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Trucking Alliance, Truckload Carriers Association back speed limiter bill

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The “Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019” would direct the Secretary of Transportation to create a federal safety standard that requires all large commercial trucks to not exceed 65 miles. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON and ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (Trucking Alliance) and the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) both said Wednesday they were in support of legislation to limit the maximum speed of tractor-trailers on the nation’s highways.

The Trucking Alliance is an industry-based safety coalition headquartered in Washington.

TCA is an association representing the interests of the truckload segment of trucking.

The “Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019” (S.2033) would direct the Secretary of Transportation to create a federal safety standard that requires all large commercial trucks to not exceed 65 miles per hour on the nation’s highways.

“The mission of the Trucking Alliance is to reduce and eventually eliminate all large truck fatalities and truck speed limiters are integral to achieving that objective,” said Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA in Little Rock, Arkansas, co-founder and president of the Trucking Alliance and also a former chairman of the American Trucking Associations. “Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Chris Coons, D-Del., should be applauded for making highway safety a bipartisan issue.”

“The long-standing policy of TCA is that all electronically governed Class 7 and 8 trucks manufactured after 1992 should be governed at a maximum speed not to exceed 65 miles per hour,” David Heller, TCA’s vice president of government affairs, said when the bill was introduced.

When the bill was introduced June 27, a spokesman for the American Trucking Associations said the ATA is in the process of reviewing the details of the bill.

“Our policies support speed limiters, but only do so in the context of more uniform national speed limits for all vehicles,” said Jeremy Kirkpatrick, ATA’s director of strategic communications. “As the national trend on speed limits moves in the opposite direction with increasing variance, federal speed limiter efforts must at a minimum account for speed differentials and any potential safety risks that they can create.”

Regardless of the outcome of S.2033, the ATA takes a strong speed limiter position in a bill known as the DRIVE Safe Act, legislation designed to facilitate the ability of 18- 20-year old CDL holders to carry interstate commerce.

The bill is backed by the ATA as a member of the DRIVE Safe Act Coalition, co-led by ATA and the International Foodservice Distributors of America, and includes the National Association of Manufacturers, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders of America and more than 40 other national trade associations and companies.

The DRIVE Safe Act sets forth a 120-hour probationary period and a requirement that the driver complete 280 hours of on-duty time, of which not less than 160 hours are driving time in a commercial motor vehicle.

During that entire period the tractor driven by the prospective interstate driver would have to be governed at speeds of 65 miles per hour at the pedal and 65 miles per hour under adaptive cruise control.

As for S.2033, in a prepared statement, TCA said that its association represents roughly 78 percent of the freight market by revenue share.

“It is fair to say that any rule regarding speed limiters will have the greatest effect on our segment of the trucking industry,” the statement said. “TCA’s members spoke with a unified voice when developing our policy in support of speed limiters, and today we are using this focus to lend support to a bill that we feel could make significant safety strides for all motorists on the nation’s roadways. TCA, and our truckload carrier members, recognize that traveling too fast for conditions is one of the most prominent reasons for accidents on our roads today.”

Heller said TCA’s carrier members represent the best that the trucking industry has to offer and have demonstrated time and again that they are ahead of the curve when it comes to trucking technology and its usefulness within their fleets.

“Speed limiting devices are just one example of this,” he said. “The majority of TCA’s members have already adopted speed limiters, in addition to many other safety technologies that we believe will save countless lives, and they are using their electronic logging devices to identify drivers in need of remediation.”

Williams said both his late father and grandfather drove trucks for a living.

“I’ve spent my entire career in the trucking industry,” he said. “There’s simply no legitimate reason for an 80-foot tractor trailer to be driven within a few feet of other motorists, at speeds of 70 or 75 or 80 miles per hour. The safety benefits of Senate Bill 2033 are obvious.”

S,2033 is named for Cullum Owings, who was killed by a speeding tractor-trailer during a trip back to college in Virginia after Thanksgiving in 2002.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Ken Henriksen

    July 11, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    All this is.. is deregulation all over again!! If we slow em down, we take more freight because they don’t have enough drivers!!! What’s even more amazing is that , from what I’ve seen it’s ALL the “mega-carriers” in this coalition!!! You know the ones putting guys in trucks that can barely spell their names!!! Thank god im a household driver because none of the individuals that drive for these companies have the intestinal fortitude to be a bedbugger!!! (JOB SECURITY) Stop blaming the industry problems on the guys who have trucks with no parameters and take a long look in the mirror at yourselves and the guys you put in control after what? 6 WEEKS? Pathetic!!!

