The American Driver
From Drivers - For Drivers
What's News - September 2007
OOIDA doubts benefits of satellite tracking of cross-border trucks
Leaders of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association expressed skepticism in
response to the FMCSA's announcement to establish a satellite tracking system as part of the
cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico.
New Jersey lawmakers sue Corzine
A pair of state lawmakers in New Jersey has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Jon Corzine, hoping
to force him to reveal the findings of a report on highway funding options.
Recall procedures must be addressed to protect truckers
In response to widening concerns about the safety of the nation's food supply chain,
legislation has been announced in both the House and Senate in an attempt to give the FDA
more authority to regulate food safety. This may be good news for produce haulers.
PA State Police: No link between inspection blitz and rally
The man who heads up the State Police commercial vehicle inspection division in
Pennsylvania says there's no connection between an inspection blitz this week and a recent
anti-tolling rally by truckers at the state capitol Monday.
Wyoming to test ‘variable speed limits'
The state of Wyoming is hoping to introduce a first-of-its-kind speed limit system on its
interstates.
CRST hit with harassment lawsuit
The Cedar Rapids, IA-based trucking firm CRST has been hit with a sexual harassment
lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Wyoming DOT looking for road condition reporters
The state Department of Transportation in Wyoming is seeking volunteers to call in real-time
road reports.
New York Thruway tolls may increase again
The New York State Thruway Authority wants to raise tolls – again. This time, the proposed
increase is just under 5 percent for both trucks and cars.
Donor offers to pay tolls for rolling Vietnam memorial
A Portland, ME, man has offered to pay more than $2,000 in tolls for a group of motorcyclists
who escorted a rolling Vietnam War memorial up the Maine Turnpike.
New Jersey bills tackle loading delays at ports, road safety
As state lawmakers put on a final push in New Jersey to approve bills before the regular
session ends in about three months, a couple of bills of interest to truck drivers could draw
consideration.
Bridge repairs slowed by sidelined trucks
Repair work on the deck of New York's Tappan Zee Bridge was delayed last week when many
of the contractor's trucks failed inspections.
Florida bill targets cell phone use, text messaging in vehicles
While we are still months away from the calendar turning over to 2008, state legislators in
Florida are busy putting together efforts for consideration once the regular session convenes
in the spring.
Here we go again: TWIC enrollment may begin in October
After several delays and criticism from congress, the much-anticipated Transportation Worker
Identification Credential program may begin enrolling truckers and other workers at one port
next month.
Michigan bill would trim bond amounts for truck weight violations
A bill in the Michigan House that is intended to lessen the potential blow for truck weight
violations could come up for consideration in the time left before the regular session ends.
Supreme Court to consider voter ID arguments
The Supreme Court said this week it would hear a case on whether U.S. voters must show a
government-issued photo identification at polling sites.
David Virgoe's memory honored with charity golf tournament
A benefit golf tournament is planned Saturday, Sept. 29, to raise money for the family of
Canadian trucker David Virgoe.
Goodyear's Highway Hero program celebrates 25 years
Goodyear Tire & Rubber is looking for a few good men and women to help it celebrate its 25th
year of the Highway Hero program.
Pennsylvania truckers protest I-80 tolls
After hearing about Gov. Ed Rendell's transportation plan to put tolls on I-80 starting next year,
about 25 truckers jumped at the chance to attend an anti-toll rally Monday, Sept. 24, on the
steps of the state capitol in Harrisburg.
Third Mexican carrier given U.S. authorization
The U.S. Department of Transportation has authorized a third Mexican carrier to do long-haul
trucking in the United States.
Michigan bill seeks to fast-track road work
A bill in Michigan that is intended to put transportation projects in the state on the fast track to
completion could draw consideration in the waning months of the legislative session.
FMCSA wants to keep current HOS in place for 12 months
The recent court ruling tossing two key provisions in the hours-of-service regulations put
truckers in a state of limbo wondering what would happen next.
