for input on diesel enforcement regs
Uniformed enforcement officers from the California Air Resources Board and the California
Highway Patrol inspected 151,586 heavy-duty diesel vehicles from 1998 to 2006, writing
citations for nearly $2.5 million in fines.
Repeal of ‘bad-driver’ fees advances to Virginia governor
The Virginia General Assembly has cleared legislation to advance to Gov. Tim Kaine’s desk
that would rid the state of so-called bad driver fees.
Now more than ever truckers must know their operating costs to survive
As diesel fuel prices continue to rise, many owner-operators are desperate to find ways to cut
costs to make up for dramatic increases in fuel costs and low freight rates.
Truckers protest fuel prices in Georgia
As many as 40 truckers in Georgia parked their rigs on Monday, March 17, to protest the high
cost of fuel and low freight rates.
Port of Oakland approves truck emissions plan
California ports are looking at stiffer competition from railway-connected ports in Mexico and
elsewhere along the West Coast, but that’s not stopping them from enacting new emissions
No CHP charges in MacArthur Maze tanker crash
The California Highway Patrol has decided not to recommend charges against a gasoline
tanker truck driver who crashed on the MacArthur Maze in Oakland in April 2007.
Governator terminates Dirty Harry
In California, Dirty Harry is no match for the Terminator.
Maryland bills would use cameras to deter speeders
If Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gets his way, cameras would be posted to enforce speed limits
in certain work zones throughout the state. Several other bills before lawmakers also would
green light the use of speed cameras.
Owner-operator organizes fuel protest Monday near Pittsburgh
Owner-operator Don Waltenbaugh of Pennsylvania has organized a daylong event to
demonstrate just how bad it’s getting out there for truckers struggling with high fuel prices.
Trucker keeps wheels turning despite increasing operating costs
OOIDA member Ted Gennick of Marietta, GA, just wants to make a decent living doing what he
loves – trucking.
National Carriers included in sale of beef processors to Brazilian company
The acquisition of National Beef by a Brazilian company included the sale of trucking company
National Carriers of Liberal, KS.
Construction weight possibly a factor in collapse of I-35 bridge
The National Transportation Safety Board has calculated that the Interstate 35 bridge in
Minneapolis was carrying a total load of about 1.26 million pounds, or 630 tons, at the time of
its collapse, with a little more than half of that sitting on the center span.
Cat truck engine future uncertain
Can you imagine a world without Caterpillar truck engines? It could happen according to Cat’s
chief executive Jim Owens.
New Utah law allows anonymous reporting of ‘bad drivers’
People will be allowed to call in anonymous tips about dangerous drivers, under a bill signed
into law in Utah. It is intended to help people report relatives who might not be able to drive
Canadians object plenty to proposed speed-limiter bill
Tampering with speed limiters in the province of Ontario could lead to fines of $250 to $20,000
if a proposed bill becomes law.
Tuesday is deadline to file comments on driver training rule
Truckers who want to let the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration know how they feel
about a proposed driver training rule need to stop thinking about it and start doing it. Tuesday,
March 25 is the deadline to file comments. The Docket number for the proposed rule is
FMCSA-2007-27748. Click here to comment online.
Pennsylvania truckers plan rally to raise awareness about fuel costs
Another group of Pennsylvania truckers is planning a rally to draw support for their battle
against skyrocketing fuel prices. OOIDA member Mark Kirsch has organized a planning
meeting to decide on a date for a rally in the state capital of Harrisburg. Kirsch has been
posting fliers locally for about three weeks and has held several smaller meetings.
Owner-operator organizes fuel protest Monday near Pittsburgh
Owner-operator Don Waltenbaugh of Pennsylvania has organized a daylong event to
demonstrate just how bad it's getting out there for truckers struggling with high fuel prices.
Waltenbaugh, an OOIDA member from Vandergrift, PA, has organized a 24-hour protest - a
"shutdown" in his words - scheduled for Monday, March 24, on his property on Alternate 66
between Vandergrift and Ford City, PA, northeast of Pittsburgh.
Dallas to enforce five-minute idling restriction beginning April 1
It's almost time for ozone season in Dallas, and for truckers a new five-minute idling restriction
goes into effect April 1 and lasts through October. The restriction, approved last year by the
Dallas City Council, prohibits vehicles in excess of 14,000 pounds to idle more than five
minutes unless the vehicle or situation meets certain criteria for exemption.
