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FMCSA Recognizes Date Discrepancy in Commercial Driver's License Testing and Permit Standards Rule

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On March 25th AAMVA published a notice regarding the FMCSA amendment to its Commercial Driver's License Testing and Commercial Learner's Permit Standards rule. AAMVA noted that there was a discrepancy between the actual compliance date of July 8, 2015 and the requirement for standardized endorsement and restriction codes on Commercial Learner's Permits and CDLs of July 8, 2014. FMCSA has since noted this error and has indicated that all aspects of the final rule have a compliance date of July 8, 2015. FMCSA has decided not to do a stand-alone correction rule for this single issue, but instead plans to include it as part of an agency-wide corrections rule to be issued later this year. FMCSA wants to ensure jurisdictions know they are aware of this technical error and that the compliance date for all new requirements in the May 9, 2011 and March 25, 2013 final rules is July 8, 2015.

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Obama to Nominate Charlotte Mayor Foxx to DOT Secretary

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Source: truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/04/
obama-to-nominate-charlotte-mayor-foxx-to-dot.aspx

President Obama will nominate Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx to be Secretary of Transportation, news sources are reporting.

Foxx would replace Ray LaHood, who has said he would serve until a successor is confirmed.

Foxx, 41, is considered a rising political star. Politico named him one of “50 to watch” after his successful bid to bring the 2012 Democratic National Convention to Charlotte.

Foxx was elected mayor in 2009. Since then he has pushed to expand public transit, helped develop a new inland port and worked on a new runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

“As mayor of one of America’s most vibrant cities, Anthony Foxx knows firsthand that investing in world-class infrastructure is vital to creating good jobs and ensuring American businesses can grow and compete in the global economy,” said a White House official cited in The Washington Post.

Foxx was born and raised in Charlotte by his single mother and grandparents. He graduated from Davidson College, where he was the first African-American student body president, and from the New York University School of Law.

He worked as an appellate court clerk, as a staffer in the U.S. House and as a practicing attorney in Charlotte before moving full time into politics.

He was elected to the Charlotte City Council in 2005, serving two terms before being elected mayor in 2009.

Source: truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/04/obama-to-nominate-charlotte-mayor-foxx-to-dot.aspx

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Secretary LaHood Announces 5th Round of Funding from TIGER Grant Program

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DOT 35-13
Monday, April 22, 2013
Contact:  Justin Nisly
Tel.:  (202) 366-4570

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the availability of $474 million for a fifth round of the highly successful TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program to fund surface transportation projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area.

“President Obama has challenged us to make sure our nation’s transportation infrastructure is up to the job of attracting and supporting businesses and the families that rely on them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood.  “TIGER 2013 will contribute to increased mobility for people and freight, and economic growth by helping to improve existing and develop new transportation facilities that will strengthen our competitiveness and create jobs.”

Projects eligible for TIGER grants include highways and bridges, public transportation, passenger and freight rail transportation and marine port infrastructure investments.  Grants may range in size from $10 million to $200 million.  Grants to rural areas may be for less than $10 million, but must be more than $1 million.  No less than $120 million must be awarded to projects in rural areas. 

The four previous rounds of TIGER provided $3.1 billion to support 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, with more than 4,050 applicants requesting more than $105.2 billion over the previous rounds. 

More than 100 of the TIGER grants were awarded directly to city or county governments that are otherwise unable to directly access traditional sources of Federal funding for their projects. Similarly, more than 19 TIGER grants were awarded directly to port authorities, and eight to tribal governments. TIGER has also helped catalyze 11 multi-state projects, which would have been difficult to advance through Federal formula programs.

The FY 2013 Appropriations Act requires that TIGER funds be obligated before October 1, 2014.  The limited amount of time means the Department will give priority to projects that are ready to proceed quickly.  In addition to project readiness, primary selection criteria include improving the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems; contributing to the economic competitiveness of the United States and creating and preserving jobs; increasing transportation choices and access to transportation services for people in communities across the U.S.; improving energy efficiency, reducing dependence on oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and improving safety.

Applications are due June 3.   You can click here to view the Notice of Funding Availability.

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New Research Assesses Navigation System Use in the Trucking Industry

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Arlington, VA - On April 17, 2013, The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released findings from the first phase of a two-part research initiative aimed at assessing the use of navigation systems in large trucks.  This first phase of the research, which analyzed survey data from over 800 drivers and carriers, identifies different systems and how they are used, as well as industry perceptions of navigation system effectiveness.

“This research is an important first step in understanding the role of navigation systems in large truck crashes.  By identifying the types of systems used, how drivers use them, and the types of crashes that may result from their use, industry stakeholders and policy makers can begin to implement crash mitigation strategies and hopefully, reduce the overall occurrence of these events,” commented Kendra Hems, President of the New York State Motor Truck Association. 

