Latest Industry News Briefs Courtesy of PMTA
America’s Road Team is Seeking Professional Drivers to Educate America on Safety and Essentiality
American Trucking Associations announced it is seeking nominations for professional drivers to serve on the 2022-2023 America's Road Team.
“For 35 years, America’s Road Team has represented the best professional truck drivers in the industry,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This diverse group of Captains are great ambassadors for our industry, representing all segments of trucking and every region of the country. We look forward to continuing the tradition of having dedicated, passionate and safe drivers educate America about our essential and powerful industry.”
Founded in 1986, America's Road Team, a group of skilled professional truck drivers with incredible safety records, promote the trucking industry by educating the general public, media, and elected officials about the industry's strong safety record, importance to the economy and what a great career option the trucking industry is.
Every two years, ATA searches for professional drivers with superior skills and strong safety records who are willing to take time away from the cab to demonstrate the trucking industry’s commitment to safety. Due to the pandemic, American Trucking Associations postponed the selection process of the newest class of America’s Road Team Captains until now.
“Volvo Trucks North America is looking forward to the nineteenth year as the exclusive sponsor of America’s Road Team and their Captains with a fully equipped Volvo VNL 760,” said Magnus Koeck, vice president of marketing and brand management, Volvo Trucks North America. “As Captains, these men and women are leaders who set the example for best-in-class driving, and their outstanding safety records complement the Volvo Trucks brand. These Captains embody the importance of safety and professionalism in the trucking industry and we appreciate the dedication of these drivers and their tireless efforts.”
ATA members are encouraged to nominate professional truck drivers who exhibit strong interpersonal skills, have impressive safety records, and demonstrate a positive attitude toward the industry and their careers as professional truck drivers. Nominations for the 2022-2023 class of America's Road Team are due September 10. ATA will consider those nominations received in 2020 for the 2022-2023 team.
To nominate a professional truck driver for America's Road Team, please review the eligibility requirements and complete the nomination form. For additional questions go to americasroadteam.com. Finalists will be announced November 8, with the final selection taking place in January 2022 in Arlington, Virginia.
ATA Announces Formation of Climate and Clean Energy Advisory Committee
Arlington, VA… The American Trucking Associations has announced the formation of a new Climate and Clean Energy Advisory Committee to help shape the association’s policies and actions on a number of key environmental issues.
“The trucking industry has a strong, positive record on addressing climate change – from our broad support for programs like SmartWay to our backing of historic and first-ever greenhouse gas standards for new trucks - ATA has been a leader in making sure our industry is at the table and delivering results on these issues,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Today, with even more attention being paid to issues impacting our climate and clean energy in Washington and in state capitals, we are creating an advisory committee to help guide our future direction and actions.”
The newly formed CEAC will address a number of topics ranging from fuels, carbon pricing, and zero emission vehicle development that have the potential to have significant impacts on the trucking industry in the 21st Century. The committee will focus its work on four areas initially: research and development opportunities, infrastructure resiliency, zero emission vehicle fueling infrastructure and environmental justice, and will continue to advise ATA on its broad-based advocacy platform so the association can remain a leader on these critical issues.
“Good public policies should be based on sound data and strong analysis. It is the goal of this advisory committee to seek out that data so we can be at the table with policymakers at the state and federal levels as they tackle these complex issues regarding climate change and technology pathways,” said ATA Energy and Environmental Affairs Counsel Glen Kedzie. “As we chart a course for the most dynamic shift ever in the types of equipment and fuels we use, we must do so in an orderly and least disruptive manner that takes into account the wide diversity of trucking operations.”
ATA will soon announce members and leadership for this committee.
Drivewyze Announces Open Enrollment for e-Inspections at Weigh Stations
DALLAS, TX… In a major move to improve speed, efficiency and accuracy at weigh station inspection sites, Drivewyze has announced open enrollment for automated electronic e-Inspections at weigh stations in three participating states. Software activation is free for Drivewyze PreClear customers, and available through participating Drivewyze ELD partners.