St. Cloud, MN, bridge closed because of structural safety concerns
The Minnesota DOT has closed a 51-year-old bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Cloud.
The four-lane bridge is 890 feet long and carries 31,000 vehicles a day. The detour will be only
a few blocks long, so traffic to and from downtown St. Cloud should not be significantly slowed.
New Jersey bills address loading delays at ports, road safety
A couple of bills in the New Jersey statehouse are intended to improve port operations and
safety on roadways. Truckers forced to wait in line at ports to load or unload are the subject of a
bill offered by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex. The bill - A1023 - would prohibit
ports from making a truck wait longer than 30 minutes before beginning loading or off-loading
container cargo at a terminal.
Trucking company dispatcher pleads guilty to accepting bribes
A trucking company dispatcher has admitted he forced truckers at T&T Trucking to pay him
bribes in order to get good loads.
EPA assists in purchases of fuel-saving, cleaner equipment
Ready to invest in fuel-saving, cleaner equipment? In a sneak preview to its launch next week at
the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, the EPA met with media and industry officials
via a conference call Thursday, March 20, to introduce the SmartWay Finance Center.
Who needs March Madness when you've got MATS?
If your mouth is starting to water at the mere mention of pork chops, it can mean only one thing:
It's getting close to time for the Mid-America Trucking Show. The Mid-America Trucking Show
will be open to the general public from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, March, 27; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Friday, March 28; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 29.
Truckers Slowing Down to Save Fuel
BISMARCK, N.D. - Coast-to-coast trucker Lorraine Dawson says fellow drivers used to call her
"Lead Foot Lorraine." But with diesel fuel around $4 a gallon, she and other big-rig drivers have
backed off their accelerators to conserve fuel.
Dozens Of Truck Drivers Protest High Diesel Prices
With the price of diesel at more than $4.00 per gallon, it costs about $600 to fill up a big rig.
That's a major concern among drivers, who tell us unless the price of fuel goes down, smaller
trucking companies may be forced to shut down and a lot of people could be out of work.
Truckers fire up rigs to gather for fuel-cost rally
GRANTVILLE — Their mantra was “Power in numbers,” a phrase that encapsulated the feeling
of truckers from all over Pennsylvania — and other parts of the country — who rallied at the
Gables truck stop near Grantville yesterday afternoon.
Diesel prices throttle truckers
You could see the frustration in Dennis Yokum's eyes.
"I just put 105 gallons of diesel fuel in my truck, and it cost me $450. This load of steel, from
Weirton to Baltimore, is paying me $700. I can't afford to fill up. I just didn't expect this."
For truckers, it’s now a matter of survival
MOUNT VERNON — On March 16, the price of diesel nationwide averaged $3.984, according to
the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. Friday, it averaged $4.019, a mere 2
cents a gallon higher.
But multiply it by the 120,000 miles the American Trucking Association reports truckers average
a year, and that 2 cents represents an additional $2,400 a year in fuel costs. That’s if the price
doesn’t go up any further.
Weekly Featured Article [03/23/08]
ROADRAGE -The Rise of Violence in the United States
(By Charu Suri - Challenge Magazine)
Truckers ‘going broke’ and threatening to strike
What started as a small, online grassroots effort now appears to have the potential for
something bigger.
Dan Little, the owner/operator of a livestock hauling company in Carrollton, Mo., estimated
Tuesday that at least 1,000 other truckers from across the United States have committed so far
to joining him in a strike on April 1.
Truckloads of pain at the pump
As Steve Lursen drove into work Wednesday, he noticed diesel fuel was at $3.99, a price he
rightly expected to rise to $4 by day’s end.
Rising cost of diesel fuel has set off alarms in trucking industry
It could be worse for motorists paying record-high gas prices. Don’t believe it? Ask a truck driver.
Higher diesel prices hurt truckers from two directions
Rick Rash, 52, a married father of two adult children and an independent trucker since 1980,
can't remember when it was harder to make ends meet. "This is probably as tough as it's ever
been," Rash said.
Transportation costs a heavy load: Local truckers say consumers will soon feel the
pain at stores
When Wayne Kimber fills up his 18-wheeler at the gas pump, it costs on average $800. That’ll
last him about 1,200 miles.
