Diesel Rises 6.3¢ to $4.089 in Eighth Gain; Gasoline Price Also Continues to Rise
Diesel rose 6.3 cents to $4.089 a gallon, its eighth straight gain and the highest price since mid-April, while gasoline rose again, the Department of Energy said Monday.
Gasoline gained 3.2 cents to $3.776 a gallon, also its eighth straight increase, DOE said following its weekly survey of filling stations.
The diesel increase leaves it 26.9 cents over the same week last year, while gasoline is 14.9 cents over a year ago.
In the past two months diesel has risen 44.1 cents, while gasoline is up 42 cents since early July, according to DOE figures..
Last week, trucking’s main fuel pushed past $4 a gallon for the first time in three months.
Oil, meanwhile, fell for a third day Monday, despite oil companies evacuating Gulf of Mexico rigs as Tropical Storm Isaac moved through the Gulf on a track toward New Orleans, Bloomberg reported... Continue reading.
Diesel Rises 6.3¢ to $4.089 in Eighth Gain; Gasoline Price Also Continues to Rise
Around 125,000 veterans and military spouses have found jobs through a White House initiative that started last year. The program, called "Joining Forces" is only just getting started.
Joining Forces has set a new goal of getting another 300,000 hired by 2016.
"We have always embraced our veterans, however, Swift has taken a more active approach in showing support," said Saul Perez with Swift Transportation Co.
Perez says the trucking company has hired more than 100 veterans since it joined the program in May of this year. Swift is one of 2,000 participating companies that's been advertising openings here in our area and throughout the country.
Local veterans say they are grateful for the program though many are still unemployed.
"It's a great opportunity for veterans, especially when they're fresh out the military and they're trying to find work," said veteran Michael Jones.
"Anything for anybody to help anybody is a really good deal, whether it's veterans or anybody," said veteran Timothy Thro... Continue reading.
By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY
Two years ago, truck driver Rick Ash weighed too much, slept fitfully and suffered body aches after a long day behind the wheel.
Ash, 60, of Lakewood, Colo., had spent decades sitting all day, guzzling a daily gallon of coffee with high-fructose corn syrup creamer. He subsisted on truck-stop and fast-food fare: often fried, sometimes drenched in gravy, loaded with fat and sugar. And he got little or no exercise.
"It's a very sedentary job," he says. "You sit in the seat and drive all day. Unless you make some considerable effort to eat healthy and exercise, it's very difficult to be healthy."
In 2010, Ash quit drinking coffee, substituting green tea and lots of water, and started eating salmon, baked chicken, brown rice and vegetables.
"A lot of fruit, melon and cottage cheese," Ash says. "I know that's not going to sound appetizing to a lot of truck drivers. But now, one of my favorite meals is a salad."
He started walking 20-30 miles a week and dropped 54 pounds over the next year. "I have an increase in energy," Ash says. "I sleep better. I don't have as many body aches from sitting in the truck all day long." He feels it in the wallet, too: Ash, an independent owner-operator, says his insurance premium dropped nearly $100 a month.
Now, he's trying to get the word out to his fellow drivers.
The nation's 3.5 million commercial truck drivers are in pretty poor health. A recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found transportation workers to have the highest obesity rate — 37.8% — of any U.S. industry.
Truckers also have higher rates of high blood pressure and smoking than the general public. Nearly a third of them have a sleep disorder that can cause drowsiness and slowed reaction times while driving.
Exercise a rarity
Truckers spend long hours behind the wheel, trying to cover as many miles as possible during their federally restricted driving hours. It's often difficult for them to purchase healthier fare because of truck-parking restrictions, leaving many with no dining options other than truck-stop restaurants. Many get little or no exercise.
A study of 2,950 truckers published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2009 found that 85% were overweight and 55% obese. That followed a 2007 study of 92 truckers in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that found that obesity among long-haul truck drivers was "much more severe" than among the general public... Continue reading.