“This is the beginning of streamlining inspections, which is a major win for fleets and drivers, plus for those in law enforcement,” said Brian Heath, CEO and president of Drivewyze. “For those using our weigh station bypass service, it means in-station inspections no longer require drivers to manually submit their HOS files and inspectors can complete inspections in a matter of minutes versus the traditional 30-60 minute processing time at weigh stations. Our system automates traditional manual processes and everyone benefits -- it's a major step forward in the modernization of roadside inspections.”
Inspection sites in Maryland, Maine, and Virginia are the first states to partner with Drivewyze to make e-Inspections a reality. Other states are following suit as state agency software is upgraded or enhanced to process e-inspections.
According to Heath, Drivewyze e-Inspections are an industry first and represent the power of an innovative ecosystem of ELD providers, public partnerships with leading enforcement agencies, and the desire of carriers to eliminate delays and improve their safety scores. “We’ve done testing and trials with major fleets and state inspection sites to prove the accuracy and efficiency of e-Inspections,” said Heath. “We’ve found that a ‘clean’ Level III inspection can be reduced from a 30-minute detention, to mere minutes. That allows the driver and fleet to improve or maintain their safety score while logging more miles. It also frees the inspection officer from time-consuming manual data entry so they can concentrate efforts on trucks that truly do need inspecting.”
Currently, drivers undergoing an in-station inspection need to go through manual steps on an ELD to transfer their logs to the inspection site’s computer, including entering the officer’s inspector code. “This not only takes time, manual entry leads to input errors,” said Heath. “If the driver, for example, mistypes the officer’s inspector code, and the logs can’t be transferred, it’s an HOS violation. Likewise, if a driver isn’t familiar with the ELD and doesn’t know how to transfer logs, or locate the Driver Instruction Sheet, the carrier can be dinged on their safety score. With the advent of e-Inspections to automate HOS data transfer, problems sending logs to inspections sites are no longer an issue.”
“Drivers and law enforcement have tough jobs,” said Daniel Patterson, Director of Safety at Western Express, which participated in e-Inspection trials. “Being able to efficiently transfer data to make inspections more seamless and a positive experience for both parties is very important to us. E-Inspections allow us to achieve the goal of gathering more data and increasing the safety of our roadways. We are very excited for this program to expand throughout more states and increase the effectiveness of our partnership both with Drivewyze and with law enforcement agencies.”
Added Captain Josh Barnes, Maryland State Police, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division: “As law enforcement and industry partner in the goal toward improved safety, tools like Drivewyze e-Inspection increase efficiency for both stakeholders.”
According to Heath, Drivewyze is partnering with leading ELD vendors to ensure back-end systems are ready for Drivewyze’s e-Inspection services. “Building out e-Inspections is a process, and our ELD partners are vital in bringing this solution to their customers,” he said. “Together with our partners, we are modernizing a 100+ year-old manual process of enforcement that is inefficient and costs the industry more than $100 million in idling costs annually.”
“At Platform Science, we’re constantly looking for ways to make our customers more efficient, while improving their overall driver experience,” said Michael Bray, Chief Commercial Officer of Platform Science. "That's why we were eager to offer the platform integration support needed to run the e-Inspections from Drivewyze in preliminary testing. This rollout will dramatically improve productivity for drivers. We know our customers are going to be excited about using this capability, and we look forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with Drivewyze to offer innovative, industry-leading solutions.”
Stephen White, Sr. Business Development Manager-Class 8 from Geotab said: “E-Inspections are finally here and it’s something we at Geotab are really excited about. It’s why we made sure to have the software integration support needed to run the e-Inspections from Drivewyze. We know our customers are going to be thrilled about using this capability, and we’re looking forward to sharing this technology with them.”
