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  • 18 Aug 2022 4:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FMCSA announces the availability of the draft Medical Examiner's Handbook (MEH), which includes updates to the Medical Advisory Criteria published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and requests comments on the proposed regulatory guidance. The MEH and Medical Advisory Criteria provide information about regulatory requirements and guidance to medical examiners (ME) listed on FMCSA's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) who perform physical qualification examinations of interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The draft MEH with proposed changes to the Medical Advisory Criteria is available in Docket Number FMCSA-2022-0111.

    Comments must be received on or before September 30, 2022.


  • 11 Aug 2022 10:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enhanced the renewal process for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC®) to help support critical transportation workers. Starting August 11, 2022, TSA enabled the ability for current TWIC holders to renew their credentials online, which eliminates the need to go to an enrollment center and makes the five-year renewal process more convenient.

    TWIC is required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act for mariners and workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities and vessels. Jointly administered by TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard, TSA conducts a background check to determine a person’s eligibility and issues the credential. The Coast Guard regulates the use of TWIC in the maritime environment. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, naturalized citizens, asylum seekers, refugees, and nonimmigrants in lawful status may apply for the TWIC credential.

    Nearly 60 percent of TWIC holders renew their card every five years. Renewing online eliminates the need to go to an enrollment center, supports U.S. critical infrastructure and supply chain workers, and saves travel time and expenses associated with being away from work. Most eligible applicants receive their TWIC card in less than 10 days. Those applicants with more complex cases may require 60 days or longer for processing. Applicants may check their TWIC status online at any time.

    Most applicants, including U.S. citizens, nationals, and lawful permanent residents, will be able to renew online without the need to visit an enrollment center. Please visit TSA’s enrollment provider website for information on TWIC enrollments and renewals. If applicants encounter difficulty renewing online, they may contact customer service at (855) 347-8371. For more information on the TWIC program, visit the TSA TWIC website or the Coast Guard TWIC website.

  • 02 Aug 2022 12:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    PA Turnpike Commission Approves 5% Toll Increase for 2023 

    New toll rates will take effect systemwide on Jan. 8, 2023. 

    HARRISBURG, PA. (Aug. 2, 2022) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) today approved a 5% toll increase for 2023 for all E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers. The new rates will take effect across the toll-highway system on Jan. 8, 2023, at 12:01 a.m.

    Because of today’s action, the most-common toll for a passenger vehicle next year will increase from $1.70 to $1.80 for E-ZPass customers and from $4.10 to $4.40 for Toll By Plate customers. The most-common toll for a Class-5 tractor trailer will increase from $13.70 to $14.40 for E-ZPass and from $28 to $29.40 for Toll By Plate. After the increase is applied, E-ZPass and Toll By Plate rates for passenger and commercial vehicles will round up to the next dime. 

    E-ZPass drivers continue to receive the lowest rates across the PA Turnpike, saving nearly 60% compared to the Toll By Plate rates. Non-E-ZPass customers can download the PA TOLL PAY smartphone app to create an autopay account and receive 15% savings on monthly Toll By Plate invoices. To learn more visit https://www.paturnpike.com/toll-by-plate/pa-toll-pay-app. 

    “The PTC has been forced to increase tolls annually through the foreseeable future to meets its financial obligations under Act 44 of 2007, said PTC CEO Mark Compton. “It’s worth noting that, even with these ongoing annual increases, our per-mile toll rate continues to be below the midline compared with rates of other U.S. tolling agencies.” 

    The PA Turnpike’s Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) rates — i.e., E-ZPass rates — rank 24th out of 47 U.S. tolling agencies (see chart). In fact, the PTC’s 13.8 cent-per-mile ETC rate is 20% lower than the national average of 17.8 cents-per-mile, according to the latest available data.* 

    Act 44 of 2007 required the PA Turnpike to transfer between $900 and (more recently) $450 million annually to the Commonwealth to support transportation projects statewide.

    In the 15 years since Act 44 of 2007, the PA Turnpike has transferred nearly $8 billion in funding to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation — the vast majority of which was in the form of borrowing (issuance of bond debt) that must be repaid by the PTC over a 30-year period.

    Up until this year, the PTC’s annual requirement to the Commonwealth had been $450 million. But as of July 1, that dropped to $50 million per year in cash proceeds — no further bond issues — because of PA Act 89 of 2013. Due to the terms of the Act-44 bonds, the PTC’s debt service will continue to rise even though borrowing has ended, growing to an annual maximum of $600 million by 2038 before it starts to decrease.  