Furthermore, this study identifies the key priorities that navigation system providers should address in order to meet the needs of the trucking industry.  ATRI’s phase 2 work will expand the research by collecting and comparing quantitative data from navigation systems while in use.  This next step will attempt to identify the technical basis for navigation system failures and inadequacies from a truck operations perspective.

A copy of this report is available from ATRI at www.atri-online.org.

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National Work Zone Awareness Week

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"Work Zone Safety: We're All In This Together"

National Work Zone Awareness Week is held annually to bring attention to motorist and worker safety, as well as mobility issues in work zones.

The 2013 theme highlights the complexities of work zones, and the need for awareness and planning on the part of everyone affected by work zones including: State departments of transportation, road workers, drivers, bicyclists, motorcycles, pedestrians, emergency responders, law enforcement officers, and utility workers.

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI) offers a series of Design and Traffic Operations courses that provide best practices to help professionals plan, design, operate, and maintain highway work zones that improve safety for workers and the driving public. These courses will help practitioners consider work zone safety and mobility through all project phases.

 Select a course title for more information, and to register.

133110 Strategies for Developing Work Zone Traffic Analyses

133112 Design and Operation of Work Zone Traffic Control (1-Day)

133112A Design and Operation of Work Zone Traffic Control (3-Day)

133113 Work Zone Traffic Control for Maintenance Operations 

133114 Construction Zone Safety Inspection (1-Day)

133114A Construction Zone Safety Inspection (1.5-Day)

133115 Advanced Work Zone Management and Design

133119 Safe and Effective Use of Law Enforcement Personnel in Work Zones

133120 Work Zone Traffic Analysis Applications and Decision Framework

For more information contact NHI at 703-235-0500 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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News from Truckers Against Trafficking

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Hello friends and supporters,

We are excited to share this 2nd quarter newsletter with you. So much has happend in the last three months, and we continue to move forward in our goal of equipping the trucking industry to recognize and respond to child exploitation and human trafficking. We do that with your help and support, and it's amazing to see what a difference each of you are making in the fight against human trafficking!
 
Every call makes a difference. Every driver trained on recognizing the signs of human trafficking makes a difference. Every wallet card in the hands of those of you that are the eyes and ears of our nation's highways makes a difference. Thank you for the work you do. We are privileged to be a part of it.
 
Truckers Against Trafficking

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United Nations honors truckers and trucking industry for anti-human trafficking efforts    
 
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has been named one of the top 100 practices for combating human trafficking by the United Nations' 2013 Protection Project Trafficking in Persons report.
 
Included in the report's section on "The Role of Civil Society," TAT is described as follows:
 
TAT is an organization of members of the trucking and travel plaza industry who are committed to eliminating human trafficking by designing and participating in education and awareness campaigns aimed at truckers and the trucking industry.
 
To spread information, TAT has designed posters, brochures, and flyers that are placed at truck stops, as well as wallet cards to be distributed to every trucker in the United States. Those items call on truckers to contact the National Anti-Trafficking Hotline when coming across cases of human trafficking. Between December 7, 2007, and May 31, 2011, the hotline reported more than 125 calls from truck drivers. Of those, 60 percent were the direct result of the TAT awareness campaign.
 
TAT has created a training DVD that features (a) truckers who have seen human trafficking taking place on their routes, (b) a trafficking victim rescued from a truck stop through the call of a trucker, (c) actual footage of prostituted women at a travel plaza, and (d) information on concrete ways that members of the trucking and travel plaza industry can fight this crime in the course of their daily work. The training DVD can be used as part of the orientation for all truck stop and travel plaza employees, all students of private and public trucking driving schools, and all truck drivers who are employed by major carriers or are owner-operators.
 
"We commend every member of the trucking industry who identifies as a trucker against trafficking," said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, "and feel it is an honor well earned by all of them. We believe the trucking industry is proving itself a leader across the entire transportation industry when it comes to fighting human trafficking."

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Colorado coalition build deemed successful event
 
"One of the most satisfying activities we're involved in is building partnerships or coalitions between law enforcement and members of the trucking and travel plaza industry," commented Kendis Paris, TAT executive director. "Seeing relationships develop between these two front-line groups, as well as trust and mutual understanding of how to best work together to fight human trafficking, is powerful."
 
To that end, TAT participated in its third coalition-build event between law enforcement and members of the trucking industry in Denver on March 14.
 
"TAT would like to thank the FBI, the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, iEmpathize, Praxus, the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, the Southern Colorado Human Trafficking Task Force and the Denver Metro Crimestoppers for their fine support and promotion of the event," Paris said. "I received good comments from those who attended and believe everyone walked away with a greater understanding of the problem and what to do to fight it."
 