“E-Inspections are a milestone in our mission to revolutionize transportation safety and efficiency,” concluded Heath. “Agencies do not have enough inspectors to stop every truck and this has caused a data sufficiency problem with CSA. Safety scores lag actual carrier performance and many fleets cannot benefit from bypass services or qualify for load opportunities due to outdated safety scores or limited data in CSA. E-Inspections will help solve these problems. Agencies will have a force multiplier to deliver their ‘maintenance of effort’ and allow officers to focus resources on high-risk vehicles. Saving 30 to 60 minutes on a driver’s route is a huge impact on drivers, fleets and shippers. Reducing the time to conduct in-station inspections is just as important to agencies that struggle to meet mandates with tight budgets and limited resources.”
Anatomy of a Expedited e-Inspection:
Here’s how an e-Inspection works:
* The ELD automatically sends the driver’s logs to the roadside inspection site when an e-Inspection is started, eliminating manual transfer steps entirely.
* An officer conducting the inspection can view vehicle, carrier and driver-level information and has their inspection report form automatically pre-filled at the start of their inspection.
* The inspector evaluates the vehicle and driver, and decides if any further validation or investigation is required without having to manually search multiple systems to verify the Carrier, Vehicle, and Driver credentials.
*When the officer is satisfied, the inspection can be completed at the touch of a button, saving significant time and improving the accuracy of the inspection.
To learn more about Drivewyze, visit www.drivewyze.com.
CTA: ArriveCAN Uptake Remains Critical as Feds Consider Proof of Vaccination at Border
TORONTO, CANADA… The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) continues to work with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to boost electronic uptake of ArriveCAN within the industry.
As CTA recently reported, electronic uptake of ArriveCAN by commercial truck drivers (via the app or webpage) crossing the border into Canada was about 12 percent. Recent data obtained from the CBSA shows a stagnation of these numbers, with the potential for regression if greater awareness and increased compliance with the requirement is not improved moving forward.
CTA is again reminding the trucking industry that the requirement to use ArriveCAN remains in effect for all border crossers. Truck drivers who do not comply with the mandate at Canadian ports of entry may be issued significant fines by PHAC or other law enforcement organizations who have the ability to enforce the Quarantine Act. The verbal declaration to a Border Services Officer is only a temporary measure to allow the trucking industry to transition to the electronic ArriveCAN platform.
ArriveCan data can be submitted 72 hours in advance of cross border travel, allowing for greater flexibility in meeting this requirement.
The Government of Canada has also stated its intent to align with the European Union and other nations on the use of digital proof of vaccination to allow greater mobility for international travellers, while ensuring public health remains the top priority. Although the use of ArriveCAN to digitally store and present proof of vaccination has been mentioned by federal officials, no formal announcement has been made yet regarding the use of “vaccine passports” or its potential implications on travellers, such as truck drivers.
In order to assist companies in training their drivers to use the ArriveCAN app, CTA created a training package in both official languages which includes a tutorial video, infographic on how to use the app, and FAQ document.
The Government of Canada continues to explore methods to ensure compliance with ArriveCAN remains as seamless as possible. CTA will continue to update members on any changes to this policy and any future requirements as the information becomes available.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 0.7% in MayIndex 3.7% Above May 2020
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.7% in May after falling 0.6% in April. In May, the index equaled 113.7 (2015=100) compared with 114.5 in April.
“Tonnage, despite falling slightly over the last two months, remains well above the lows of last year,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This is no small deal considering that truck tonnage fell significantly less than many other indicators during the depths of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.
“One freight segment that is helping tonnage is gasoline as demand for travel, both commuting and vacation related, picks up,” he said. “I’m also expecting retail freight to remain robust as inventories are at historic lows. As retail stocks are rebuilt, it will boost freight. As has been the case for some time, trucking’s biggest challenges are not on the demand side, but on the supply side, including difficulty finding qualified drivers.”
April’s reading was revised down slightly to -0.6% from our May 18 press release.
Compared with May 2020, the SA index rose 3.7%, which was preceded by a 6.7% year-over-year jump in April. Year-to-date, compared with the same five months in 2020, tonnage is up 0.4%.