Truckers in a bind as diesel costs rise
The timing of payments for hauling a load becomes more critical for some trucking firms with
diesel fuel hovering around $ 4 per gallon.
Fuel costs clog truck companies; dire steps taken to save pennies
With the cost of diesel fuel having risen at the pump almost 80 percent in the last three years,
trucking company owner Tony Tomase crowed about finding a penny on his garage floor
Rising cost of diesel fuel starts to squeeze truckers
Lightening the load isn't enough for some drivers
$4-a-gallon diesel fuel changing trucking
Some drivers pull out of the business; others try to adapt
Higher cost for diesel fuel likely to impact consumer goods
A gallon of diesel fuel is at an all-time high in Wisconsin and that means higher costs for the
trucking industry — and ultimately for consumers.
Truckers plan to rally at Pennsylvania Capitol
Instead of calling for a shutdown as others have, truckers near Harrisburg, PA, are planning to
stage a rally at the state Capitol to draw attention to high fuel prices and other issues affecting
Fuel protestors ‘park it’ for one day in Western Pennsylvania
A group of truckers northeast of Pittsburgh shut down for one day on Monday, March 24, to
protest the high price of fuel.
DOE reports national diesel average near $4 per gallon
Across the country, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is reporting that the national
average price for a gallon of diesel fuel is edging a little closer to the $4 mark at $3.989, an
increase of 1.5 cents from this past week, and an increase of $1.313 from a year ago.
Pennsylvania bill would fund road and bridge work without tolls, taxes
A bipartisan plan to fund road and bridge repairs in Pennsylvania without new taxes or tolls has
been offered at the statehouse.
Biodiesel standard nears passage in Missouri Senate
The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a bill that would mandate biodiesel use in the
state. Missouri law already mandates that gasoline sold in the state contain 10 percent ethanol.
’08 truck engines must have ‘clean idle’ stickers to run in California
Several truck drivers have called OOIDA’s Member Assistance Department recently regarding
California’s new idling restrictions and a requirement that truck engines certified as “California
clean idle” have a sticker affixed to their hoods.
Dallas gets rid of red-light cameras
In Dallas, city officials have shut down one-fourth of all the red-light cameras they’ve installed.
Driven to the end of the road
As opportunities to haul freight shrink with the declining U.S. economy, and diesel costs soar,
independent truckers are fast becoming a vanishing breed
Trucking Strike  (CNBC News Report Video)
Rising crude and diesel prices take such a serious toll on truckers, some may call for a
nationwide shut-down, with Dan Little, Little & Little Trucking owner and a look at whether this
could be a roadblock for transports, with John Barnes, BB&T Capital Markets
[ Brigette...Thank You for passing this info on to us. Your help is appreciated ]
[ Brigette's email has been posted in our On-line Community ]
Truckers plan strike
Amarillo_Our sister station KFDA reports - They say they are being taxed to death and now truck
drivers are taking a stance thousands will be striking on April 1st.
Loggers plan Friday demonstration at Maine Capitol
A group of logging truckers in Maine are planning a protest rally Friday, March 28, in front of the
state Capitol in Augusta.
Owner-operators scrutinize bottom lines to avoid belly-up scenarios
As diesel prices continue to soar above the $4 a gallon mark in at least 21 states, some
owner-operators have decided to park their rigs at home and wait until economic conditions
improve. Others are trying to figure their operating costs down to the penny in order to survive.
Slowdown expected on I-5 in Washington
Truckers who travel on Interstate 5 through Bellingham, WA, are not going to enjoy this April
Fool’s Day. They’ll experience a big slowdown that is not a prank and is expected to last two
Alligator Alley may be leased to private investors
The part of Interstate 75 in Florida that’s referred to as Alligator Alley may be leased to private
investors. The Miami Herald reports that the state DOT plans to start talking to investment
banks and other potential investors in April.
Idaho Senate approves bill to make truck chains mandatory
A bill that would implement the first chain-up law in Idaho has cleared the state Senate.
Neighboring Montana, Oregon and Washington already have mandatory chain rules.
Connecticut advances bill to require snow, ice removal; speed cameras dead
A bill on the move in the Connecticut statehouse would force car and truck drivers to remove ice
and snow from their vehicles before taking to roadways in the state. Gov. M. Jodi Rell included
the snow and ice effort in her proposed budget.