General managers from TA/Petro, Pilot/Flying J and Tomahawk attended, along with many law enforcement agencies, including the Denver Police Force, Wheat Ridge, Commerce City and the Douglas County Sheriff's office.
The half-day conference provided training on human trafficking, with a specific emphasis on domestic sex trafficking and how it presents itself at truck stops, as well as an opportunity to forge connections for the creation of next steps in the fight against human trafficking. Trafficking survivor Audrey T. helped participants understand the realities facing those who are trafficked by sharing her personal story.
 
Previous coalition-build events in which TAT has participated have been held in Southern California and in Ohio in recent months, with more being planned. The events seek to build relationships and greater cooperation between law enforcement and the trucking industry for more effective work in the fight against human trafficking in that area.
 
If law enforcement in your area would like to have such a coalition-build, please have them contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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TAT invited to participate in human trafficking awareness training for law enforcement
 
On the recommendation of the FBI, TAT was invited to provide joint training with Ray Herndon, founder of Diamondback Training, LLC to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol on how to spot human traffickers during a routine commercial motor vehicle (CMV) stop.
Diamondback Training, LLC is a cutting-edge law enforcement training organization specializing in CMV criminal interdiction. Criminal interdiction addresses many facets of criminal activity, including domestic terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and cargo theft, to name a few.
 
Herndon is a nationally recognized veteran law enforcement officer who has had a parallel career in the trucking/transportation industry for over 25 years, both as a business/small fleet owner and employee/driver.
 
"We've partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking to help create a proactive partnership between law enforcement and the transportation industry to provide quality standardized human trafficking training to both law enforcement officers and transportation industry workers," Herndon commented.
 
"It's imperative that both sides receive similar training, so we're all on the same page," he continued. "Communication is key, and a breakdown in that communication may cost a human trafficking victim their only chance at freedom. We, all, as human beings, are obligated."
 
Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, concurred, "TAT is very pleased to be partnering with Ray and Diamondback, as his vast experience in both law enforcement and the trucking industry enable him to deliver a wealth of information on the subject of human trafficking. When members of the trucking industry and law enforcement are on the same page, we know there's a much greater chance of criminals being caught and victims being rescued. So we welcome the opportunity, whenever possible, to work with and help facilitate the training for each group."
 
She continued, "TAT actually sponsored (thanks to a special donation from the Pattens) his appearance at the National Crime Enforcement Association in Tulsa, Oklahoma in March, where over 1000 law enforcement officers heard about TAT from Ray. Mark Brown, TAT chairman of the board, ran the TAT booth at the event, speaking with many law enforcement officers and distributing TAT materials."
 
Diamondback Training, LLC is now sporting the TAT logo on one of its latest trucks used in law enforcement training as yet another way to get the message out there that the trucking industry is working to end the crime of human trafficking along our nation's highways, roads and streets, and wherever they see it.

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 TAT continues to grow as more trucking associations join
 
In the past few months, the Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association (MMTA) and the Motor Transportation Association of Connecticut (MTAC) have come on-board with TAT.
 
In the letter it sent to members, MMTA said, "The association was very involved in efforts made to pass this legislation in Massachusetts, and by joining TAT, MMTA hopes to raise awareness of this problem and educate the industry on what to look for if they suspect a human trafficking incident, what specific information is needed for local law enforcement and how to report any suspicions."
 
In addition to these latest two state associations, other state associations already working with TAT in their states are Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana and Oklahoma. Nationally, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) and the North American Truck Stop Network (NATSN) have all joined TAT, along with numerous trucking companies and truck-driving schools.

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What is TAT?
 
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a non-profit organization that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize the trucking industry to combat human trafficking as part of their regular jobs. To a great extent, domestic sex trafficking occurs along our nation's highways and at its truck stops, where traffickers can sell their victims to a transient population they believe are less likely to attempt rescue. In response, TAT is asking the 3.5 million domestic truckers, as well as other members of the trucking industry, to become aware of this issue, and, when they suspect a human trafficking case, to call the national hotline and report it.

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FMCSA Will Miss Deadline for ELD Rule, Ferro Says

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=31692

By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the April 8 print edition of Transport Topics.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will miss an October deadline set by Congress to mandate electronic logging devices in all trucks, according to Administrator Anne Ferro.

Instead, the agency will publish a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking for the mandate in September, and the mandate itself will likely be finalized a year later, Ferro said during a chat at the Mid-America Trucking Show late last month. The requirement will probably be implemented in 2016.

That timeframe is later than what Congress asked for in MAP-21, last year’s transportation funding law, which called for the regulation to be finalized by Oct. 1 and to take effect two years later.

Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=31692

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FMCSA Urged to Lift Standards for Training of Novice Drivers

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Source: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=31632

By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the April 1 print edition of Transport Topics.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Truck drivers and instructors told Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials they should mandate far more training for new drivers than currently required.

Many of the two dozen or so speakers at a listening session here were in agreement that too many driver training programs teach only basic skills and put drivers out on the road too quickly, which is hurting the entire industry’s image.