ATA Hails House Passage of the INVEST in America Act
Arlington, VA… American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement praising the House of Representatives for passing the INVEST in America Act:
“By passing the INVEST in America Act, the House has taken a significant step toward enacting the kind of comprehensive infrastructure package our nation needs. The investments in this bill will enable the country to grow, not just economically, but they will improve safety and the environment.
“We congratulate Chairman DeFazio and the House for their leadership in achieving this important step in the legislative process. We encourage the Senate to advance companion legislation this summer, and ATA will support these critical investments while working to improve upon it throughout the legislative process.”
TravelCenters of America Launches Nationwide Fundraising Campaign to Help Professional Drivers in Need
Westlake, OH… TravelCenters of America Inc., nationwide operator of the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express travel center network, is launching a fundraising campaign at locations nationwide to help professional drivers in need.
Starting today through Labor Day, September 6, 2021, customers will have the option to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar in the travel stores and at the fuel islands.* All proceeds of the round up amount will benefit the St. Christopher’s Trucker Relief Fund (SCF), an organization helping professional drivers who may be out of work due to an illness or injury.
"TA began its support of SCF in 2010 and has since raised nearly $3 million for the organization. We are honored and humbled by the support we receive from TravelCenters of America and its generous customers," said Donna Kennedy, Director of SCF. "Professional drivers always support each other and we are confident when they see the point-of-sale fundraiser at TA registers across the country, they will be proud to help. This campaign will have an immense impact for those in need."
TA Chief Executive Officer Jon Pertchik talks about the importance of the campaign in the video below:
*Promotion not applicable in Alabama and South Carolina.
Statement by CAGTC President Leslie Blakey on U.S. House Passage of INVEST in America Act - House Passes Bold $592 billion Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill; INFRA Must Be Included In Law
WASHINGTON, DC… “The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act (INVEST Act), a $592 billion five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill, an increase of $287 billion over the previous five-year authorization. We congratulate Speaker Pelosi, Chairman DeFazio and the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for advancing H.R. 3684 off the House floor.
While the INVEST Act contains several elements that will help move our nation’s commerce infrastructure forward, there is a critical piece missing: the multi-year reauthorization of the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, also known as INFRA, which the bill authorizes for only one year. After FY 2022, the INVEST Act would replace INFRA with a “Projects of National and Regional Significance” competitive grant program, which would focus on megaprojects for all types of transportation needs.
Replacing INFRA with Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) misses the true benefit of both these competitive grant programs. Each is essential to our nation’s multimodal freight infrastructure and should be included in a final legislative package signed into law by President Biden. The latest round of INFRA awards, announced by USDOT this week, awarded over 75 percent of funds to meritorious freight projects. Each year, the program is oversubscribed by billions of dollars, underscoring how critical the INFRA program is for funding large-scale freight infrastructure projects. These vital projects are frequently multimodal and span multiple jurisdictions, rendering them difficult to fund through traditional distribution methods. Despite their complex funding needs, these projects are essential to our nation’s supply chain health and global economic competitiveness.
Other parts of the bill would contribute to a strong federal goods movement infrastructure strategy and the Coalition applauds the following elements in the INVEST Act:
* Funding a study to identify a dedicated freight revenue source.
* Adding $2.39 billion to the National Highway Freight Program (the freight formula program) and removing the modal cap on available project funding.
* Dedicating $32 billion for rebuilding our nation’s ailing bridges.
* Providing broad eligibility for multimodal projects in the PNRS program.
As Congress considers next steps for reauthorization legislation, our Coalition looks forward to working with the House and Senate to ensure that these freight-specific elements as well as the INFRA program are included in this year’s reauthorization bill.”
Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Secretary Marty Walsh Host Roundtable with Trucking Industry about Driver Retention, Supply Chain, and Safety
Washington, DC… As part of the Administration’s ongoing work addressing supply chain disruption, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hosted a roundtable to discuss truck driver recruitment and retention.
