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FMCSA Expands Pre-Employment Screening Program

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By TruckingInfo Staff
truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=73083

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration added a new feature to the screening program that gives carriers a look at the history of a driver who is applying for a job.

The agency is making data available on co-driver safety and post-crash violations, in addition to the roadside inspection and crash records that employers already can see. The agency said it also has begun showing the date that a driver's safety records were updated.


The Internet based pre-employment screening program (www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov), gives employers five years of an applicant's crash history and three years of his inspection history - with the driver's permission.


The data is drawn from the Motor Carrier Management Information System and includes the same information that is used by agency staff and state police for enforcement. Drivers have access to the information, as well, and can make the report a part of their application if they wish.


There is a charge to use the system. Carriers with fewer than 100 power units must pay a $25 annual subscription fee and...
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Women In Trucking Association representatives meet with DOT officials

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PLOVER, Wis. — Women In Trucking (WIT) President and CEO Ellen Voie was recently invited to meet with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in Washington.  Joining them was Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro.

LaHood and members of his staff listened as Voie described some of the challenges facing women in the transportation industry and how WIT is addressing those needs.  Issues include driver harassment concerns, safety and security on the road, using technology to reduce physical limitations and other topics.

Prior to the meeting with LaHood, Voie and WIT chair Leigh Foxall spent time with Ferro and her staff exploring opportunities to encourage women to consider careers in typically male-dominated fields.  “Many of the issues women in the trucking industry face
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Congress repeats truck weight bill

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By Jill Dunn

For the third consecutive year, Congress is considering a bill to allow states to increase interstate weight limits to 97,000 pounds for six-axle trucks.

On Feb. 17, Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) introduced the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, or H.R. 763, which was referred to committee with one co-sponsor.

The bill text is not yet available via Congress’ online website. The Coalition for Transportation Productivity, a group of shippers and other associations supporting the increase, said some trading partners, including Canada and Mexico, use limits higher than the U.S. 80,000-pound limit set in 1982.

The current weight limit means even if trucks have additional unfilled space, shippers must pay for additional trucks, adding to road congestion and emissions.

The American Trucking Associations supports the measure, which the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association opposes because of safety concerns.

The two previous years, the SETA was referred to committee the day of introduction. In 2009, Michaud’s bill had 54 co-sponsors and last year, Republican Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo’s bill had three co-sponsors.
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States target licensing of illegal immigrants

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http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Feb11/021411/021611-04.shtml
By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Land Line state legislative editor

Two states still allow illegal immigrants to obtain full-blown driver’s licenses. One more state offers a permit that allows them to drive, but not use the license as an ID. In each case, lawmakers are trying to end the practice.

In recent years, the list of states providing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants has dropped from nine to two – New Mexico and Washington. In Utah, illegal immigrants can obtain licenses to drive, but they cannot be used as identification.

Supporters of stricter licensing rules say the current system allows for identity fraud and raises other public safety concerns.

Opponents say that cutting access to driver’s licenses would raise insurance costs because illegal immigrants wouldn’t be able to obtain insurance. The result would be many more uninsured drivers.

They also say that the purpose of a license is to show proof of the ability to drive – not be used for identification purposes.

In New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez said the system is a disaster waiting to happen. She campaigned a year ago on a pledge to stop letting illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses.

The governor’s administration said the change could affect 82,000 driver’s license holders in the state.

“As other states clamp down, New Mexico has become a haven for people looking to circumvent the law,” Martinez said during a recent news conference.

A House bill would require applicants to have a Social Security number to get a driver’s license... Continue to read more...

http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Feb11/021411/021611-04.shtml

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California Dump Truckers Sue CARB to Overturn Emission Rule

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http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-print.asp?news_id=73012

Calling the regulation "overreaching," the California Dump Truck Owners Association has filed suit against the California Air Resources Board challenging the legality of board's Truck and Bus Regulation.

The lawsuit, California Dump Truck Owners Association v. Air Resources Board, was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division, on February 11.


Specifically, CDTOA asserts that CARB's regulation is unconstitutional as it is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, and seeks an injunction prohibiting CARB from enforcing the rule.


CDTOA has attempted to work with CARB for more than four years to find reasonable solutions that accomplish the goal of cleaning California's air while avoiding the needless devastation of the state's trucking industry and specifically the dump truck industry, the group said in a press release.


The group says the dump truck industry is struggling with 50 percent unemployment and rampant construction price deflation in the state. It claims enforcement of the costly emissions rule will cause incalculable damage to the construction transportation industry.


