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Bills would up insurance minimum to $4.9M, require automatic emergency brakes

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Bills would up insurance minimum to $4.9m, require automatic emergency brakes
The “Improving National Safety by Updating the Required Amount of Insurance Needed by Commercial Motor Vehicles per Event (INSURANCE) Act of 2019” would raise the minimum liability insurance for commercial motor vehicles from $750,000 to $4.9 million. (Associated Press: CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE/Erie Times-News)

WASHINGTON — Three Democratic representatives have introduced two pieces of legislation they say are critical to road safety.

Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García of Illinois, Hank Johnson of Georgia and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania joined the Truck Safety Coalition and truck crash victims at a press conference Wednesday to place in the hopper bills related to liability insurance minimums and braking equipment requirements on commercial motor vehicles.

García and Cartwright introduced the “Improving National Safety by Updating the Required Amount of Insurance Needed by Commercial Motor Vehicles per Event (INSURANCE) Act of 2019” which the two said would ensure minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers are periodically adjusted to the inflation rate of medical costs, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Minimum insurance requirement currently is $750,000 for most carriers. Others may face higher minimum based on the type of cargo carried.

The INSURANCE Act says according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the amount of $750,000, set in 1980 would have the same purchasing power as $4,923,153.29 in 2019, if the amount was raised to account for medical-cost inflation.

Therefore, the INSURANCE Act would set the minimum at $4,923,154 and require the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to adjust the minimum every five years for inflation relating to medical care.

Most carriers purchase the $750,000 per event minimum, some carry $1 million.

A previous proposal to raise the minimum did not materialize.

On its November 28, 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning financial responsibility (translated liability insurance minimums) for motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers.

FMCSA sought public comment on whether to exercise its discretion to increase the minimum levels of financial responsibility, and, if so, to what levels. After reviewing all public comments to the ANPRM, FMCSA determined that it has insufficient data or information to support moving forward with a rulemaking proposal, at this time and on June 5, 2017, withdrew the proposal.

Sources tell The Trucker the INSURANCE Act will never make it out of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit to which it was referred.

“Thousands of families are suffering in silence, saddled with crippling medical care costs resulting from catastrophic crashes,” García said. “The inadequacy of the current minimum insurance requirement, left unchanged for 40 years, only further prolongs the suffering and financial strain on families that have already lost so much. The INSURANCE Act ensures that families are adequately compensated to cope with their losses and prevents taxpayers from footing the bill for negligent trucking businesses and drivers.”

Cartwright said with trucks getting bigger and highways becoming more crowded, the country has experienced too many horrific truck accidents that change Americans’ lives forever.

“And since the minimum liability insurance for trucks hasn’t changed in nearly four decades, we’ve seen how victims, their families, hospitals, and our strained social safety net are forced to foot the bill for irresponsible driving,” he said. “This bill will raise that minimum, providing necessary relief to surviving victims and to the families whose lives are shattered by a truck accident.”

García and Johnson also introduced the Safe Roads Act, which would require automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology to become standard features commercial motor vehicles.

“Automatic braking systems are a simple, common-sense solution to deploy proven crash-avoidance technologies,” Garcia said. “Rep. Johnson and I agree that we should always operate on a safety-first basis. Any further delays to implement this important, life-saving technology will only result in more preventable, tragic deaths and catastrophic injuries. We shouldn’t be in the business of putting a price tag on life – passing the Safe Roads Act is simply the right thing to do.”

“Tragically, the simple installation of automatic braking systems on all commercial motor vehicles – a $500 safety feature – might have prevented these deaths and countless others across the country,” Johnson said. “America’s roads and highways should be safe for all drivers.  Taking full advantage of technologies that are available and proven to anticipate and prevent crashes will save lives.”

The bill was also referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

Both the Safe Roads Act and the INSURANCE Act are endorsed by the Truck Safety Coalition and the INSURANCE Act has the additional endorsement from the American Association for Justice, the bills’ sponsors said.