    “As an organization, I am proud of the fact that we work hard to manage the debt placed upon us by making prudent borrowing decisions and restricting operating-budget growth,” Compton said. “While we are now essentially free from this onerous Act-44 commitment, we must continue to honor the debt-service obligations for 30 years. But a measure of relief is under way, and motorists can expect the level of increases to ease in a few years.”

    Based on current traffic and revenue projections, the PTC’s plan calls for future toll increases of 5% through 2025, 4% in 2026, 3.5% in 2027, then 3% annually from 2028 to 2050.

    The PTC began making Act 44 payments to PennDOT in August 2007 and has increased tolls annually since 2009, providing $8 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT in 15 years.

    The PA Turnpike continues to make it easier and more convenient to pay tolls. It recently partnered with the KUBRA Cash Payment Network so customers can use cash to pay Toll By Plate invoices and add funds to E-ZPass accounts at popular drug, discount, and convenience stores in PA and across the U.S.  A list of retailers can be found by clicking https://www.paturnpike.com/pay-a-bill/cash-payments. 

    To pay in cash, customers select the “pay” option when accessing their account online or via the PA TOLL PAY app. A list of nearby retailers will display. The customer must generate a pay slip — which includes a $1.50 fee — before visiting a store to pay cash.  

    “This partnership will benefit customers who don’t have a bank account or who prefer to use cash over other payment methods,” Compton said. “It allows anyone who wishes to travel the PA Turnpike the ability to pay tolls with cash at a nearby retailer they are probably already visiting.”  

     TOLL INCREASE CHART - FINAL_News_Release_Toll Increase_2023 (wildapricot.org)

  • 30 Jun 2022 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The George Washington Bridge will be transitioning to cashless tolling on July 10, 2022. The benefits of cashless tolling include providing a more streamlined travel experience, reduced travel times, enhanced safety, and the reduction of auto emissions – among a host of others.

    Cash payments will no longer be accepted. Trucks using the George Washington Bridge must pay tolls using an E-ZPass tag or Tolls by mail. Without an E-ZPass account, cashless tolling will add an administrative burden of managing your vehicles or fleet’s toll activity and processing toll payments in-house as well as the potential for unnecessary and costly violations and late fees if those payments are delayed for any reason.

    Cashless tolling works by scanning the E-ZPass tag mounted on a vehicle’s windshield and then charging the toll to the E-ZPass tagholder’s account. Vehicles without E-ZPass tags also pass seamlessly through toll points without stopping using Tolls by Mail. Instead of having tags scanned, license plates are photographed, and toll bills are mailed to registered owners. These toll bills can be paid online, by mail, by phone, or at certain local retailers.

    Truckers who do not already have an E-ZPass tag are strongly encouraged to sign up for an E-ZPass account as soon as possible. 

    For vehicles that are issued Special permits and cross the George Washington Bridge, the following information outlines the upcoming Specials movement procedures.

    Specials processes remaining the same:

    • PAPD validates all special vehicle permits.
    • Overnight Specials vehicles will assemble at Higgins Alley, as is the case now.
    • Overnight Specials will cross the Bridge at or around the same time as is done today.


    Specials processes changing after Cashless Tolling Implementation on July 10, 2022:

    o   The E-ZPass Exception form will no longer be used (or exist) after July 9, 2022.  The GWB Toll House will no longer be staffed after July 9, 2022. All tolls will be collected via E-ZPass and Tolls by Mail.  No cash will be accepted.

    o   Daytime special permit vehicles, upon arrival at Higgins Alley, will have to contact GWB Communications desk at (201) 346-4100.

    o   PAPD will escort Daytime Specials to TR-2 for access to the Bridge.


    Frequently Asked Questions:

    • Who is the midday contact for daytime specials?

    GWB Communications Desk (the message will be relayed to PAPD)

    • How should drivers contact the GWB Comm Desk?

    Call 201-346-4100

    • Where can I learn more about Tolls by Mail and how it works?

    Please call the NY Customer Service Center (CSC) 800-333-8655 and/or visit www.tollsbymailny.com  

    • How can I sign up for E-ZPass?

    Contact the NYCSC and/or visit https://www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/en/e-zpass.html

    • Questions about the GWB Specials process?

    Please visit https://www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/en/trucker-resources.html under the “Convoys, Oversize, and Overweight Vehicles” section of the Trucker’s Resource page or call 201-346-4100 for more information.


