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FMSCA denies SBTC’s quest for exemption of ELD rule for small carriers

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The Small Business in Transportation Coalition said in its application for an exemption from the electronic logging device rule that motor carriers that would benefit from the request could achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation. (The Trucker file photo)

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has denied an application filed a little more than a year ago from the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) for an exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirements for all motor carriers with fewer than 50 employees, including, but not limited to, one-person private and for-hire owner-operators of commercial motor vehicles used in interstate commerce.

The FMCSA said it had analyzed the exemption application and public comments, and had determined that it cannot ensure that granting for the requested exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.

The SBTC is a non-profit trade organization with more than 8,000 members.

SBTC said in its application that it “represents, promotes, and protects the interest of small businesses in the transportation industry.”

The coalition said in its application that the exemption would not have any adverse impacts on operational safety as motor carriers and drivers would remain subject to the HOS regulations as well as the requirements to maintain a paper record of duty statue (RODs).

The SBTC argues that the requested exemption would allow motor carriers with fewer than 50 employees to maintain their current practices that have resulted in a proven safety record.

After the FMCSA published the SBTC application, it received over 1,900 comments. The agency estimated that over 95% of the comments favored the exemption while more than 4% were opposed.

The FMCSA said it denied that application for exemption because the SBTC application does not meet the regulatory standards for an exemption, the SBTC failed to provide “the name of the individual or motor carrier that would be responsible for the use or operation of CMVs” under the exemption, did not provide the name of a single motor carrier and failed to provide an estimate of the total number of drivers and CMVs that would be operated under the terms and conditions of the exemption.

Instead, in its printed denial, the FMCSA noted the SBTC application said “we defer to FMCSA to determine the total number of drivers and CMVs that would be operated under the exemption.”

The agency said SBTC failed to explain how it would ensure that someone could achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation.

In a prepared statement, the SBTC it had read the FMCSA’s and despite what the agency said in its denial, the SBTC met its obligation to show countermeasures, namely a return to paper logs.

“If paper logs were sufficient to ensure adequate levels of safety for 80 years, and they are currently sufficient for all the carriers operating under other FMCSA ELD exemptions, there is no reason to believe they would not be sufficient for the carriers that would operate under our requested exemption,” the statement said. “Notwithstanding this, the FMCSA is misguided in relying on a statute that pertains to individual drivers’ hearing and vision type applications for exemption. Class exemptions are not the same as individual exemptions.”

The SBTC said FMCSA’s decision failed to address its own statutory obligations to show the coalition is wrong when it asserted that the ELD rule is not necessary to carry out the transportation policy, is not needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market power or that the transaction or service is of limited scope, and that the exemption is in the public interest.

We have repeatedly asserted that ELDs have caused excessive speeding, which results in far more deaths ELDs would ever save by combating fatigue,” the SBTC response said.

The SBTC said it found the FMCSA’s handling of its ELD exemption application… “from start to finish… totally and absolutely corrupt in each and every respect.”

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Cynthia McCullough

    July 21, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I think companies with less than 50 drivers that drive local, like for instance, rock haulers. Yes I am a local rock hauler and drive 12 hours a day and no more. I don’t think we should have to use eld’s. We don’t drive over a hundred miles one way and we have a dispatch of less than 12 hours. I think ELD’S are a waste of time and money for the time we drive. We go home every night and get sleep no need for a 30 min break.

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The Nation

CDL Meals forms partnership with American Association of Owner-Operators

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CDL Meals offers a variety of organic chef-prepared meals that help drivers make healthy eating choices while on the road. (Courtesy: CDL MEALS)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — CDL Meals, the division of Fresh n’ Lean focusing on healthful meal options for professional truck and bus drivers, has formed a partnership with the American Association of Owner Operators (AAOO).

CDL Meals offers a variety of organic chef-prepared meals that help drivers make healthy eating choices while on the road.

“We could not be more excited to launch our first healthy-eating alliance with AAOO,” said Bob Perry, director of CDL Meals. “We believe that people working in all industries deserve to live a healthy lifestyle and have access to the tools they need to ensure overall wellbeing, despite industry standards and limitations. CDL Meals has already made a positive impact on drivers and through this partnership, more operators can benefit from the quality meal plans.”

The American Association of Owner Operators is a nationwide organization dedicated to providing professional truckers and small fleet owners with the latest technology, benefits and assistance to advance in today’s trucking industry.

Perry said through the partnership, members of the AAOO will have access to CDL’s seasonal menus, free nationwide delivery and the promise of fresh, affordable meals on the road.

“We are so thankful the team at Fresh n’ Lean saw an opening to help improve the wellbeing of those in the trucking industry,” said David Huff, CEO of AAOO. “We are committed to helping drivers stay safe while out on the road so they can get back home to their family and friends. “Good nutrition is the most important part of staying healthy and staying healthy is a huge factor in staying safe. That’s why we are so excited to partner with CDL Meals and provide great tasting meals at an affordable price to our members.”

Perry said CDL Meals is a service formulated especially for commercially licensed drivers to deliver chef-prepared food items anywhere within the U.S. using organic ingredients to create balanced, wholesome meals. Each menu option consists of a combination of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and vegetables. All meals are delivered fresh and can be refrigerated for up to seven days. The vacuum-sealed trays can be heated quickly and enjoyed at any time.

Along with the meals, each purchase comes with a 14-page driver wellness education booklet that includes dietary tips, an exercise plan, and suggestions to improve overall health through simple lifestyle changes.

For more information on CDL Meals, visit www.cdlmeals.com.