U.S. Department of Transportation Unveils New Distracted Driving PSAs Featuring Cast of the Hit FOX TV Show “Glee”
Videos Starring Dianna Agron Encourage
Young Drivers to “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today joined the Ad Council, Fox Home Entertainment, and the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies to release new distracted driving public service announcements (PSAs) aimed at young adults featuring scenes from FOX’s award-winning television series “Glee.” The PSAs are part of the national “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” campaign that launched in October 2011 to educate young drivers about the dangers of texting behind the wheel.
“Distracted driving is an epidemic on our roadways, and our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are often the most at risk," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “Young people across the country watch ‘Glee,’ and we're thrilled to partner with the show to spread the word that texting and driving don't mix. I thank the Ad Council, Ryan Murphy, and the cast of ‘Glee’ for their continued efforts to raise awareness about this issue.”
In the new television and digital PSAs produced by Fox Home Entertainment, Dianna Agron's character, Quinn Fabray, crashes her car as the direct result of texting while driving. The PSAs emphasize that reading a text message behind the wheel can take your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds – enough time to drive the length of a football field. Viewers can visit Distraction.gov and StopTextsStopWrecks.org to learn more about distracted driving and get tips on how to curb texting behind the wheel.
“This was a story we wanted to tell because we know the influence our show can have in starting conversations and raising awareness,” commented “Glee” executive producer and co-creator Ryan Murphy. “We were inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s campaign encouraging everyone to sign a pledge not to text and drive, which we all signed when we did her show a few years ago, and we had been looking for an opportunity to tell the story of how a few seconds of carelessness could have a devastating impact on people’s lives. We’ve already heard from thousands of our fans how this story touched them, and we loved the idea of a PSA campaign to keep this important issue front and center.”
For more than twenty-five years, NHTSA and the Ad Council have worked together on consumer safety PSA campaigns. The “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” effort has received more than $20 million in donated media support to date. All of the new PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.
“Texting behind the wheel is a serious danger to both the driver and everyone else on the road," said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Thanks to the commitment of Fox Entertainment and ‘Glee’ and the persistence of our safety partners and advocates, we will continue working to reduce driver distraction, prevent injuries, and save lives.”
According to NHTSA research, at least 3,092 people were killed in 2010 in distraction-affected crashes – accounting for approximately one in every ten fatalities on the nation's roadways.
“It’s imperative that we help educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “These new PSAs show that distracted driving can have serious consequences, and we hope that’s a message young drivers take to heart and share with their friends.”
The PSA release coincides with today’s NHTSA announcement of a new grant program that will provide up to $17.5 million to states that have laws banning distracted driving in fiscal year (FY) 2013. Authorized by Congress under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), a state must have a comprehensive, primary law against distracted driving or a primary law prohibiting texting while driving in order to qualify for the grants. States with secondary laws, which require law enforcement to observe a primary offense prior to enforcing the distraction law, would not be eligible. Under MAP-21, Congress also authorized an additional $5 million for NHTSA to develop paid advertising to support state enforcement of laws against distracted driving.
In June, USDOT released a “Blueprint for Ending Distracted Driving” that offers a comprehensive strategy to address the growing and dangerous practice of using handheld cell phones behind the wheel. The plan, which outlines concrete steps stakeholders around the country can take to reduce the risk posed by distracted driving, builds on the national momentum that Secretary LaHood and USDOT have spearheaded for the last three years.
To learn more about USDOT’s efforts to stop distracted driving, please visit www.Distraction.gov. For more information on the “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” campaign, please visit www.StopTextsStopWrecks.org.
Newswise — The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), a leading provider of medical programs geared toward occupational and environmental medicine health professionals, has announced its schedule of in-person and on-line training for commercial driver medical examiners (CDMEs). These courses meet Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) training requirements for examiners who wish to be listed on FMCSA’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME).
The National Registry is a new FMCSA program that requires all medical examiners who wish to perform physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to be trained and certified in FMCSA physical qualification standards. Only medical examiners who complete the training and successfully pass the test will be included in an on-line National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). After May 21, 2014, only those medical examiners who are listed on the NRCME will be able to perform CMV driver examinations.