 

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Rob Jones

    July 20, 2019 at 11:46 am

    As a driver of over 20 years, I agree that insurancehave should have more coverage for accidents, especially due to higher medical care costs. One another subject,truck drivers should get full social benefits at age 62, their spouse should get 80% too at age 62, even if she/he is older than their spouse. Truck driving is dangerous, careless drivers, drunks, crazies, doing dangerous things on the road.
    If, that driver has worked 20 years or more,he/she should have the right to retire in full at age 62. They deal daily with weather hazards, un-safe truck parking areas, thieves, unhealthy work conditions ie: robbers, not being able to excercize, heart conditions,diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, stress of being on time with their load,and of missing g weddings, graduations, funerals, and missing out on life while being on the road. truck drivers are often found dead in their trucks from heart problems, stroke, and other “natural causes”, but life insurance on truck drivers only covers accidents, not natural causes, and that needs to change too,insurance should cover both,and just high stress levels. Not all drivers will do this, but some will.
    I want to see a bill that mandates that social security, will be given at age 62 to all truck drivers, not covered by a company pension,(having an IRA or 401k won’t count as a pension, because it isn’t).
    Automation is coming to replace drivers, foreign drivers are coming in and truck drivers deserve a good retirement, closer to $3,000 a month for themselves at retirment age 62 or older. Maybe if, getting all of their social security benefits at age 62 or 63, will prompt more people to go into truck driving and stay 20 years. There was no truck driver shortage when drivers had pensions or could qualify social security at age 62 at 80% or higher. To get people to go into trucking and stay for years, they need incentive, and sign-on bonuses will not do it! That is just a gimmick, it is insulting to most truck driver,you don’t the lump sum because taxes on lump sum bonuses will eat it up. It is paid out as “miles” over a few years, and that is bull puckey. Let’s get going on passing a bill like this, that bill allowing truck drivers with 20 plus driving years to retire at full benefits at age 62, needs to cover all drivers, who have 20 years or more worked as a Truck driver now.

  2. Pingback: New Bill In Congress May Raise Commercial Truck Insurance Minimums

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The Nation

New information on events leading to Celadon’s bankruptcy likely to anger former employees

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Bankrupt celadon receives partial approval to pay employee wages
Celadon officials knew of intent to file bankruptcy earlier than claimed. (The Trucker file photo)

While news of the Celadon bankruptcy that shocked the trucking industry broke nearly two months ago, newly unsealed documents provide insight into factors leading the carrier’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. In this instance, the documents show that TA Dispatch (TAD) of Ensley, Alabama, filed a $6.2 million lawsuit against the carrier six days before Celadon officials announced the company sought a U.S. bankruptcy court’s protection. The documents also suggest Celadon had a minimum of 11 days to inform employees of the company’s pending closure.

TAD’s lawsuit is based on a breach of contract on the part of Celadon. The contract stated that the two companies would partner, allowing Celadon to access TAD’s logistics platform in a revenue-sharing agreement that would assist both companies in better serving customers.

While Celadon and TAD shared billing duties and transferred funds under procedures stated in the revenue sharing section of the contract, in mid-November, Celadon was unable to make its payment of $4.4 million due to its partner. TAD claimed that in a late November meeting, a Celadon executive told them the carrier was insolvent. In fact, Celadon requested a loan from TAD in order to keep operations afloat.

When demand for payment sent to Celadon on November 27 went unmet, TAD officials stated Celadon responded that further inquiries would be referred to its bankruptcy attorneys. In addition, Celadon cut off TAD’s access to its IT services, a move that severely interrupted TAD’s operations. Later, Celadon restored access.

The timeline of events in late November provides some insight into a potential reason for Celadon’s bankruptcy. But former employees will be much more interested in the dates TAD notes in its lawsuit.

Celadon caught many employees off-guard on December 8, when it sent a midnight message to drivers announcing it had ceased operations. Shortly thereafter, the Celadon’s fuel card company deactivated cards and left drivers stranded across the U.S.

The timeline of events offers evidence to support a former employee’s lawsuit claiming Celadon had violated the WARN Act, requiring large employers to provide notice of at least 60 days before implementing layoffs. The timeline as reportedly recorded in the documents suggests Celadon had a minimum of 11 days during which company officials knew of its intent to cease operations — 11 days employees could have spent searching for new jobs and to prevent them from being unemployed during the holiday season.

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Old Dominion Freight Line celebrates MLB Spring Training with nationwide fan events

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Old dominion freight line celebrates mlb spring training with nationwide fan events
Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for spring training celebrations this year, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies. (Courtesy: Old Dominion Freight Line)

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Old Dominion Freight Line, the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball, will drive the annual spring training sendoff tradition with MLB clubs across the country.