    Visit www.panynj.gov/feedback or call (800) 221-9903.

  • 29 Jun 2022 1:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is continuing the process of restoring back-up data and performing quality checks following a hardware failure in our data center. We released our Weekly Petroleum Status Report this morning that includes the data for the weeks ending June 17 and June 24.

    We will publish our U.S. and regional average weekly retail gasoline prices at 5:00 p.m. eastern time today. Our publication of weekly average gasoline prices will return to its regular schedule going forward.

    We will not publish U.S. or regional average on-highway diesel prices this week. We continue to restore systems necessary to process and publish that price data. We recognize the importance of the data to the public and to trucking and transportation companies that rely on our data for billing. We are doing everything possible to fully resume our on-highway diesel data releases as quickly as possible.

    Tomorrow, June 30, we will publish our Monthly Energy Review and our State Energy Data System updates. We will delay publication of other monthly data releases, including the Petroleum Supply Monthly, Natural Gas Monthly, and Electric Power Monthly, until next week.

    We will continue to provide regular updates regarding our data release schedule via our website and our Twitter account.

    We apologize for the inconvenience caused by our delayed data releases. We are committed to resuming our regular publication schedule as quickly as possible.

  • 25 Apr 2022 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 20, 2022, the Hon. Mary Ann Bogan, A.L.J. issued an initial decision in Farruggio’s Bristol and Philadelphia Express, Inc. v. New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, OAL No. LID 02027-17 finding, on summary judgment, that the owner-operator drivers that contracted with Farruggio’s Express were independent contractors, not employees. Accordingly, the Court found that Farruggio’s Express was not liable for state employment taxes in connection with the audit of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“NJDOL”). In that audit, NJDOL concluded that the drivers were employees because Farruggio’s lacked an IRS determination finding the owner-operators to be independent contractors, and that NJDOL had no obligation to examine the relationship in order to make such a determination.

    By way of background, NJDOL has under the current administration modified the regulations that it uses to determine employment for purposes of taxation and coverage for purposes of the Unemployment Compensation Act (“UCL”), notwithstanding that the underlying statutory scheme has not been changed by the legislature. In particular, there are approximately 25 numerous categories of work that are exempt from the broad ABC Test of employment generally used to make determinations for purposes of taxation and coverage under the UCL, including a specific exemption, N.J.S.A. 43:21-19(i)(7)(X), that applies to motor carriers leasing large trucks from owner-operators. Under current NJDOL regulations, since Farruggio’s Express is not subject to the general ABC Test of employment, the owner-operators will be deemed to be independent contractors – and the carrier not subject to UCL taxation -- if the carrier can show that it is not subject to federal employment taxation by obtaining an IRS determination that the carrier is not subject to those taxes. Notably, under the applicable federal test of employment applied by the IRS, carriers that genuinely adhere to an independent contractor relationship should be able to demonstrate that under the federal law test -- which more narrowly views employment than the ABC Test -- that the owner-operators are independent contractors, not employees that would subject the carrier to federal employment taxation. The complication is that IRS has no legal duty to provide such a ruling.

    Fortunately, Farruggio’s Express was able to obtain the requisite IRS ruling. Consequently, Judge Bogan had a simple task, namely, to determine whether or not Farruggio’s had the requisite IRS ruling. Since that was undisputed, Farruggio’s was entitled to summary judgment because NJDOL’s regulations require it to accept the IRS determination as conclusive.

    Since the federal test of employment will generally result in a finding that truckers who own their own trucks are independent contractors, the initial decision -- which is subject to administrative and judicial review -- affirms the ongoing viability of the independent contractor model that predominates at Port Newark and throughout the State of New Jersey.

    Farruggio’s Express is represented by Steven R. Rowland, Esq. of Brown Moskowitz & Kallen, P.C. in Chatham, New Jersey, who can be reached at 973-376-0909, ext. 1124, and at srowland@bmk-law.com 

  • 06 Apr 2022 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and New Jersey State Police will sponsor a training course titled: Hazardous Materials Instructor Training (DOT-501). The course will be facilitated by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC). There is no-cost to attend this course.

    The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) under the Department of Transportation requires that Hazmat Employers* train all Hazmat Employees** within 90 days of starting in the position and conduct recurrent training every three years thereafter.  The Hazardous Materials Transportation Train the Trainer course, is designed for personnel who will be preparing and conducting this training. Course participants will learn applicable PHMSA requirements as well as principles of adult education and effective instructional design. In addition, participants will learn how to develop a systematic training program to ensure that hazmat employees are trained in the five areas required by 49 CFR 72 Subpart H: General awareness/familiarization, Function-specific, Safety, Security awareness, and In-Depth security.