CARB, the association says, has repeatedly refused to address the association's concerns. Left with no remaining option, CDTOA has decided to pursue a solution through the courts.


"Our members are experiencing the worst economic conditions in living memory and CARB continues to place impossible regulatory burdens on them at a time they can least afford it," says Lee Brown, executive director of CDTOA. "Our members support clean air, but the air we breathe can't be more important than the people that are breathing it."


Brown says the CARB regulations would adversely affect the truckers' business model by forcing premature retirement or replacement of otherwise perfectly good assets...
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CARB holds "one stop" truck regulation meetings for truckers

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The California Air Resources Board is working with local air quality districts to host “one stop” events to help explain truck regulations already being enforced in the Golden State.

The events include regulation updates, financial information, and demonstrations of truck inspections, though no actual inspections will be performed.

Suppliers of exhaust retrofits and SmartWay approved equipment will be in attendance, and financial grant application assistance is available by appointment.

The next meeting is Feb. 19 at the College of Alameda in Alameda, CA. Other events will be held March 5 in Riverside, CA; March 19 in San Mateo, CA; and March 26 in Fresno, CA.

Click here for more information.

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TRUCKS CARRY THE MOST FREIGHT IN ALMOST ALL STATES, BTS REPORTS

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http://www.thecypresstimes.com/article/News/National_News/TRUCKS_CARRY_THE_MOST_FREIGHT_IN_ALMOST_ALL_STATES_BTS_REPORTS/39955

Trucking is the predominant mode used by businesses to ship freight in almost all states, according to State Summaries: 2007 Commodity Flow Survey from the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported thatat least 60 percent of the total value of shipments for 42 states and the District of Columbia in 2007 was carried by trucks alone. By weight, trucks transported at least 60 percent of shipments originating in 40 states, including the District of Columbia.

The Commodity Flow Survey (CFS) is conducted as part of the Census Bureau’s Economic Census, occurring every five years. It is the primary source of national and state-level data on domestic freight shipments in the United States. Based on information from approximately 100,000 businesses, the CFS measures domestic freight flows from establishments in mining, manufacturing, wholesale, and selected retail industries, as well as shipments from auxiliary establishments. The 2007 CFS was undertaken through a partnership between BTS and the Census Bureau.

States by Value

In the South, eight states and the District of Columbia had more than 80 percent of the value of originating shipments transported by trucks. Only in Louisiana and Texas did trucks carry less than 60 percent of the freight. In the Northeast, New Hampshire was the only state where trucks carried less than 70 percent. The states in the West generally had the lowest percent of freight carried by trucks. Six states in the West had less than 60 percent of originated freight by value transported by truck, and trucks carried more than 70 percent only in Arizona and Nevada. See the report for a map with percentages for all states.

States by Weight

In all Northeast states, trucks carried more than 75 percent of the originating freight by weight. In contrast, in the West, trucks carried more than 75 percent in only four of 13 states. Trucks carried less than 50 percent by weight in North Dakota, New Mexico, Louisiana, Montana, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Trucks still carried the most freight in those states, except for Montana, West Virginia, and Wyoming, where rail was the predominant mode. Only 5.6 percent of Wyoming freight by weight was transported by truck. See the report for a map with percentages for all states.

Other Highlights

American businesses covered by the CFS shipped about $11.7 trillion worth of goods in 2007, weighing 12.5 billion tons and generating 3.3 trillion ton-miles. Trucking continued to dominate the nation’s movement of freight, accounting for 71 percent of the value ($8.3 trillion), 70 percent of weight (8.8 billion tons), and 39 percent of the ton-miles (1.3 trillion ton-miles).

Among the goods shipped, electronic and office equipment was the commodity with the highest value at $1.0 trillion. Gravel and crushed stone was the largest commodity by weight at 2.0 billion tons. Coal was the commodity accounting for the most ton-miles with 836 billion in 2007.

The report, available on the BTS website, summarizes and highlights freight shipments for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It provides tables for each state’s value and weight of shipments, major commodity shipped, mode of transportation used, distance shipped, state of origin, state of destination, and industry. CFS data in its entirety for 2007 is available through the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder at www.census.gov.

http://www.thecypresstimes.com/article/News/National_News/TRUCKS_CARRY_THE_MOST_FREIGHT_IN_ALMOST_ALL_STATES_BTS_REPORTS/39955