U.S. representative says speed limiters would hurt trade
A U.S. representative from New York says trade between the U.S. and Canada will suffer if
speed limiters for heavy trucks are made mandatory north of the border.
Massachusetts bill would alter idling rules
As state lawmakers put on a final push in Massachusetts to approve bills before the regular
session ends in about three months, a bill that would alter the state's rules on idling of
vehicles could draw consideration.
New Jersey bill cracks down on road rage
A bill in the New Jersey Assembly that is intended to help curb road rage could draw
consideration in the time remaining in the state's legislative session.
Spinout: OOIDA questions FMCSA's version of Mexican truck stats
Media reports started flying earlier this week, proclaiming that Mexican motor carriers are safer
than their U.S. counterparts.
OOIDA concerned by CARB’s proposed aerodynamics mandate
California officials want trucks and trailers to be equipped with aerodynamic fairings and
automatic tire inflation systems. They also want every truck stop parking space to be electrified
and they want to triple fines for violations of next year’s five-minute idling limit.
LA, Long Beach port officials delay decision on truck ban, drivers’ status
The proposed clean trucks program that would ban pre-2007 trucks from the twin ports of Los
Angeles and Long Beach and require all drivers to be company employees has been
postponed.
North Carolina enforces 48-foot trailer rule
The North Carolina Highway Patrol has returned to enforcing an existing statute that bans
trailers longer than 48 feet on roads other than the National Network System, known to
truckers simply as “the network.”
Trucker saves 82-year-old woman from river
Truck driver Rick Tower was hauling a load of wood chips on Highway 96 near his hometown
of Yreka, CA, earlier this week, when he saw a car fishtail out of control and go off the road into
the nearby Klamath River.
Peters says U.S. bridges are safe; senators dubious
There were hearings in both the House and the Senate in Washington, DC, this week on what
to do about America’s aging and often deteriorating bridges.
Senate committee proposes to return $5.8 billion to Highway Trust Fund
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee prepared this week to markup legislation that would
result in replenishing the shrinking Highway Trust Fund. Markup refers to a committee’s review
of the text of a bill before sending it on to the full Senate.
(How much more has been spent out of our Highway Trust Fund that should be returned?  
This is another situation supporting our government's poor management of our fuel-tax dollars
and then using the excuse that there's not sufficient funding to maintain our highways...as well
as using this excuse to lease off our roadways to foreign entities.  -SilverSurfer-)
Hearing date set for Connecticut trucking company owner
The owner of a Connecticut trucking company, who was arrested in connection with a deadly
wreck on that state’s Avon Mountain two years ago, will have his next court appearance in
October.
Big rigs banned from Avon Mountain
The Connecticut Traffic Commission voted to ban all trucks weighing 26,000 pounds or more
from Avon Mountain until the beginning of 2008.
Oberstar says funds are short to fix traffic congestion
The chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee says American
lawmakers have not kept up with the amount of transportation funding needed to fight traffic
congestion problems.
Governor OKs tax break for some West Virginia Turnpike users
Some regular users of the West Virginia Turnpike soon should be in line to get a little money
back from the state.
Transportation funding faces problems in California
A variety of transportation projects face an uncertain future in California.
Truckers, lawmakers to rally against I-80 tolls in Pennsylvania
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has invited truckers to join federal and
state lawmakers in Pennsylvania to speak against proposed tolls on Interstate 80.
Connecticut trucking company owner due in court
More than two years after a truck owned by his company was involved in a deadly crash on
Connecticut’s infamous Avon Mountain, David Wilcox was due to appear in court on Tuesday,
Sept. 18.
Researchers say traffic congestion wastes 2.9 billion gallons of fuel
A study by the Texas Transportation Institute states that the amount of fuel wasted in traffic
congestion amounts to 2.9 billion gallons each year – and it’s only getting worse.
Another recall blow for leafy greens industry
The California leafy greens industry suffered another blow Monday when the second voluntary
recall in less than a month was announced on another brand of bagged salad mix because of
potentially deadly microbial contamination.