Truckers plan Thursday auction at MATS to give Chance a chance
“It’s all about truck drivers coming together to help a fellow driver in need,” explained Miles
Verhoef. “Or in this case, the grandson of a driver.”
Arizona Senate approves tolling authorities, privatized rest areas
State senators in Arizona have been dealing with at lease six bills related to tolling in recent
weeks. Senators approved two of those bills on Thursday, March 20, and sent them to the
House for consideration.
Diesel thefts on the rise; demand increases for locking caps
With diesel at $4 a gallon, thieves nationwide are becoming more brazen about stealing it.
Colorado bills would add tolls to I-70; OOIDA issues Call to Action
Two bills in the Colorado Senate are intended to ease congestion and give the state another
road funding option by adding tolls along Interstate 70 near Denver. Another effort also is
intended to help pay for roadwork. OOIDA has issued a Call to Action for truckers in Colorado to
contact lawmakers immediately. To read that Call to Action, click
Connecticut bill intended to curb car, truck idling
A bill on the move in the Connecticut statehouse is intended to reduce unnecessary idling of
motor vehicles throughout the state. With the backing of Gov. M. Jodi Rell, the Legislature's
Transportation Committee voted 28-3 to approve a bill that would apply the restrictions to cars
and trucks idling for more than three minutes. Vehicles would be exempt from the idling
restriction when temperatures are colder than 20 degrees.
South Dakota governor OKs tax break for biodiesel users
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has signed a bill into law to provide a tax break for biodiesel
use. However, it might take a few years before the rule is triggered. The new law, previously
SB148, calls for reducing 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 trims the per-gallon tax on biodiesel to 20 cents.
More truckers wearing seat belts
A survey released this week by the FMCSA shows that more truckers than ever before are
wearing seat belts. The survey shows 65 percent of truckers were buckled up in 2007,
compared with 59 percent in 2006 and 48 percent in 2003.
Truckers talk of strike as diesel costs surge
...Scattered protests and rallies have broken out in recent weeks as diesel fuel costs rose to $4
US a gallon ($1.06 US a litre) from $3 a gallon six months ago and about $1.60 a gallon just
four years ago.
Truckers Prepare to Strike
...A possible truckers strike involving independent operators is brewing across the country and
the truckers say they want several things.
Truckers gear up for March 31 fuel-price rally at Pennsylvania Capitol
A group of truckers near Harrisburg, PA, are putting the finishing touches on a plan to bobtail to
the state Capitol building on Monday, March 31. The truckers want to draw attention to high fuel
prices and the opposition of truckers to plans by the governor to toll Interstate 80 and/or lease
the Pennsylvania Turnpike to private investors.
Cattle hauler calling for April 1 shutdown
There are a lot of different dates bouncing around for a shutdown by truckers to protest fuel
prices. But most of the mainstream media is going with April 1 - the date that a Carrollton, MO,
cattle hauler is publicizing.
Small-business trucker understands frustration, but won't join shutdown
By 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 27, Carol Edwards of Brookhaven Transportation Inc. had already
received the same e-mail three separate times from different people who were forwarding the
message, which calls for a national truck shutdown on April 1. Although, as she said, "everyone
she knows" is talking about the shutdown, Edwards said none of the truckers she personally
knows are going to participate.
OOIDA official testifies against tolling of I-70 in Colorado
OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Specialist Joe Rajkovacz spoke before a Colorado state Senate
committee in opposition to two bills aimed at converting part of Interstate 70 west of Denver into
a toll road.
Interstate 10 near Phoenix reopens 10 hours after crash
The eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 west of Phoenix were closed for 10 hours following two
crashes in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 27.
Missouri seeks truckers to participate in retrofitting pilot program
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Grace Hill Clean Air Program are
looking for truckers from the St. Louis area that are interested in participating in a retrofitting
pilot program aimed at reducing diesel emissions. Interested truckers can find out more
information at the St. Louis Diesel Retrofit Workshop and Expo, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. to
4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, at the Anheuser-Busch Visitor Center in St. Louis.
New Jersey bill would crack down on road rage
A bill in the New Jersey Assembly is intended to help curb road rage. Dubbed "Jessica's Law,"
the measure would make such offenses as tailgating and making obscene gestures while
driving primary offenses. Under the measure, it would be illegal for motorists to make audible
verbal threats, flash headlights, use demeaning gestures or other such actions directed at
persons driving lawfully.
