To keep you looped into the trucking industry, we’re sharing all things transportation, from maritime to infrastructure and other newsworthy material.
Danger on the Roads
Wrecks, weather, and potholes, oh my… The road has always been a dangerous place, and truckers face these obstacles—and more—while on the road. In the last decade more than 500 truckers have been killed after being attacked, either as they have been parked or after a road rage incident. Tragedy struck again this week as a Florida-based trucker was shot in killed just outside of Chicago. Eduardo Munoz was at the end of his shift when he was allegedly shot by Anthony Tillmon according to ABC News Channel 7 Chicago. This will, without a doubt, bring more talk surrounding the Michael’s Law Amendment which looks to ensure gun rights reciprocity. The issue is still in the Senate but will likely see action before summer recess.
An Alabama-based fleet has been shut down after the driver of one of its vehicles crossed the center line and killed two people in an oncoming vehicle. The wreck occurred about a month ago, but the FMCSA’s investigation of the incident was not finalized until Monday. On top of finding the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel, the driver was not medically cleared to drive and had not kept any logs of his driving habits for over seven days. Other findings also related to the fact that the vehicles had not been properly maintained and were unsafe for over the road use. Over the last two years, J&L trucks had been placed out of service nine times in 12 inspections.
More Autonomous News
A company called Nvidia has announced its desire to create an autonomous truck. Known for its graphics chips powering video games, the company has seen growth recently by investing in connected car technologies. Launching partnerships with Paccar (Kenworth and Peterbilt parent company), Nvidia expects to have some sort of autonomous vehicle available to market by 2018.
The United States Senate has announced it is going to begin studying the effects of autonomous trucking on the economy and the potential of job losses created by these vehicles. In a bi-partisan supported effort, the Senate asked the Government Accountability Office to look into job displacement, when automated fleets will be able to replace current fleets, what type of skills will be required by those operating autonomous vehicles, and how government-funded programs for CDL training will be affected. These concerns had arisen after the FMCSA’s listening session held in Atlanta on April 24 regarding autonomous vehicles. While no deadline was given to the GAO for the study, commenting period from the listening session will remain open until the middle of July.
The state of Michigan is upping its speed limit to 65 mph on all highways. This includes trucks. On these same roads, the speed for cars will be upped to 75 mph. The reasoning behind the change was because studies have suggested more than 80 percent of the vehicles were already traveling at these speeds. The increase ranges from 5 to 10 mph and will take effect on January 5, 2018.
Congress is looking to make its regulation process for entities such as DOT and FMCSA more transparent. There are some differing opinions on how that should look between the Senate and the House but an agreement is expected to be made. The part that has gained the biggest praise is that the new regulation will request public input prior to the notice of proposed rulemaking is created. This, too, has a bi-partisan support.
Human trafficking has become more of a concern for the DOT over the years, and the tipping point has come for the state of Arkansas. Arkansas has passed legislation requiring all those applying for a CDL to take a human trafficking prevention course. Legislation has been adopted in Ohio and is pending is Texas and Kansas. The idea of this legislation is to make truckers aware of the signs of trafficking and report any suspicious activity to authorities.
There was plenty of other information roll through this week. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.