    Ken H.
    Lifelong Bedbugger and damn proud of it
    #STOPLIMPINGUSWITHTHEM

  2. Billy Hall

    July 12, 2019 at 5:27 am

    At 65 mph I’ll slow down every interstate I’ll travel all this will cause is road rage

  3. Tom Reed

    July 12, 2019 at 5:38 am

    Steve Williams does NOT speak for the general public. I don’t care if his dad, grandfather, great grandfather or his entire lineage drove tractor trailers for a living, he’s WRONG about governing all trucks to 65 mph being a safe thing to do !!! Especially when it comes to traffic on a 2 lane highway !!!!! How many times has anyone seen cars trying to get around a semi on a 2 lane and nearly get into a crash because they got tired of following a slow assed truck ? I’ve seen it many times from both sides of the saddle as a professional driver and in my private vehicle. IF Williams truly wanted safety instead of more control over someone he’d be advocating something to compel companies to set their trucks to the speed limits of the state’s they’re running in !! THAT would make our highways more safe.

  4. Holy Rollie

    July 12, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Let ******* that wants to make all trucks 65mph,to transport all of his state goods in the back of his truck,we as all truckers need to take a stand against this crapp,I mean if they not going to make a law for what type of gun you can buy or how potien your alcohol can be or make a law to stop these dumb ass robo call and these pussy ass cyber crooks. I believe all this ain’t nothing but a political stunt.

  5. Dozer

    July 12, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Well at 65 I am feeling tired, board and anxious. At this point I’m glad I have been off the road for the last 2 years.

  6. Jose L Orengo

    July 12, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Williams is an idiot, before anybody is allowed to make any legislation, documentation any type of decision involving Trucking we should be able to ask them the simple question of parking in a dock, if they can’t park the truck itself, (not even asking for a road test just parking) they should not be able to make any decisions involving anything when it comes to us. This has got to be by far the stupidest idea I have read, can you imagine the traffic when you have 4 trucks getting on the freeway at the same time that can’t pass each other. Smfh

  7. Eric P Nelson

    July 13, 2019 at 12:40 am

    As a professional driver I agree with this measure. It makes me feel safer at 65 mph sitting on 80,000 pounds. At 75 mph I get a real uneasy feeling, especially at night while hauling 80,000 pounds, unless a revolution occurs with new braking systems which can safely slow us down or stop us with that type of physical mass.

  8. Asa Beason

    July 13, 2019 at 4:42 am

    If they want to limit trucks they need too limit cars too.
    A spilt speed limit is just a accident waiting to happen.

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The Nation

NTSB provides update on 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of improvements

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Of the eight closed safety recommendations, four were closed with acceptable action taken, one was closed with acceptable alternate action taken, one was closed with a status of exceeds recommended action, and one safety recommendation was closed with unacceptable action taken. (Courtesy: NTSB)

WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board has published an updated list of the safety recommendations associated with the agency’s 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements following the recent closure of eight safety recommendations.

Of the eight closed safety recommendations, four were closed with acceptable action taken, one was closed with acceptable alternate action taken, one was closed with a status of exceeds recommended action, and one safety recommendation was closed with unacceptable action taken.

One recommendation was closed because it was superseded by a subsequently issued safety recommendation which remains open.

The NTSB announced the 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements February 4, in which the agency detailed 267 open safety recommendations that if implemented, the panel said could help prevent accidents and the injuries and fatalities caused by those accidents.

The agency went a step further and created what it calls the “Focused 46,” a list of 46 safety recommendations taken from the 267 addressed by the Most Wanted List,  that the agency said it believes can and should be implemented during the two-year Most Wanted List cycle.

“Closing safety recommendations with acceptable action taken, resulting in improved transportation safety, is the goal of issuing and advocating for a safety recommendation,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “Our safety recommendations are founded in the science of our accident investigations and are designed to prevent similar future accidents. Transportation safety is improved when recipients of our safety recommendations take acceptable action. While I’m pleased to highlight this success, I also have to highlight how much more work remains to be done, and, the lost opportunity to improve transportation safety with the unacceptable action taken on safety recommendation H-12-029.”

H-12-029 called for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish an ongoing program to monitor, evaluate, report on, and continuously improve fatigue management programs implemented by motor carriers to identify, mitigate, and continuously reduce fatigue-related risks for drivers.