New Mexico governor signs bill diverting ticket camera profit
An effort to remove incentives to post red-light and speeding cameras in the city of Albuquerque
now is law. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has signed a bill that funnels profit from the
program away from the only city in the state to use the enforcement tool. Albuquerque Mayor
Martin Chavez said the rules adopted in the new law, previously SB442, won't change anything.
He said the automated cameras will stay because they make roads safer.
New Utah law intended to reduce littering along roadsides
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has signed a bill into law boosting the fine for littering on highways in
the state. The increase in fines will apply to "trucker bombs." The new law, previously SB44,
won widespread support in the Senate and House after changes were made. It takes effect July
OOIDA officials attend annual CVSA meeting this week
While much attention in the trucking industry is turned to Louisville this week for the annual
MATS madness, another event that is possibly even more crucial to truckers' daily operations is
under way in Denver. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has a full lineup of
heavy hitters in the Mile High City to represent the interests of drivers.
Mum's the word on program specifics with XM, Sirius merger deal
For those interested in the possible merger between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite
Radio, there have been plenty of reports and opinions flying since the Justice Department
announced it was no longer standing in the way of the deal. But for listeners who want to know
about the future of their favorite satellite radio programs, little information is available now and
even less is expected in the near future.
Truck drivers’ strike picks up speed
It evidently took a few days to sink in.  When my story from last week about plans for a truckers’
strike appeared Monday on the high-traffic Drudge Report Web site, the calls and e-mails
poured in.
No Joke: Truckers to Shut Down April 1
One Iowa newspaper reporter describes it as “a small, online grassroots effort (that) now
appears to have the potential for something bigger.” That “something bigger” is a threatened
nationwide shutdown by independent truck drivers — possibly hundreds of thousands of them
— April 1.
Independent truckers planning shutdown
They want Washington to address rising fuel costs
Truckers Plan to Park Rigs in Protest on April 1
Truckers across the country plan to turn off their trucks on April 1 in an effort to show how much
of an impact they have on the economy and to put pressure on the government and big
business to make changes.
Pallone: Time to stall soaring gas prices
Legislator joins local trucker rally to bring attention to high cost of filling up
Truckers plan convoy to state Capitol
NEW COLUMBIA -- Independent truck driver John Bender Jr. has a passion for the road, but the
escalating cost of diesel fuel could cause him to park his rig for good.
Weary drivers could strike this week
Truck driver Gerald Cisson expected to earn about $1,000 on a load that would bring him close
to home in Ripley, Miss. Not a bad profit for a 1,164-mile haul from Connecticut. Then he looked
at the prices of diesel fuel at the Pilot truck stop in Milford. At $4.17 per gallon, about $900 of
that $1,000 payday would go for fuel.
Diesel prices force logger to give up 3 trucks
AUGUSTA, Maine - The Donald Hayden family of Harmony took their "bad news on a bad day"
with grace in the wet, snowy Statehouse parking lot Friday.
Fuel passes driver wages as top expense
With diesel prices at all-time highs, trucking companies are battling to curb costs and maintain
Costs fuel truckers' anger
With diesel fuel prices soaring above $4 a gallon, independent truck drivers are getting scared
and angry.  Protests are cropping up across the nation, including one planned for this morning
at the Capitol building in Harrisburg.
Diesel prices are fueling trucker activism
As diesel prices surpass $4 per gallon at many pumps nationwide, truckers are trying to
publicize their pain through convoys, complaints and shutdowns.
Big rigs will gather in Atlanta to protest high gas prices
If you spot a convoy of 250 big rigs Tuesday, it's not an April Fool's joke.  The truckers plan to
drive their 18-wheelers from Macon to Atlanta to protest high gas prices. But specifics —like
exact times and routes— were unclear Monday. Sheila Walker, who runs Walker Trucking, is
organizing the event.
Local truckers consider diesel fuel price protest
ASHEVILLE—Some local truckers plan to send a message to Washington this week to express
their disgust with skyrocketing diesel fuel prices.
Diesel: The truck stops here  [Lou Dobbs]
From haulers to loggers to landscapers, soaring fuel costs hit the bottom line but cutthroat
competition keeps price hikes at bay.