Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
ATA Applauds Rejection of Effort to Delay ELD Implementation
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations thanked the House of Representatives for rejecting an 11th hour effort to delay implementation of the electronic logging device mandate, slated for December of this year.
"ATA has supported, and will support, this important regulation," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "Congress has now voted a fourth time to move forward with electronic logging of the existing hours of service information required for decades. Make no mistake, the time for debate about electronic logging is over, and we're pleased that Congress has rejected this ill-conceived effort to delay their implementation.
"For a decade, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has repeatedly spoken, the Courts have spoken, law enforcement has spoken, the industry has spoken and Congress has spoken in favor of the benefits of electronic logging devices," he said, "all the while, opponents of electronic logging have delayed, dissembled and deceived about this technology. Tonight's vote should end what is left of this debate so our industry can carry on with the business of complying with this regulation."
ATA has been active in defending ELD technology, including drafting a letter to FMCSA in support of its regulation. Today, FMCSA answered that letter with even more support for implementing the rule as planned in December.
"Tonight's vote is a testament, not just to the broad and common sense support for ELDs, but to ATA's members, allies and staff who pressed Congress to preserve this important safety rule," said ATA Executive Vice President of Advocacy Bill Sullivan. "This vote is important. Complying with existing laws will make all who share the roads safer, and ATA will continue to work with FMCSA, carriers, drivers, and law enforcement to ensure smooth implementation of this bipartisan effort on schedule in December. We commend the leadership of Representative Rick Crawford and bipartisan champions in the House who support compliance with existing laws and rules."
ATA Urges Congress to Support Automated Vehicle Development
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation about the importance of including commercial vehicles in the discussion around automated vehicles and urged the Federal government not to stifle innovation around the technology.
"I hope my testimony will help unwind some of the myths about automation and our
industry," Spear said in his opening remarks, "and will demonstrate why trucking needs to be at the table as the roadmap for automated vehicles is being written."
Spear told the Committee that today, the nation depends on more than 3.5 million professional drivers to move more than 70% of goods that are delivered by truck annually – a fact that increased automation is not likely to change.
"While some people use the terms 'autonomous' and 'driverless' interchangeably, ATA believes the world of automated vehicles will still have an important role for drivers," he said. "Just as pilots play a key role in our airline industry, truck drivers will do the same on the ground by leveraging the benefits of automated technology while navigating the cityscapes and handling the customer pickups and deliveries."
Because of trucking's key role in the supply chain, Spear told the panel that as the framework for how automated vehicles will be overseen, commercial vehicles must be included along with passenger vehicles.
"We are at a critical moment in the development of autonomous technology," he said. "There are many questions to be answered – including those about cybersecurity, about the impact on trucking operations and how vehicles will interact with one another, and about infrastructure. What is clear is that those questions should be answered for commercial and passenger vehicles at the same time."
Among several recommendations, Spear also urged the government to set uniform national rules of the road for automated vehicles, but at the same time not to suppress innovation.
"Federal agencies and state governments must commit to supporting innovation for both commercial and passenger vehicles, using existing regulatory exemptions to allow manufacturers and technology companies to test and develop new systems," he said.
Truck Turnaround Plan for Major ACI AMPS Penalties Extended
The Canadian Trucking Alliance was informed that CBSA will be extending the truck turnaround option for major ACI AMPS penalties, until midnight on Dec 31, 2017 in the highway mode.
CTA proposed several solutions which would help carriers avoid major monetary penalties, including giving drivers the option to return their truck to the U.S. for certain violations, such as failure to submit ACI data. CBSA agreed to implement the option if compliance rates continued to improve and not regress.
Based on feedback from CBSA, ACI compliance has been very stable over the course of the last 90 days, and carriers showed strong progress to ensure compliance is being met.
“CTA appreciates CBSA extending the turnaround option and we look forward to continuing to work with CBSA in the coming months,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “Finding a balance between fairness for carriers and the need to ensure high compliance levels will be the top priority moving forward.”
CTA and CBSA have formed a working group with representation from carriers across the country to address industry concerns, such as AMPS penalty levels. The first AMPS working group meeting took place earlier this week, with additional meetings scheduled over the next few months.
Truckers Welcome Extra Capacity at North America’s Busiest Border Crossing
The Canadian Trucking Alliance welcomed news the Government of Canada will permit the Detroit International Bridge Company to build a six-lane crossing to eventually replace the current Ambassador Bridge.
Along with the planned HYPERLINK "http://ontruck.org/ota-credited-for-suggesting-name-of-gordie-howe-international-bridge-at-windsor-detroit/"Gordie Howe International Bridge set for construction a few kilometers away, the new span to be built next to the original Ambassador will significantly increase commercial truck crossing capacity at North America’s busiest border crossing.
The 87-year-old, four-lane Ambassador will be dismantled once the new bridge has opened.
The Ontario-Michigan gateway sees over 4.2 million trucks cross between the two existing Michigan and Ontario bridges (Ambassador and the Blue Water bridge in Sarnia-Port Huron) carrying $210 billion CDN worth of trade between Canada and the United States.
“With this development, the Canadian trucking industry and supply chains on both sides of the border – which depend on fast, efficient trade – should be welcoming not just one, but two contemporary new bridges capable of supporting international trade demands in a modern economy,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski. “The additions of these two new modern structures – as well as significant investments recently made at the Blue Water Bridge – bodes well for the future of trade by truck between Canada and or largest trading partner.”
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau stated the construction of the replacement Ambassador Bridge, together with the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, will ensure that Canadians continue to benefit from the efficient movement of people and goods.
Trucking Industry Sees Pros And Cons From House Appropriations Bill
Grain Valley, MO… The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association thanks those members of the U.S. House of Representatives that showed support for certain trucking-related amendments to H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act.
There were three amendments passed by voice vote that the Association supported, however, to our great disappointment, an amendment to delay the electronic logging device mandate did not pass.
Two of the three amendments that passed would prevent federal funding being used to toll certain interstates in Washington, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The Association contends that tolling decreases overall highway safety by diverting traffic and is not the solution to infrastructure needs.
The third amendment passed would prevent the use of federal funds to finalize a notice of proposed rulemaking to require speed limiting devices on trucks. OOIDA strongly opposes efforts to mandate speed limiters.
“We thank Representatives Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Glenn Thompson and Mike Kelly for their efforts in getting the tolling related amendments passed,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.
“We also want to thank Representatives Scott Perry, Doug LaMalfa and Mark Meadows for their work on the speed limiter issue.”
Regarding the ELD mandate delay, OOIDA thanks Representative Brian Babin for his support of professional truck drivers.
“The concerns raised by us, by Congress and industry stakeholders have not changed. There are too many unanswered questions about the technical specifications and enforcement guidelines of the mandate,” said Spencer. “This includes issues related to enforcement, connectivity, data transfers, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and many other legitimate real world concerns.”
“The agency refuses to certify any ELD as compliant with the rule, thus leaving consumers with no idea if a device they purchase is indeed compliant,” said Spencer.
Spencer said that the Association encourages OOIDA members to get involved in its Out Bad Regs campaign and will continue to communicate with Congress and the Administration about these and other issues. Concerned truckers can contact their lawmakers about ELDs by clicking here.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 158,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.