For more information on AAOO, visit https://aaofoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

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NHTSA: Overall traffic fatalities in 2018 decline 2.4%, 2019 drop likely

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NHTSA said the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Tuesday released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities.

“This is encouraging news, but still far too many perished or were injured, and nearly all crashes are preventable, so much more work remains to be done to make America’s roads safer for everyone,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

The data, compiled by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), shows that highway fatalities decreased in 2018 with 913 fewer fatalities, down to 36,560 people from 37,473 people in 2017. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014.

The 2018 FARS release also clarifies previously released data on large trucks involved in fatal crashes. NHTSA reexamined supporting material and reclassified several light pickup trucks to an appropriate large truck category (10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR). As a result, the 9% increase in large-truck-related fatalities reported for 2017 has been revised to 4.9%. For 2018, large-truck related fatalities increased by 0.9 percent. The details of the scope of the changes are documented in the 2018 fatal motor vehicle crashes overview research note.

No data was available on Class 8 tractor-trailer combinations.

Other findings from the 2018 FARS data include:

  • Fatalities among children (14 and younger) declined 10.3%
  • Alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities declined 3.6%
  • Speeding-related fatalities declined 5.7%
  • Motorcyclist fatalities declined 4.7 percent.

“New vehicles are safer than older ones and when crashes occur, more new vehicles are equipped with advanced technologies that prevent or reduce the severity of crashes,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens said. “NHTSA has spent recent years partnering with state and local governments and safety advocates to urge the public to never drive impaired or distracted, to avoid excessive speed, and to always buckle up.”

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governor Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said the organization was pleased to see the 2018 decline and the estimated 3.4% dip thus far in 2019.

“A decline in 2019 would mark three straight years of fewer fatalities despite a strong economy, which typically correlates with increased traffic deaths,” he said. “However, the only acceptable level of deaths is zero, and we will not rest until that is achieved.”

Adkins said GHSA was glad to note progress in reducing alcohol-related, speeding-related and motorcyclist fatalities in 2018.

“The tremendous investments made today in highway safety have been beneficial, but clearly not commensurate with the need,” Adkins said. “GHSA is committed to working with our partners in the federal government, advocacy community and at the state and local level to accelerate the momentum toward zero deaths on our nation’s roadways.”

NHTSA said the projected 2019 decline translates to an estimated first-half 2019 fatality rate of 1.06, the lowest first-half level since 2015. The estimates for the second quarter of 2019 represent the seventh-consecutive year-over-year quarterly decline in fatalities, starting in the last quarter of 2017.

NHTSA is identifying opportunities to leverage its resources and collaborate with modal partners within USDOT to reduce fatalities among pedestrians and pedalcyclists (bicyclists and riders of two-wheel, nonmotorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals), among whom 2018 fatalities unfortunately increased by 3.4% (to 6,283) and 6.3% (to 857), respectively.

With the release of the 2018 and 2019 data, NHTSA also introduced its new Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), a modernized crash query tool that lets users not only query fatal crash data but also generate estimates of crashes and people injured in crashes. The upgraded functionalities in the new tool include generating multi-year trends, estimates of alcohol involvement, and charting/tabulation/mapping of query results. The tool, along with instructions on its usage, can be accessed here.

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The Nation

Truckers Christmas Group set to launch annual holiday fundraising campaign

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Since its inception, TGCO has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season. (Courtesy: TRUCKERS CHRISTMAS GROUP)

PARK CITY, Kan. — The Truckers Christmas Group (TGCO), an organization that raises funds to help professional truck drivers and their families in the United States and Canada, has begun its 12th annual holiday fundraising campaign.

TCGO will begin advertising for this year’s campaign on November 18.  Nominations will open on the TGCO website beginning November 21 and will close on December 11.

Families will be notified by TGCO’s very own Santa Claus on December 16-17.

Created in 2008, TGCO supports CDL drivers and their families during the holiday season by raising funds requested through aid applications and nominations.

In 2018, the organization saw record numbers of applications and delivered $8,000 to 16 families during the Christmas season.

Since its inception, TGCO has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season.

Several trucking companies went bankrupt in the first half of 2019 alone, leaving more than 3,000 drivers without jobs. TGCO is anticipating another record year of applications and seeks donations to help provide aid for families in need — not just from unemployment — but from illness and other catastrophic events that can make the holiday season more stressful year-after-year.

“We haven’t even opened the application process yet and already we’ve received recommendations for multiple families that would significantly benefit from TGCO’s efforts,” said Mark Abraham, president of TGCO. “This year has been incredibly difficult for the drivers in our community and the donation of goods and funds will help us make sure each and every driver in our trucking family can support their families during the holiday season.”

Along with monetary donations made on the TGCO website, donors can also purchase items donated to the TGCO online Christmas store opening November 21. Items sold in The TGCO Christmas Store are generously provided by businesses and individuals, and new items will be listed regularly, so donors are encouraged to visit TGCO’s website often, Abraham said.

Donors can also give their time by helping TGCO vet candidates, solicit nominations and raise awareness of the organization’s mission this season and in years to come. New volunteer recruitment begins November 1 on TGCO’s Facebook page in coordination with media partners.

To make a donation or to nominate a driver and his or her family, visit https://truckerschristmasgroup.org/. All nominations are anonymous and open to professional CDL drivers living in the United States and Canada.

Businesses and individuals who want to contribute to The Christmas Store should contact Mark Abraham at mark@truckerschristmasgroup.org. for additional information.

Donors can also visit TGCO on Facebook and Twitter

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