Turnover rates are over 90 percent for large long haul carriers and over 72 percent for small carriers -- meaning that drivers are regularly leaving companies or leaving the industry altogether. The lag time that results in training and onboarding new drivers can result in driver shortages. This turnover, coupled with effects from the pandemic, has helped lead to supply chain disruptions for essential goods and transporting freight in and out of ports.
"Our economy is getting back on its feet, but the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated longstanding challenges in our supply chain - including truck driver retention.” said Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are bringing government, industry, and key stakeholders together to help support truck drivers and all the consumers and businesses who rely on them."
"Registered Apprenticeship - which offers workers quality, on-the-job training along with wage progression, and has been shown to improve job retention - can help build a more stable and resilient workforce,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “I look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg and industry leaders to expand Registered Apprenticeship in order to improve access and retention in the trucking industry."
The Biden-Harris Administration is addressing these transitory supply chain challenges using all the tools at its disposal. Last month, the President announced the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force - to bring a whole-of-government approach to addressing near-term supply/demand mismatches. Today’s roundtable is part of that effort.
Secretary Buttigieg moderated a conversation with stakeholders to surface best practices to improve driver retention and limit turnover. Secretary Walsh provided an overview of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) registered apprenticeship programs and how they can be a tool in driver retention. Apprenticeships can allow drivers to enter the industry without the burden of debt from training, help drivers prepare for the challenges of the job, and receive training on innovative technologies. FMCSA will facilitate connections between stakeholders and DOL apprenticeship resources and help support the implementation of best practices and administrative actions to improve long-haul truck driver retention.
In addition to today’s meeting, the FMCSA is working to address other challenges in trucking. FMCSA is supporting state DMVs as they return to—or even exceed—pre-pandemic commercial drivers license issuance rates, which is helping address the truck driver shortage. In 2021, an average of 50,000 Commercial Drivers Licenses have been issued each month, which is 14% higher than the 2019 monthly average and 60% higher than the 2020 monthly average. Further, FMCSA granted operating authority to more than 92,000 motor carriers -- businesses that dispatch large trucks for the transport of goods. This is a 88% increase from the same time period in 2020 and a 60% increase from the same time period in 2019.
The Department of Transportation and FMCSA will continue to engage regularly with key stakeholders to address driver retention and other issues in trucking. Last month, Deputy Administrator Joshi visited the Port of New York & New Jersey to learn directly from port leaders and trucking companies about how to support driver retention and apprenticeships, and how to alleviate unnecessary downtime for drivers, and the financial consequences of returning empty cargo containers. Following her visit, Deputy Administrator Joshi spoke with Chair Daniel B. Maffei of the Federal Maritime Commission about challenges witnessed and discussed possible ways to work together.
Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg and Deputy Administrator Joshi also spoke with the National Tank Truck Carriers leadership about short and long-term strategies to improve gas supply chain resiliency and tank truck driver recruitment and retention. And Department staff has engaged with a broad cross-section of the trucking industry - carriers of all sizes; private carriers and for-hire carriers; women and minority driver organizations; organized labor; experts in transportation labor; as well as road safety advocates.
PA Turnpike Approves All-Electronic Toll Rates for 2022
Harrisburg, PA… The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) recently approved a 5% toll increase for 2022 for both E-ZPass and TOLL BY PLATE customers. The increase is slated to start at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2022 and will be effective across the entire system except on the Southern Beltway (PA Turnpike 576) west of Pittsburgh.
E-ZPass drivers will continue to receive the lowest toll rates across the PA Turnpike, with some customers saving nearly 60%. Non-E-ZPass customers can now download the PA TOLL PAY smartphone app to create an autopay account and receive 15% savings on their monthly TOLL BY PLATE invoices.
Like all previous annual increases since 2009, the measure is generally required to meet escalating debt-service costs resulting from the PTC’s payments to the Commonwealth of PA for transit operations under Pennsylvania Acts 44 and 89. This year, however, there is one significant difference: Under those statutes, the PTC plans to make its final annual payment of $450 million later this month.