ACOEM has long been concerned about the process for determining the medical fitness of commercial motor vehicle operators and has offered its renowned Commercial Driver Medical Examiner training course since 2000. Led by experts in transportation medicine, this ACCME-accredited course has been updated to meet the FMCSA training requirements and the College is listed as an “Accredited Training Organization” for the NRCME. Upon satisfactory completion of this course, those eligible to serve as examiners will be prepared and able to sit for the NRCME certification examination... Continue reading.
In June, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) member jurisdictions conducted a record 74,072 truck and bus inspections during the 25th Annual Roadcheck, a commercial vehicle safety enforcement and outreach event. Of those inspections, 48,815 were North American Standard Level 1 inspections - the most comprehensive roadside inspection, of which 22.4 percent of vehicles and 3.9 percent of drivers were placed out of service (OOS). These vehicle and driver OOS rates for Level 1 inspections represent the second lowest achieved in 25 years, continuing its successful historic trend downward. Roadcheck 2012 took place June 5th through 7th, with an average of more than 1,000 trucks or buses inspected every hour during the 72-hour campaign. The United States, Canada and Mexico participated with the inspections that included an examination of driver license and credentials, proper and complete records of duty status, safety belt use, driving behaviors and other driver safety conditions. Vehicles were examined for proper brake system maintenance, tire condition, function of lighting systems, properly secured loads, and other vehicle condition related violations. CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).
For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Contact: Justin Nisly
Obama Administration on Idle Earmark Projects: Use It or Lose It “We Can’t Wait” Action Helps States Put People to Work, Improve Infrastructure
WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama Administration today announced that it won’t allow infrastructure funds to sit idle as a result of stalled earmark projects at a time when hundreds of thousands of construction workers are looking for work. U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is making over $470 million in unspent earmarks immediately available to states for projects that will create jobs and help improve transportation across the country.
“My administration will continue to do everything we can to put Americans back to work,” said President Barack Obama. “We’re not going to let politics stand between construction workers and good jobs repairing our roads and bridges.”
“We are freeing up these funds so states can get down to the business of moving transportation projects forward and putting our friends and neighbors back to work,” said Secretary LaHood.
President Obama has vowed to veto any bill that comes to his desk with earmarks and would support legislation to permanently ban earmarks. But $473 million in highway earmarks from FY2003-2006 appropriations acts remain unspent years later. Those acts contain provisions that authorize the Secretary to make the unused funds available for eligible surface transportation projects. Effective today, state departments of transportation will have the ability to use their unspent earmarked highway funds, some of which are nearly 10 years old, on any eligible highway, transit, passenger rail, or port project.
States must identify the projects they plan to use the funds for by October 1, and must obligate them by December 31, 2012.
“Particularly in these difficult fiscal times, states will be able to put these dollars to good use,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “These funds will create jobs in the short term and help bring about what President Obama called ‘an America built to last.’”
To ensure that this funding is quickly put to good use to improve our nation’s infrastructure, funds not obligated by the December 31 deadline will be proportionally redistributed in FY 2013 to states that met the deadline.
From FastLane, The Official Blog of DOT Secretary, Ray LaHood
Commercial drivers and the inspectors who help keep their vehicles properly maintained play a critical role in keeping our roadways safe. And last week, the best inspectors and drivers from across the country gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to show off their skills and engage in a little friendly competition.
FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro was on hand for the 2012 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC), where fifty roadside inspectors from across the U.S. and Canada turned out to compete against each other by inspecting hazmat vehicles, passenger buses, and cargo haulers.
Christopher Smithen, a certified inspector from the Nevada Highway Patrol, was this year's big winner of the Grand Champion Award for his exemplary performance at the event.
As Administrator Ferro said, "The NAIC is a great opportunity to recognize the top safety inspectors from across the country who are working to save lives on our roadways every day."