    This course is designed for industry personnel to include, hazmat employers, EHS professionals, operation managers, safety managers, shipping and receiving managers, hazardous waste generators, environmental consultants, warehouse supervisors, and Hazmat transporters, pPublic health.

    Sessions & Registration:

    Middlesex County, Sayreville: Middlesex Fire Academy
    May 17 – 19, 2022: 8:00AM – 4:00PM
    Registration: https://www.njhomelandsecurity.gov/calendar/2022dot501mc

  • 04 Apr 2022 10:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Starting today, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2022 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria are now in effect. The 2022 out-of-service criteria replace and supersede all previous versions. 

    CVSA’s North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria ensure uniformity, consistency and reciprocity among the states, provinces, territories and countries in determining whether or not drivers or vehicles present an imminent hazard and should be placed out of service. The federal regulations together with CVSA’s out-of-service criteria provide the standards that drivers, motor carriers and law enforcement personnel use to ensure the commercial motor vehicles and drivers on North America’s roadways are safe and compliant. 

    The voting members of the Alliance approved 14 changes to the out-of-service criteria, which are now in effect. In accordance with the CVSA Bylaws, the proposed changes were communicated to the voting members of the Alliance on Oct. 15, 2021, and ratified on Oct. 29, 2021. The out-of-service criteria are updated annually, effective April 1 of each year. 

    The following changes were made to the out-of-service criteria:

    • The policy statements in Parts I, II, III and IV were amended to better define out of service and imminent hazard.
    • A note was added to each section in Part I, Item 2. OPERATOR’S/CHAUFFEUR’S LICENSE OR PERMIT (NON-CDL) – a. Vehicle 26,000 lbs. (11,793 kg) or less GVWR not designed to transport 16 or more passengers or placarded loads of hazardous materials, or vehicles that, regardless of GVWR, do not require a CDL (e.g., exempt farm vehicles or fire apparatuses, etc.) and Item 3. COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE – a. License.
    • In Part I, Item 2. OPERATOR’S/CHAUFFEUR’S LICENSE OR PERMIT (NON-CDL) – b. Endorsements and Restrictions and Item 3. COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE – c. Endorsement and Restrictions, the note was amended for Mexican LFC Class B and E.
    • A clarification table for CDL and non-CDL drivers prohibited in the drug and alcohol clearinghouse was added to Part I, Item 7. DRUGS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES – c. Prohibited from Performing Safety-Sensitive Functions.
    • A note was added regarding brakes that are operational but not required in Part II, Item 1. BRAKE SYSTEMS – a. Defective Brakes – Defective Brake Chart.
    • Part II, Item 1. BRAKE SYSTEMS – d. Trailer Breakaway and Emergency Brakes (2) was amended to specify that a breakaway device can be attached to a permanently mounted hitch.
    • The wording and the reference table were amended in Part II, Item 1. BRAKE SYSTEMS – h. Air Brake Hose/Tubing (1) to clarify when an air hose should be placed out of service.
    • Part II, Item 1. BRAKE SYSTEMS – o. Hydraulic Brakes (1) through (11) was amended to add an out-of-service condition for when the entire master cylinder assembly is found loose.
    • Part II, Item 9. LIGHTING DEVICES (HEADLAMPS, TAIL LAMPS, STOP LAMPS, TURN SIGNALS AND LAMPS/FLAGS ON PROJECTING LOADS) – b. At Any Time – Day or Night (4) was amended to clarify that this section only applies to lighting systems and no other electrical systems.
    • Reference to a breaker strip in a steering tire was removed from Part II, Item 12. TIRES – a. Any Tire on Any Front Steering Axle of a Power Unit, (2).
    • Part III, Item 4. TRANSPORT VEHICLE MARKINGS – a. Identification (ID) Numbers Displayed on a Transport Vehicle – NOTE was revised to make the guidance clearer.

    The CVSA Training Committee, the Education Quality Assurance Team in Canada and the U.S. National Training Center’s Technical Review and Update Specialist Team have incorporated these changes, as appropriate, into North American Standard Inspection Program training materials, along with updated inspection bulletins, inspection procedures, operational policies and training videos. 