“Today’s action is the first time in six years that the rate of increase is under 6%,” explained PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Starting in July 2022, our transit funding requirement to PennDOT under Act 44 of 2007 will be cut to $50 million annually. Finally, we are seeing a light at the end of this very long tunnel. In addition to breathing a huge sigh of relief ourselves, it enables us to begin to offer some relief to customers from those heftier toll increases and refocus on essential improvements to our roadway.”
Beginning in July 2022, the $400 million in annual transit funding that had been provided by the PTC will be funded by the Commonwealth’s Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax (MVSUT) as prescribed by Act 89 of 2013.
Act 89, however, does not eliminate the Commission’s debt, future debt service or funding obligation. Even with this much-needed relief, the PTC is still responsible for annual payments to PennDOT of $50 million until June 2057, and it must continue to pay down debt incurred from previous borrowing needed to fund Act 44 payments.
“The Act 44 sunsetting spelled out in Act 89 of 2013 is critical if the PTC is to remain fiscally sound as an organization and for the economic vitality of Turnpike-connected communities,” Compton explained. “But it’s important for customers understand that, even with the reduced obligation, we are still looking at annual toll increases of 5% from through 2025, 4% in 2026, 3.5% in 2027, then 3% annually from 2028 to 2050.”
Because of borrowing required by the Act 44 funding plan, the PTC currently has annual Act 44 debt-service obligations of nearly $400 million. Due to the terms of these bonds, the PTC’s Act 44 debt service will continue to rise even though borrowing has ended. Act 44 debt service will grow to an annual maximum of nearly $600 million by 2038 before it starts to decrease.
Because of today’s action, the most-common toll for a passenger vehicle next year will increase from $1.60 to $1.70 for E-ZPass customers and from $3.90 to $4.10 for TOLL BY PLATE customers. The most common toll for a Class-5 tractor trailer will increase from $13 to $13.70 for E-ZPass and from $26.60 to $28 for TOLL BY PLATE. The cashless toll for a passenger vehicle at the westbound Delaware River Bridge will increase from $6.10 to $6.50 for E-ZPass customers and from $8.20 to $8.70 for those who use PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE.
The PTC also approved the toll-rate schedule for the opening of the Southern Beltway slated for October. Tolls for the Southern Beltway will include the application of the 45% additional charge that is in place on the Turnpike system. However, there will be no January 2022 toll increase for the Southern Beltway.
The PTC first started making Act 44 payments to PennDOT in August 2007. It has increased tolls annually since 2009, providing $7.45 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT in 14 years.
After the 2022 increase is applied, E-ZPass and TOLL BY PLATES rates for both passenger and commercial vehicles will round up to the next dime. The PTC will post a 2022 trip calculator and toll schedule online this fall. Visit https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx.
Love’s Ending Mask Requirement For Fully Vaccinated Customers, Employees - Requirement Ended June 15; Stringent Safety Measures Continue
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK.. Travel Stops announced it will stop requiring customers and employees who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks. The requirement has been in place in Love’s stores across the country since July and will end June 15. Non-vaccinated customers and employees are still being asked to wear masks, reflecting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
“The past 15 months have been challenging for customers and team members, so we’re pleased the country has made such great strides against the pandemic to get to this point,” said Love’s President Shane Wharton. “We will continue to be diligent about health and safety as ever before. We want to thank our customers for wearing masks in our stores and for the patience they’ve shown as we worked toward this decision.”
Some cities, counties and states will continue to require all employees and customers to wear masks, and the company will abide by these requirements.
Love’s is continuing to prioritize the health and safety of customers and team members by performing stringent cleaning measures, practicing social distancing and using plexiglass at its locations. The company continues to provide employees with a $75 incentive for voluntarily receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Louisiana Truckers Urge Gov. Edwards to Sign Transportation Bill
Baton Rouge, LA… The American Trucking Associations and the Louisiana Motor Transport Association urged Gov. John Bel Edwards to sign an important increase in transportation funding.