Many bad drivers in Texas not paying up
A new law in Texas is intended to help the state collect about $600 million in revenue from bad
drivers.
Massachusetts will wait for toll increase announcement
A highly anticipated announcement about future toll increases in Massachusetts has been
delayed at least two weeks.
Terrorists planned to target truckers
A group of Islamic terrorists planned to kill truckers driving through Oregon, then steal their
trucks and cargo to raise money for a training camp near the town of Bly, OR.
How low can company driver pay go? Pretty low in Mexico
The driver of the very first Mexico-based truck to come into the United States in the controversial
cross-border program earns a mere 13 cents per mile and $20 per day for expenses.
Kentucky county considers rush hour ban on bridge truck traffic
A group of mayors in Kentucky is currently deciding whether to support a proposal that would
ban trucks from using the Brent Spence Bridge during rush hour.
Texas trucker poses question to presidential candidates
OOIDA Life Member Ken Becker, Montgomery, TX, got a unique opportunity Monday night to
pose a question to several Republican presidential candidates.
Higher tolls, taxes proposed in Massachusetts
A transportation commission in Massachusetts has released a list of recommendations to
sustain and grow the state’s transportation system. The report includes proposed toll
increases, fuel-tax hikes and highway privatization.
California accepts comments on mandatory aerodynamics until Monday
California officials want trucks and trailers to be equipped with aerodynamic fairings and
automatic tire inflation systems. They also want every truck stop parking space to be electrified
and they want to triple fines for violations of next year’s five-minute idling limit.
Connecticut launches truck inspection program
Connecticut has launched a statewide truck inspection program in the wake of the most recent
crash on that state’s Avon Mountain.
Small turnout, big hearts at Kansas truck convoy
Their numbers may have been low, but the truck drivers’ spirit was high at the World’s Largest
Truck Convoy for Special Olympics in Gardner, KS.
Fatal wreck investigation reveals carrier's clock fraud, safety violations
Dispatchers for one Pennsylvania trucking company repeatedly clocked out drivers who were
over hours but kept working, and the company has tallied 92 safety violations in the past two
years.
Public hearings on New Jersey Turnpike widening begin this week
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is embarking on a $2-billion project to widen 25 miles of
roadway from six lanes to 12 and add one lane in each direction for an additional 10 miles.
U.S. House committee to address bridge safety, improvements
Improving the nation’s bridges to avoid catastrophic failures like the Aug. 1 bridge collapse in
Minneapolis is the subject of a hearing scheduled for this week by the U.S. House of
Representatives Committee on Science and Technology.
South Dakota deals with fewer road dollars
Despite the fact that transportation dollars don’t go nearly as far as they once did, South
Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds said he doesn’t support increasing the state’s fuel tax to help make
up the difference.
Truck driver gets surprise meeting with McCain
A Rock Hill, SC, truck driver recently had the opportunity to get up close and personal with
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain.
Canacar wants cross-border program stopped
The biggest trucking organization in Mexico wants its government to pull out of the
cross-border trucking pilot program with the United States.
Senate OKs $1 billion more for bridges
The U.S. Senate approved an amendment to split an additional $1 billion among states to fund
bridge repairs and replacement.
New Hampshire governor calls for better use of road dollars
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch wants the state to spend its transportation revenues more
wisely to eliminate the need to increase the fuel tax rate.
Missouri to study truck-only lanes on I-70
The Missouri Department of Transportation will spend $2 million to study the viability of
truck-only lanes on Interstate 70 from Kansas City to St. Louis.
More questions than answers for truckers a year after E.coli outbreak
One year ago – on Sept. 14, 2006 – OOIDA member G.W. Monday was hauling pallets of
bagged spinach on his truck when his load was rejected by a Kroger grocery store in Atlanta
after a voluntary recall was issued because of an E.coli outbreak.
Trucker hits Powerball jackpot
A Green Bay, WI, trucker, Steve Peot, can park his rig – if he wants to, that is.