    There are several versions (print, electronic, other languages, etc.) of the 2022 out-of-service criteria available for purchase through the CVSA online store. The 2022 out-of-service criteria are also available for purchase in CVSA’s app by searching “CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria” in the App Store or Google Play store.

    CVSA hosted a webinar outlining the changes to the 2022 out-of-service criteria. The webinar is available to CVSA members through the online CVSA member portal. Once logged in, click on the CVSA Learning tab, then click on “Roadside” to view all past webinars.

    For questions about the criteria, contact CVSA Director of Roadside Inspection Program Kerri Wirachowsky via email or at 301-830-6153.

  • 29 Mar 2022 1:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 10-16. Law enforcement personnel in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will be on roadways throughout that week issuing warnings and citations to commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, drunk or drugged driving, etc.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) released its latest annual traffic crash report, showing that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide in 2020 – the highest number of fatalities since 2007. And while the number of crashes and traffic injuries declined overall, fatal crashes increased by 6.8%.

    Among the alarming statistics in NHTSA’s report was the key finding that speed-related fatalities increased by 17%. Consequently, speeding, in particular, will be a dangerous driving behavior that officers will identify and target during Operation Safe Driver Week.

    “The rising fatalities on our roadways are a national crisis; we cannot and must not accept these deaths as inevitable,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

    The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Program was created to improve the driving behaviors of all drivers and reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles on our roadways through educational and traffic enforcement strategies. Operation Safe Driver Week was created by CVSA with support from federal agencies in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., the motor carrier industry, and transportation safety organizations.

    “This safe driving initiative and campaign focuses specifically on drivers’ actions – whether it’s something a driver did, like speeding, or something they didn’t do, such as not paying attention to the driving task,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “This focus on drivers’ behaviors is our effort to identify and educate drivers who are operating dangerously on our roadways, with the goal of preventing crashes from occurring.”

    To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events in your area, contact the agency or department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety in your area.

  • 16 Mar 2022 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    More than 700,000 trucks voluntarily support nonprofit PrePass Safety Alliance to make America's highways safer, more efficient.

    For the first time, over 100,000 fleets representing more than 700,000 trucks chose to support PrePass Safety Alliance, the nonprofit public/private partnership that provides PrePass weigh station bypass and other truck safety and efficiency services. These motor carriers earn the opportunity to participate in PrePass and bypass weigh stations by maintaining current credentials and qualifying safety scores, making highways safer for all motorists.  

    Across North America, trucks may bypass at over 450 PrePass sites, saving time and cutting costs along the way. Drivers say they prefer fleets that provide PrePass because the time saved from bypassing can make the difference between getting home or spending mandated time off in a sleeper berth.

    "PrePass Safety Alliance thanks the trucking community for its continued support of PrePass," said Mark Doughty, President and CEO of PrePass Safety Alliance. "Without exception, these PrePass motor carriers go the extra mile to operate safely on our highways and deliver the goods. They make the Alliance mission to improve safety and efficiency on America's highways a reality."

    Since the founding of the Alliance, motor carriers have enjoyed nearly one billion bypasses, saving 400 million gallons of fuel, 80 million driver hours, and $7.5 billion in operational costs, all while reducing emissions by 875,000 metric tons.

    Carriers choose PrePass as their weigh station preclearance service because it gives them options in bypass technology. The PrePass app, which includes driver safety ALERTS, works as a standalone application or in conjunction with the PrePass transponder for weigh station bypassing. Customers also receive access to INFORM™ Safety software to help assess safety performance and improve safety scores. INFORM supplies inspection, violation, and weigh station bypass data dashboards available only through PrePass.

    About PrePass Safety Alliance:

    PrePass Safety Alliance is a nonprofit public-private partnership working to make highways safer and more efficient through innovative data-driven solutions. The Alliance owns the U.S.-based PrePass weigh station bypass system and data platform. To date, the Alliance has invested more than $900 million nationwide to deploy services to improve safety, reduce truck-related emissions and preserve highway infrastructure. For more information, visit PrePassAlliance.org.

    About PrePass:

    PrePass® is the leading truck safety bypass and data platform in North America. The PrePass service helps states to preclear qualified commercial motor carriers to safely bypass ports of entry and weigh station facilities at highway speeds. This minimizes delays in freight movement while saving PrePass carriers time, fuel, and money. It also helps government entities improve highway safety by focusing agency resources on at-risk carriers. More than 700,000 commercial vehicles in over 100,000 fleets use PrePass services based on safety compliance and up-to-date credentials. For more information, visit PrePass.com.

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