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FMCSA EXTENDS HOS COMMENT PERIOD, WON’T MAKE COURT DEADLINE FOR RULE

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ccjdigital.com/fmcsa-extends-hos-comment-period-won%E2%80%99t-make-july-26-deadline-for-rule
By CCJ STAFF
Published May, 06 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Friday, May 6, that it has placed four additional documents in the public docket of its December 2010 notice of proposed rulemaking concerning hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers and that it was reopening the NPRM’s comment period for 30 days to allow for review and discussion of the documents and FMCSA’s possible consideration of their findings in the development of the final rule.

FMCSA also said that because of the comment period’s extension, it will be unable to issue the final rule by a court-negotiated deadline of July 26. The agency said only comments related to the four additional documents will be considered during the 30-day extension. The four studies are:

FMCSA also advised the public of an adjustment to the rulemaking schedule previously agreed to in litigation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Case No. 09-1094). Pursuant to an Oct. 26, 2009 agreement between Public Citizen, other petitioners and FMCSA, the agency was to publish a final rule within 21 months of the date of the settlement agreement.

FMCSA said the extra comment period for the four additional documents will require additional time that was not envisioned in 2009 and that it will be unable to publish a final rule by the previously agreed-upon date of July 26, 2011. The agency said it has advised petitioners of the delay to the rulemaking schedule.

To comment on the four additional documents, go to www.regulations.gov; the docket number is FMCSA-2004-19608. The deadline to file comments is June 9.

ccjdigital.com/fmcsa-extends-hos-comment-period-won%E2%80%99t-make-july-26-deadline-for-rule

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Highway Hostages

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By Brad Bentley
DigitalMagazineTechnology.com/a/?KEY=rpmfortruckers-11-04april#page=25&zoom=1

An in-depth look at the growth of human trafficking and what truckers can do to help thwart it.

Trivia question: what’s the second most lucrative crime business in the world?

SLAVERY

According to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development study, the answer is human trafficking – a form of modern-day slavery that results in people being bought, sold and moved around. Worldwide, this is a $32 billion industry with an estimated 27 million people enslaved, more than at any other time in history. The recruited or harbored victims are transported and trapped in lives of misery - often beaten, starved, and obtained for forced labor or sexual exploitation.

So, what does that have to do with the American trucker? Plenty.

It’s been almost 150 years since Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery in the United States, and I’m sure he would be dismayed to know human trafficking is alive and well in America. Beyond the international statistics, this type of slavery has been reported in all 50 states and in 91 cities. While the U.S. State Department estimates that 14,500-17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into our country each year, they approximate the number of trafficked individuals within our borders to be a staggering 200,000-300,000 per year. Second only to drug trafficking, this human rights issue doesn’t get near the attention – publically, at least.

It’s been more than a quarter of a century since President Ronald Reagan declared America’s “War on Drugs”. The effort was spearheaded by a catchy “Just Say No” slogan, and drug trafficking was even glamorized into pop culture via these lyrics from the song, The Smuggler’s Blues:

See it in the headlines,
You hear it ev’ry day.
They say they’re gonna stop it,
But it doesn’t go away.
They move it through Miami, sell it in L.A.,
They hide it up in Telluride,
I mean it’s here to stay.
It’s propping up the governments in Colombia and Peru,
You ask any D.E.A. man,
He’ll say There’s nothin’ we can do,
From the office of the President,
Right down to me and you, me and you.

It’s a losing proposition,
But one you can’t refuse.
It’s the politics of contraband,
It’s the smuggler’s blues,
Smuggler’s blues.

Some would argue that when Glenn Frey penned this song back in the mid-80s, that he would prove perceptive regarding the challenges (and possible futility) of the War on Drugs. Fast forward 15 years, and our nation’s leaders were calling for a “war on terrorism” in response to the 9/11 attacks on American soil. The trucking industry was proactive with anti-terrorism, with thousands of truck drivers joining Highway Watch, an American Trucking Associations (ATA) initiative that trained drivers to notice and report emergency or suspicious situations on the road. However, that program had some problems... (Click here to continue to read in RPM for Truckers.)

Article Resources: www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com | www.traffick911.com | www.chapter61minstries.com | www.transportforchrist.org | www.polarisproject.org | www.driversalike.net | www.fbi.gov | www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/ | www.ncmec.org | www.iEmpathize.org

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A video clip from CNBC concerning the truck driver shortage

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CNBC's Jim Cramer reports on investment opportunities in heavy machinery and the wireless sector, from the CTIA Wireless Conference in Orlando. According to Cramer, the DOJ could be Sprint's best friend when all is said and done.


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Judge places California's global warming program on hold

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latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/03/california-global-warming-program-put-on-hold.html

A San Francisco superior court judge has put California's sweeping plan to curb greenhouse gas pollution on hold, saying the state did not adequately evaluate alternatives to its cap-and-trade program.

In a 35-page decision, Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith said the Air Resources Board had failed to consider public comments on the proposed measures before adopting the plan, which affects a broad swath of the state's economy.

In particular, the judge noted, officials gave short shrift to analyzing a carbon fee, or carbon tax, devoting a “scant two paragraphs to this important alternative” to a market-based trading system in their December 2008 plan.

The air board said it would appeal the judge's decision, which was filed late Friday and released Monday.

The potential setback in California, the first state to enact a broad global warming law, comes amid heightened nationwide controversy over how to curb the gases that trap heat in Earth's atmosphere, and change climates.

A greenhouse gas bill passed the U.S. House last year, but failed... Continue to read more...

latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/03/california-global-warming-program-put-on-hold.html

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Should truckers be exempted from flying snow bill?

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NorthJersey.com/news/transportation/road_warrior/118062714_Making_snow_law_work_for_truckers.html
by John Cichowski
Road Warrior Columnist

It can get confusing sometimes when people start complaining that a road safety law might end up risking more lives than it's designed to save.

That's what truckers are saying about the law that requires them to clear snow from their roofs. Although this reform amounts to a good, first-of-a-kind idea, it hasn't been able to deal with the very real danger of carrying a broom and a shovel 13 1/2 feet up to a roof on a windy day.

Luckily, nobody has been killed or badly injured doing this. Indeed, the law has done much good. So far, at least 28 snow-removal machines have been installed by some of New Jersey's biggest commercial truck fleets. At least eight more are planned, according to Scraper Systems Inc., of Mount Joy, Pa. (mistakenly called Ice Scraper Inc., in Sunday's column).

So, why is this law's chief advocate — Assembly Transportation Chairman John Wisniewski — sponsoring a flying-snow amendment that would exempt — yes, exempt! — all truckers from doing what the rest of us are required to do when snow and ice pile up on our roofs?

The Middlesex County Democrat wants the state to build this equipment so small, independent truckers with limited budgets don't have to make that 13 1/2-foot climb. As the New Jersey Motor Truck Association has reminded him, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules... Continue to read more at NorthJersey.com...

NorthJersey.com/news/transportation/road_warrior/118062714_Making_snow_law_work_for_truckers.html