The company will deliver clubs’ equipment to warmer locations as the teams start spring training. Before the trucks hit the road, teams will celebrate the unofficial start of the 2020 baseball season with fans, coaches, current players, alumni and team mascots.

“spring training sendoffs are a player- and fan-cherished ritual. It’s our pleasure to be a part of these special events and ensure the teams’ equipment arrives safely and on-time,” said Dick Podiak, vice president of marketing and communication for Old Dominion Freight Line. “We are delighted to ring in the 2020 season as a corporate sponsor for 12 MLB clubs and as our fourth year as the Official Freight Carrier of Major League Baseball.”

This year, Old Dominion will partner with eight teams for the spring training celebrations, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies.

The festivities will begin with the Chicago White Sox 28th annual event, SoxFest, on Jan. 24-25. With the help of the White Sox mascot, Southpaw, Old Dominion will move the team’s equipment to the new SoxFest location, McCormick Place. Fans will have the chance to collect autographs and take photos with former and current stars of the Chicago White Sox.

On Jan. 25, the New York Mets will host the inaugural FanFest event at Citi Field. The sendoff will take place at noon in the player’s lot, where one trailer will be packed with more than 10,000 items, including 600 baseball caps, four pitching machines, 10 cases of chewing gum and 1,000 pounds of weight equipment for the team, and depart for First Data Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Thousands of Braves fans are expected to attend ChopFest at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia on Jan. 25, where Old Dominion will celebrate with the team before their departure. The event will include interactive areas with players and coaches, pictures with team mascot, BLOOPER, a Braves history chalk walk, free autographs for kids and more.

Following the Kansas City Royals FanFest activities in downtown Kansas City, the team will move from Kauffman Stadium to Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona on Jan. 30. The team will pack up two 28-foot trailers and begin the 1,280-mile journey to Surprise Stadium.

The Los Angeles Angels are gearing up for an exclusive celebration on Feb. 4 where Old Dominion will load commemorative trailers with exercise equipment, consumable products for the clubhouse, and other Spring Training essentials, before hitting the road to Tempe, Arizona.

To wrap up the sendoffs, on Feb. 7, the Philadelphia Phillies will host a community event at Citizen Bank Park to celebrate “Truck Day.” With the help of the Phillies’ mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, Old Dominion will move a variety of items, including 10,000 12 oz. sports drink cups, 2,400 baseballs, six bicycles, one Phanatic hot dog launcher and more into two 28-foot trailers. The Phillie Phanatic — alongside rally-towel waving fans and local sports mascots — will escort the custom-wrapped trailers out of Citizen Bank Park to begin the journey to Clearwater, Florida. The Old Dominion tandem trailers will cruise through eight states, traveling 1,058 miles until it reaches their destination at Spectrum Field.

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The Nation

Daimler executive honored for supporting National Guard and Reserve employees

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Daimler trucks north america executive honored for supporting national guard and reserve employees
Jeffrey Thompson, right, director of aftermarket supply chain planning, receives the Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve Patriot Award from Bruce Thompson. (Courtesy: Daimler Trucks North America)

Portland, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America is saluting an executive for receiving national recognition for his support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

Jeffrey Thompson, director of aftermarket supply chain planning, received the Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve Patriot Award last week at DTNA headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Thompson served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for over three years.

The Patriot Award, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Defense, is given to supervisors who have supported employees in the National Guard and Reserve through such measures as flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence, if needed.

Shawn Meredith, manager of the continuous improvement project team in Fort Mill, South Carolina, nominated Thompson for the award. Meredith is also a battalion executive officer and commander in the U.S. Army Reserve. In his nomination, Meredith praised Thompson for supporting him while he completed his military education and during a September 2018 mobilization of reservists for hurricane relief support.

“Because of his decisions, I was able to achieve both my Army and DTNA missions for those years. Without his trust and empowerment for me to get the job done, one of my two careers would have suffered,” Meredith wrote.

“I’m honored to receive the Patriot Award,” Thompson said. “I believe it’s my duty and privilege to support those who serve our country in the Guard and Reserve. These dedicated men and women deserve employer support.”

Thompson began his career at DTNA in 2003 and has held positions in parts sales support, parts specialty sales, fleet parts sales, business excellence and distribution development with the elite support team.

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