In its latest correspondence to NTSB dated January 18, 2019, FMCSA wrote that it “… plans no action to establish the program ‘at the motor carrier level’ [emphasis added] as recommended by NTSB. Fatigue management information continues to be accessed via the North American Fatigue Management Program website at https://www.nafmp.com. The NAFMP website remains active and guidance concerning fatigue management continues to be accessed and used by motor carriers.  FMCSA will continue to support both fatigue-related research and the NAFMP, which includes the maintenance, improvement, and promotion of the NAFMP to encourage the voluntary implementation of fatigue management practices by motor carriers.”

The NTSB’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, now in its 30th year, identifies safety improvements that can be made across all modes of transportation to prevent accidents, minimize injuries and save lives.

Since the NTSB’s inception more than 52 years ago, the agency has issued more than 14,900 safety recommendations, and on average, more than 80 percent of them are favorably acted upon. At any given moment, the NTSB’s Safety Recommendations Division is managing the correspondence regarding an average of 1,200 open safety recommendations.

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Tyson Foods earns James Prout/Wreaths Across America Spirit of Giving Award

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Representatives of Wreaths Across America and Tyson Foods pose with the James Prout/WAA Spirit of Giving Award presented to Tyson Foods. Left to right are WAA Founder Morrill Worcester; Tyson Operations Manager Mike Blessing, James Shaw, Ryder Chambers, Kenny Elbe and Tyson Chaplain Karen Diefendorf; and Rob Worcester, who helps coordinate transportation and logistics. In front is Kenny Elbe Jr. Elbe, Shaw and Chambers are all drivers for Tyson. (Courtesy: WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA)

SPRINGDALE, Ark. and COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine— Wreaths Across America has recognized Tyson Foods as the fifth recipient of the organization’s annual James Prout/WAA Spirit of Giving Award.

WAA Founder Morrill Worcester and his son Rob – a volunteer who helps coordinate transportation and logistics for the nonprofit – presented the Tyson Foods’ team with the award on July 12 at the 6th Annual Stem to Stone event held in Downeast, Maine, where the nonprofit is headquartered.

It is also where the balsam is grown to make the veterans’ wreaths sponsored by the public and placed by volunteers each December as part of the WAA’s mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.

The James Prout/WAA Spirit of Giving Award is named in memory of James Prout, owner of Blue Bird Ranch Trucking of Jonesboro, Maine.

Prout was the first person to volunteer to haul wreaths for WAA when the program was in its infancy. The award is given annually to a deserving professional truck driver, company or organization that has supported charitable causes in a way that will affect generations to come.

Operations Manager Michael Blessing accepted the award on behalf of Tyson Foods.

“I think I speak for the entire team when I say what an honor it is to be a part of the Wreaths Across America family,” he said. “The mission is impacting lives across the country and we are humbled to play a small part to ensure the wreaths are safely delivered and volunteers are well fed and cared for each season.”

Tyson Foods, headquartered in Springdale and the 11th largest private carrier in the United States, started hauling veterans’ wreaths for WAA seven years ago with only two trucks.

In 2012, after waiting in line with many others to be loaded, they came up with an idea and made WAA an offer to help create a truckers’ lounge to accommodate waiting drivers. This commitment to the mission has continued and only increased since then.

In 2018, in addition to hauling 18 loads of veterans’ wreaths, they fed all 500-plus volunteer truck drivers that came to Maine to load wreaths, as well as all the loading crews, WAA staff and volunteers, and visiting Gold Star families. They also provided the food for the escort to Arlington send-off dinner.

“By having the Wreaths Across America logo on my truck I am a better driver,” said James Shaw, a long-time Wreaths Across America volunteer and professional truck driver for Tyson Foods. “I have an obligation to drive the best I can to represent our veterans and the work of this honorable organization that does so much good for our country.”

The Worcesters said the trucking industry is vital in helping WAA achieve its goal of honoring fallen soldiers each year.

In addition to transporting wreaths, Tyson Foods supports the organization through fundraising efforts for Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas and other local veterans’ and non-veterans’ nonprofit organizations. Their WAA Fundraising Group is called Transportation Warriors – you can sponsor a wreath through their page here.

“Without the trucking community and their generous donations of time and services, our mission simply would not be possible,” Rob Worcester said. “The work Tyson has done continues to inspire the WAA team to improve the truckers’ lounge and overall experience for volunteer drivers coming to Maine to load wreaths. They are an amazing partner and true friends of the organization, for which we are grateful.”

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

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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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