Federal Trade Commission apologizes for inaccuracies over ‘hot fuel’
The chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission has apologized to the House
Subcommittee on Domestic Policy for “providing inaccurate information” about how
temperature affects the amount of fuel energy contained in a gallon.
Overweight trucker wins new adoption hearing
Trucker Gary Stocklaufer will get his day in court after all.
Schwarzenegger under fire; state vehicles never used alternative fuel
A San Jose Mercury News investigation published in August has Californians wondering if
praise the governor has earned over his state “green” fleet is undeserved.
Congestion pricing approved for Dulles Greenway in Virginia
Officials with a state commission in Virginia say they had no choice but to authorize toll
increases and congestion pricing on the privately controlled Dulles Greenway.
Florida roads soon could be up for bid
In hopes of plugging a $1.1 billion hole in the state budget, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he
is considering turning some highways over to private groups.
Pennsylvania bill would limit idling statewide
A bill in the Pennsylvania House intended to reduce unnecessary idling of large trucks
throughout the state could draw consideration in the waning months of the legislative session.
In most instances, drivers idling their trucks while sleeping or resting would be exempt from
the rule.
Wisconsin bills intended to improve safety on roadways
As state lawmakers put on a final push in Wisconsin to approve bills before the regular
session wraps up late this year, multiple highway-safety related bills could draw consideration.
Low-carbon fuel standard plan draws heavy hitters of big oil, big auto
Representatives from the world’s biggest fuel, diesel and automotive manufacturers were
among those who filled the California Air Resources Board auditorium to glean direction of the
powerful agency’s next regulation step – reducing the amount of carbon in car and truck fuels.
‘Chief Thunderbird’ charged $500 for illegals to enter his tribe
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents busted a Wichita, KS, man for allegedly
posing as a Native American Indian chief and making $300,000 by charging illegal aliens to
enter his “tribe” to obtain U.S. citizenship.
Pennsylvania bills would split speeds, restrict lane use, boost truck fines
As state lawmakers put on a final push in Pennsylvania to approve bills before the regular
session ends in less than three months, a pair of bills of interest to truck drivers could draw
consideration.
U.S. Rep schedules press conference to oppose I-80 tolls
U.S. Rep. John Peterson, R-PA, has scheduled a press conference on Sept. 24 to further
discuss his opposition to a proposal to toll Interstate 80 in his home state.
Senate OKs Hutchison amendment to stop certain interstate tolling
An amendment offered by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to stop tolling on interstate highways
was accepted and passed this week as part of the Senate’s 2008 Transportation, Housing
and Urban Development appropriations bill.
U.S. Express may go private
Chattanooga, TN-based U.S. Express, which is one of the nation’s largest publicly owned
truckload carriers, may become a private company.
CARB workshop participants question whether reefer reg will be legit
Several audience members in a California Air Resources Board workshop audience
questioned whether the powerful environmental agency would have the authority to require
retrofitting of trailer refrigeration units by December 2008.
ConocoPhillips to pay California $10 million to expand refinery
ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the world, will pay the state of California $10
million and take a series of steps to offset greenhouse gas emissions related to the
expansion of a refinery there.
Maine lawmakers talk about transportation revenues
With the state of Maine facing a shortfall in highway funding, the possibility of adding tolls on
some roads and bridges is among the options drawing consideration.
California bill banning high-tech driver’s licenses falters
A bill in the California Assembly intended to protect information on driver’s licenses by
prohibiting the use of radio-frequency identification devices will have to wait until next year. The
devices aren’t used by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, but they are legal in the
state.
Ports, border crossing still pose security risk
On the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff
testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and said although the U.S.
has beefed up its anti-terrorism efforts he is still concerned about cargo and border security.
Mexican truck not licensed to haul explosives
A truck loaded with ammonium nitrate that exploded Sunday evening in northern Mexico was
not licensed to carry explosives, according to the San Antonio Express-News .