There was, however, no exact consensus on what the proper number of training hours should be.

Continue reading at: ttnews.com/articles/petemplate.aspx?storyid=31632

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For-Hire Motor Carriers Asked To Participate In Operational Costs Survey

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Arlington, VA – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today launched a survey to update the 2012 Operational Costs of Trucking report.  The brief on-line survey seeks to capture basic cost information from for-hire carriers such as driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums and lease or purchase payments.  Carriers are asked to provide full year 2012 cost per mile and/or cost per hour data.

The results of this survey, combined with the previous Operational Costs of Trucking reports, will yield five full years (2008 – 2012) of trucking cost information derived directly from fleet operations.  This research provides carriers with an important high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with real world data for future infrastructure improvement analyses.

The operational cost data that for-hire motor carriers provide will be kept strictly confidential.  The survey is available online at www.atri-online.org and results will be available later this year.

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Carriers Struggle to Find, Hire Willing, Qualified Drivers

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By MATT KOESTERS

SELLERSBURG — It’s hard to find good help these days, and no one knows it better than Brandon Briscoe.

Briscoe is vice president of sales and operations at Talon Logistics, a Sellersburg-based trucking company. Talon first hit the road in 2003, and it now has about 120 employees. It could have a lot more, though.

Talon is just one of numerous area trucking companies with open positions it can’t fill because of a lack of willing, qualified candidates.

“We’re always having trouble finding quality drivers,” Briscoe said.

Across the state, 1,200 open trucking positions remain unfilled, while between 20,000 and 25,000 drivers are needed nationally, Barry Miller, director of safety for the Indiana Motor Truck Association, recently told the South Bend Tribune. An American Trucking Association study released this year claims that 90 percent of for-hire truckload carriers cannot find enough drivers who are capable of meeting Department of Transportation requirements.

And for companies like Talon, simply meeting DOT requirements isn’t enough, which further complicates the search.

“We’re pretty strict on our regulations on who we’re going to get — to get a guy who can really give the service you want to portray and represent your company out there,” Briscoe said. “It makes it kind of difficult right now, and it seems to get tougher and tougher each month to get that. I mean, capacity on the whole has really tightened up, especially in the last few weeks.”

Jeffersonville-based Mr. “P” Express is taking a proactive approach to finding drivers. It offers a 160-hour training course that prepares new drivers for entry-level trucking positions, and it’s not shy about trying to get the word out.

“We recruit drivers through television, through newsprint, through word of mouth — various means to get people who are unemployed, who are displaced through attrition or companies downsizing,” said Mr. “P” President Cindy Collier. “You’d be surprised at the people we have who come through the school that simply don’t have work and they decide, ‘You know what? I’m going to drive a truck.’

“We’ve worked with the folks at Fort Knox trying to get veterans in here. We’re interested in getting veterans in here, but we train our own drivers, and that’s our means of combating the shortage.”

WHY THE SHORTAGE?

The fact of the matter is that trucking isn’t a glamorous profession, Collier admits. Add that to the fact that a large number of drivers are approaching retirement age, and you’ve got a recipe for a shortage.

“We’ve got all of these thousands of drivers that are ready to retire, and then the younger generation is just not taking hold and deciding they want to be in the trucking industry. And it is a very hard life. It’s hard physically on drivers — the sleep patterns, the eating on the road.”

Briscoe agreed, adding that time away from friends and family can lead to burnout among younger drivers, which leads his company to lean more and more on partner carriers to pick up the slack. Combating turnover has been the key to minimizing the pain of the shortage, Briscoe said.

“Once a guy gets with us they typically stay because we have more of a family atmosphere and really try to appeal to their needs and the way they want to be treated,” he said. “So when you get a guy, you can’t lose guys. The best way to not [hurt] your business is keep who you hire and then when you add new people, make it an appealing opportunity for them to stay.”

And that means working with the truckers. Mr. “P” Express and Talon offer home time to their drivers, and both give the option of working over-the-road hauls or staying close to home.

GOOD MONEY

A truck driver can make anywhere from $35,000 to $80,000 a year, dependent on the driver’s willingness to take long hauls. But the money alone isn’t attracting drivers, and DOT regulations on operators is making the squeeze even more painful, Collier said.

“I have some of my customers that say to me, ‘You’ve been telling us the driver shortage was critical forever. Don’t you have a new song and dance?’” Collier said. “But the fact of the matter is, it really is critical, and the more and more stipulations that the government puts in place on us with the regulations, the hours and so forth, it just makes it that much harder, because we need more drivers than ever now because of the new regulations that are in place.”

And that hurts everyone in the end, she said.

“The shortage, people do not believe or understand that it is affecting everyone, because when you look around — when you walk into Walmart, everything that you see in there was trucked in there. That’s how it got there,” she said.