“As the federal government continues to debate investing in our nation’s roads and bridges, lawmakers in Louisiana are not waiting and are stepping up to address their state’s needs,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We are pleased to see the bipartisanship that led to passage of this bill and we urge Gov. Edwards to sign it into law.”
House Bill 514, which would provide roughly $300 million in new funding for infrastructure, passed the House and Senate by overwhelming majorities. The new funding would allow the state to make significant investments in projects that will improve the flow of freight in the state and across the country.
“This is a historic piece of legislation that will provide significant new funding for our transportation system, it is an investment in our future economic competitiveness, safety and prosperity,” LMTA Executive Director Renee Amar said. “Gov. Edwards should sign this bill quickly so Louisianans can begin seeing its benefits.”
ECCC to Suspend GHG Trailer Regulation Implementation Until May 2022
TORONTO… Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has informed CTA that an Interim Order Modifying the Operation of the Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations will be published with the purpose of suspending the implementation of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for trailers in Canada until May 3, 2022.
The Interim Order is available under Government notices on the Canada Gazette website.
The Council Order with an explanatory note providing additional details on the Interim Order can also be found under Orders in Council on the Canada Gazette website.
Due to the Interim Order put in place by the Minister, ECCC will be putting a hold on the processing of applications for authorization to use the National Emissions Mark and Canada-Unique submissions for trailers until further notice.
The Interim Order does not affect any provisions related to the heavy-duty vehicle and engine standards of the Regulations.
CTA will continue to work with ECCC and its members throughout this process and will continue to keep the industry informed of any changes.
Trucking Applauds Passage of Lawsuit Abuse Reform Bill in Texas Senate
By a unanimous and bipartisan vote of 31-0, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 19—a comprehensive reform bill to reduce frivolous and abusive lawsuits targeting commercial motor vehicles. The bill’s passage earned widespread praise from the trucking industry and a broad coalition of supporters from every corner of the Texas economy, who say reforms like HB 19 are needed to prevent a growing trend of lawsuit abuse that has sent insurance levels skyrocketing to unsustainable levels, putting enormous strain on the supply chain.
“Despite the plaintiff bar’s best efforts to lie about and distort the contents of this bill, the Texas Senate took a resoundingly bipartisan vote today to curb lawsuit abuse and restore balance and fairness to the civil justice system,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “Texas has joined the growing ranks of states across the country pursuing common-sense measures to ensure the plaintiffs’ bar can’t keep perverting civil justice into a profit center to line their own pockets.”
Among other provisions, HB 19 ensures juries are presented with evidence that is directly relevant to causation and injuries in a highway accident and ensures the case is focused on the events at issue—not on extraneous allegations outside the scope of the underlying accident. The trucking industry says targeted reforms like these will help remove the incentives driving abusive lawsuits and fueling a spike in nuclear verdicts.
“With the unanimous passage of House Bill 19, the trial process will continue to ensure accident victims are compensated when wrongfully injured, while also protecting businesses across the state from biased and unfair courtroom tactics,” said Texas Trucking Association President and CEO John Esparza. “Thank you to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for recognizing the serious threat abusive lawsuits have on the Texas economy and naming this issue as one of his priority items this legislative session.”
The industry is encouraging the Texas House of Representatives to concur with the Senate-backed bill, so that the legislation can be sent to Governor Greg Abbott and signed into law.
Texas becomes the latest state in recent months to pass lawsuit abuse reforms, including Montana, West Virginia, Louisiana and Missouri. In neighboring Louisiana, rampant lawsuit abuse attracted the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as organized crime rings staged dozens of accidents with unwitting tractor-trailers as a pretext to sue them in court. Last November, personal injury attorney Daniel Patrick Keating was indicted for his leadership role in the lawsuit racket. The Louisiana State Legislature is now considering legislation to criminalize staged accidents.