Connecticut clampdown puts trucks out of service
A inspection clampdown Monday, Sept. 10, on Avon Mountain in Connecticut resulted in nearly
half the trucks pulled over being put out of service.
The buzz on bees
Even though he's been stung more times than he cares to admit, OOIDA member and bee
hauler Kenny Wyman of Summit, SD, said he looks forward to hauling the temperamental
cargo during pollination season every year.
Senate spending bill to include $1 billion for bridges
The U.S. Senate has agreed to include an amendment to its transportation spending bill to
provide an additional $1 billion for the nation's bridges.
Port container tax bill put to rest in California
A bill that has been sidelined in the California Assembly sought to generate about $400 million
annually from shippers at ports in the state.
Federal ‘Corridors of the Future' privatization plan expanded
The U.S. DOT promised to approve up to five multi-state projects known as “Corridors of the
Future” to reduce congestion, but officials have announced that six proposed corridors will
advance with federal funding.
Dynamite blast kills at least 37 in Mexico
At least 37 people were killed and 150 others injured Sunday night, Sept. 9, in northern Mexico
when a truck loaded with 25 tons of dynamite caught fire and exploded after colliding with a van.
House bill would prohibit interstate tolling
A U.S. Senate bill filed last week in an effort to prohibit tolls on existing interstates now has a
companion bill in the House.
California bill tackling ‘hot fuel' issue nears passage
The California Senate approved a bill that calls for a study to analyze the problem of “hot fuel” in
the state along with possible solutions to make sure consumers get what they pay for at the
pump.
Kucinich says FTC used bad numbers in ‘hot fuel' equation
The Federal Trade Commission underestimated the effects of temperature on fuel sold
through retail pumps, according to the chairman of a House subcommittee.
Mainstream headlines vary on truck crash
Avon Mountain, CT, is back in the news – in a few very different ways.
CARB wants better aerodynamics, tire inflation systems by 2010
The most active environmental organization in the world has decided to triple its early action
measures aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions –planning to add several trucking
restrictions by 2010 and ratchet up fines and enforcement for an idling restriction set to take
effect next year.
Oklahoma lawmaker wants to ensure more state funds for roads
An Oklahoma state lawmaker, Rep. Guy Liebmann, R-Oklahoma City, wants to make sure that
more money is available for roads in the state.
Truckers' son gets reward for saving dad's life
Remember the nine-year-old boy, Matty Lovo, who saved his father's life by taking the wheel of
his dad's rig when his dad blacked out?
Accused killer's boss says Mendenhall's arrest has hurt business
Danny Davis started Quality Oak Products' trucking division five years ago, betting that hard
work and his experience as a driver would add a second revenue stream to his furniture
business.
Big Dig glue supplier pleads innocent to involuntary manslaughter
A company that supplied glue used in the construction of Boston's ill-fated Big Dig Tunnel
project pleaded innocent earlier this week to charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Pennsylvania bill would toughen snow-free vehicle rule
As state lawmakers put on a final push in Pennsylvania to approve bills before the regular
session ends in about three months, one bill of interest encourages car and truck drivers to
clear snow and ice off their vehicles.
CARB study shows truck emissions devices are rarely tampered with
Truckers in California rarely tamper with emissions devices such as diesel particulate filters or
ECMs, according to a recent study commissioned by the California Air Resources Board.
DOT allocates $128.4 million for emergency road repairs
The U.S. DOT has marked $128.4 million in relief funds for roads damaged by disasters such
as storms, floods, earthquakes and fires.
Search is on for road funds in North Carolina
In the face of a massive budget shortfall, officials in North Carolina are trying to determine how
to pay for road and bridge work in the state.
Biodiesel Board reaches out to trucking industry
The National Biodiesel Board has launched a pair of efforts aimed at reaching out to the
trucking industry and to those who want to “go green.”
Senator files bill to prohibit interstate tolling
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) introduced legislation Wednesday, Sept. 5, to prohibit
tolling on existing interstate highways.