Following the Inspectors Championship, attention in the Minneapolis Convention Center turned to some of America's best commercial drivers. The National Truck Driving Championships, also known as the "Super Bowl of Safety," challenge competitors' driving skills and knowledge of safety, equipment, and the trucking industry. This year, the American Trucking Association event celebrated its 75th anniversary.
Over 400 drivers from across the country competed over four days in events that ranged from an obstacle course recreating several real-world scenarios drivers have to deal with to a written exam on safety, security, and first aid.
But at the end of the day, Don Logan, a FedEx Freight driver from Topeka, Kansas, was named the 2012 Grand Champion. And with 25 years of professional driving experience and over 2.1 million miles traveled, it's no wonder he was up to the challenge.
My congratulations go out to all of this year's winners. And I'm grateful to all of the commercial drivers and inspectors who are committed to safety and professionalism each and every day they’re out there on the road.
A Message from FMCSA:
Mark your calendar! The National Registry program implementation is gaining speed as key system capabilities prepare to go live. After August 20, 2012, medical examiners will be able to register to become certified.
Registration enables you to create an account in the National Registry system to begin the certification process. During this process, you will be asked to submit contact, medical practice, medical license, and training information.
Remember, you need not complete the training prior to registering but you will need to register prior to taking the Medical Examiner Certification Test.
Since the National Registry rule was only published a few months ago on April 20, many training organizations are still developing their training programs and may not yet be ready to offer training. We met in June with test delivery organizations and those that have applied to FMCSA are going through the approval process. Although they may not be ready to offer the exam by August 20, they should be ready shortly thereafter.
To learn more and to register as a certified medical examiner, please visit our website at https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov after August 20.
From DOT Secretarty Ray LaHood's blog
It’s no secret that safety is DOT’s number one priority. That’s why I’m grateful to organizations like the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) for all they do to promote safety on our nation’s roads.
Each October, NETS hosts Drive Safely Work Week, an opportunity for organizations to help their employees focus on safe driving. And while the 16th annual Drive Safely Work Week doesn’t begin until October 1, it’s never too early to start thinking about how we can make our roads safer for everyone.
NETS makes available a Drive Safely Work Week toolkit for employers, which is now available at www.trafficsafety.org. Now is the time for employers to download the toolkit and begin thinking about how to mark this important week and help employees focus on driving safely whether they're at work, on vacation, shuttling kids to soccer practice, or just running errands around town.
This year’s campaign theme is “Back to Basics – Your keys to safe driving.”
Many of us think we learned all of the basics in driver's education classes many years ago, and that our years of experience have automatically made us safe drivers. But we can all use a reminder to pay attention to the fundamentals.
The week will kick off by emphasizing the importance of wearing a seat belt on every trip and providing participants with ways to help get those they care about to buckle up as well.
Steering with a clear head – particularly avoiding driver fatigue, driving distraction-free, and parking and backing basics, are other important topics that are covered.
The last day is about fine-tuning the fundamentals, and features tips and activities to help participants avoid some of the most common types of crashes.
The Drive Safely Work Week materials include some great activities that participants can take home and share with their family members and friends. And, if you have teens who are--or will soon be--learning to drive, this year’s “Back to Basics” materials are ideal for use as you coach your new or up-and-coming drivers.
Thanks again to NETS for promoting safe driving habits both on and off the job. Please download your toolkit today and help us make our roads safer for everyone.
- Diesel Rises for Sixth Week, Up 11.5¢ to $3.965
- DOT Freight Transportation Index Rises 1.6%
- FMCSA Taking Comments on Mexican Carrier Seeking Cross-Border...
- Trucking Industry Works to Put More Drivers on the Road
- Feds Waive HOS Rules in Drought-Stricken Areas
- Faces of Distracted Driving - John Gordon, Marion, Ohio
- Compliance Reframed as Commitment - In 90 Seconds!
- DOT Announces More Than $363 Million in Grants for State Highway
- July Payrolls Rise; Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 8.3%
- DOT Launches Historic Expansion of Infrastructure Finance Fund