Missouri lawmaker faces prison, fines for trucker visa fraud
Sentencing has been set for Oct. 19 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri for
a state lawmaker who illegally obtained work visas for hundreds of New Zealand immigrants
so they could drive for trucking companies in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.
Governor invites bidders for Pennsylvania Turnpike
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is talking about leasing the state turnpike again.
Truckers’ clinic remains open in Arkansas despite setbacks
Truckers have continued to flood a truck stop medical clinic even after a state board
temporarily hamstrung the pioneering venture geared to serve drivers.
New Missouri law intended to speed up bridge work
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt signed a bill into law Wednesday, Sept. 5, to help speed up the repair
of bridges throughout the state.
ATA petitions FMCSA on HOS fix
On Friday, Aug. 31, the American Trucking Association petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration requesting the publication of an “interim” final rule on the maximum 11-
hour daily drive limit and the 34-hour restart provision in the hours-of-service regs.
FMCSA adopts UCR fees, plan
After two years working on the creation of a new, better interstate registration plan, success is
on the horizon. The FMCSA has issued final regulations establishing the fees for the new
program known as the Unified Carrier Registration plan that will replace the old Single State
Registration System
Texas lawmakers oppose tolling of interstates
A U.S. senator from Texas has said she will “vigorously oppose” a TxDOT proposal to turn
interstates into toll roads while a state senator says interstate tolls will never happen on his
watch.
Texas EZ Tag traffic down after toll increase
EZ Tag traffic on the Harris County, TX, toll road system is down following a 25-cent toll
increase that went into effect the day after Labor Day.
Tax break OK’d for some West Virginia Turnpike users
The West Virginia Legislature has approved a bill that would provide a tax deduction for some
frequent travelers on the state’s turnpike. There are concerns it could lead to toll increases
down the road.
House hearing focuses on bridge fixes
Federal lawmakers and transportation officials demanded fixes to the nation’s aging bridges
during a hearing Wednesday, Sept. 5, of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee.
Court stops California from regulating shipping fuel standards
A federal court has stopped California from enforcing a new fuel standard designed to cut use
of bunker fuel from cargo ships as they reach ports in the Golden State.
Communication is key for truckers, others in food recalls
A grower’s spokesman says good communication with the truckers was key in the
containment of more than 90 percent of his company’s 8,118 cases of bagged spinach that
were recently recalled because of possible salmonella contamination, but he isn’t sure exactly
what that communication was.
Bonds are one option for road work in Vermont
Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas said he is open to the idea of borrowing money to help pay for
repairs and upgrades to roads and bridges.
CARB says opening border will bring more older, dirtier trucks to U.S.
Mexican trucks may be revving up to cross U.S. borders, but they’re likely to face tough
emissions enforcement in one state. You guessed it – California.
TxDOT report calls for tolling interstates
A report left out of the public spotlight for more than six months reveals that officials at the
Texas Department of Transportation want to toll interstate highways and shelter private
investors from paying income taxes on toll revenue.
Connecticut looks for ways to alleviate truck parking problem
Authorities in Connecticut say it’s clear the state has a problem when it comes to truck parking.
What isn’t clear is just what will be done about it.
Texas calls off speed camera plan
The Texas Department of Transportation has called off a controversial pilot program that would
have tested the use of cameras to catch speeders in that state.
Defense contractor allegedly ignored safety warnings in Iraq
Documents unearthed by the Los Angeles Times show that defense contractor KBR allegedly
ignored the advice of its own safety advisers in April 2004, before ordering civilian truck drivers
through a five-mile combat zone in Iraq to deliver jet fuel.
More inspections mean longer lines at borders
Increased inspections at both Canadian and Mexican points of entry to the U.S. have also
increased wait times for those wanting to cross the border.
Speeder fights ticket received during camera warning phase
A man caught speeding by a camera enforcement program in Scottsdale, AZ, has vowed to
fight the ticket, claiming he got the ticket during a one-month warning phase of the program.
 
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