PA Turnpike Commission Approves Toll Increase for 2019
Six percent increase for all vehicles will start Jan. 6 next year.
HARRISBURG, PA. (July 3, 2018) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) at its bimonthly meeting today approved a six percent toll increase for 2019 both for E-ZPass and cash customers; the increase is set to start at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2019.
The toll increase will apply to all PA Turnpike sections and extensions, including the westbound Delaware River Bridge cashless tolling point (#359) in Bucks County, where tolls have not changed since January 2016.
Because of today’s action, the most-common toll for a passenger vehicle will increase next year from $1.30 to $1.38 for E-ZPass customers and from $2.10 to $2.25 for cash customers. The cashless toll at the westbound Delaware River Bridge will increase from $5.00 to $5.30 for E-ZPass customers and from $6.75 to $7.20 for those who use PA Turnpike TOLL-BY-PLATE. The most common toll for a Class-5 tractor-trailer truck will increase from $3.45 to $3.66 for E-ZPass and from $15.35 to $16.30 for cash. (Note, truckers in this class who use E-ZPass tend to take shorter trips than those who pay with cash or PA Turnpike TOLL-BY-PLATE).
The 2019 toll increase — like previous annual toll increases — is required to meet the PTC’s funding obligations as well as maintaining and improving the 552-mile PA Turnpike system.
“Since 2009, the PTC has increased tolls annually to make good on a funding obligation required by a 2007 state law known as Act 44,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Under that law, the commission has delivered $6.1 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT in the last 11 years.”
During the initial three years of this legal obligation — 2007 to 2009 — the PTC transferred $750 million, $850 million and $900 million respectively to PennDOT. Beginning 2010 through today, its directive has been $450 million annually.
Compton said the increase will also support efforts to manage the asset the PTC was assigned to build, operate and maintain in the mid 1930s — the PA Turnpike.
“Parts of our tollway will soon turn 78 years old, and we owe it to toll-paying customers to continue to invest in our road to make it safer, smoother and wider,” Compton said. “This year, about 84 percent of our $552 million capital budget is focused on renewing, rebuilding and widening our highway system which last year carried more than 200 million vehicles.”
The PTC has thus far reconstructed more than 132 miles of its system, with another 19 miles of roadway now being rebuilt and widened and more than 82 miles currently in planning and design phases. (The PTC does not receive tax appropriations to operate and maintain its roadway.)
The commission will post a 2019 trip calculator and toll schedule online later this summer. Visit https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/tollmileage.aspx
Family car trips are a summer standard. This year, because Independence Day falls mid-week, many travelers are starting well in advance and may be taking longer distance car trips. The PA Turnpike is estimating that 5.8 million vehicles will be on the roadway system beginning Friday, June 29 and concluding Sunday, July 8.
“Traveling during a holiday can be risky for a number of reasons. We want our travelers to have a safe trip and we have planned accordingly,” says Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “We ask that motorists also plan ahead. Be aware that additional traffic may mean more traffic accidents. Pay careful attention and take regular breaks.”
The significant daily traffic breakdown is as follows:
Friday afternoons are likely to be peak travel times. The less travelled days will be July 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 if you wish to plan accordingly.
The PA Turnpike will be conducting safety breaks at high traffic service plazas during this holiday period. Breaks, which are slated to inform and assist motorists, will occur from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza on June 30, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Allentown Service Plaza on July 6. Specially designed chalk art, which features work zone safety images, also will be on display.
Pennsylvania State Police “Troup T” will also have additional patrols on duty during this time. “On average, more people die in motor vehicle crashes on Independence Day than any other day of the year,” says Cpl. Holly Reber-Billings. "There's a high incidence of alcohol use, which sharply raises the risk of crashing. There are more people on the roads, and drivers may be navigating in unfamiliar areas. Pay attention to your surroundings not your cell phone. Texting and driving is dangerous, comes with harsh penalties and can be deadly.”
To help accommodate heavier holiday traffic, the Turnpike will suspend maintenance and construction work and have all available lanes open in each direction beginning 5 a.m. on Friday, June 29 through 11 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, with the exception of the Delaware River Bridge Exit 359, in Bristol Township, Bucks County. The westbound, right lane will be closed from 8 p.m. on Friday, June 29 through 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 1 for planned tolling equipment maintenance.
Motorists are also reminded to “Move Over” or “Steer Clear” when coming upon emergency vehicles including tow trucks stopped to provide assistance on the roadway. This is required by law to protect those stranded or working close to traffic. If you cannot move over safely, you should slow down and travel at a safe speed.
To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via mobile phone. To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:
ON THE PA TURNPIKE
· Variable & Digital Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike
· Highway Advisory Radio — 1640 AM (tune-in near interchanges)
· Turnpike Roadway Information Program (toll-free) — 866-976-TRIP (8747)
· Customer Assistance Center (toll-free) — 800-331-3414 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
ON THE WEB
· TRIPTalk — free, travel-alert smartphone app; download at https://www.paturnpike.com/travel/trip_talk.aspx
· Travel Conditions Map — live, interactive conditions map; view at https://www.paturnpike.com/webmap
· Waze — a crowd-sourced navigation app that provides real-time traffic conditions with input from other drivers; download at https://www.waze.com
FMCSA Electronic Logging Device (ELD)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has updated their website to provide a centralized location for its ELD Support email inboxes. The update includes the centralization of the following email inboxes:
ELD Malfunctions Extension Requests:
If you would like to file an ELD malfunction extension request per 49 CFR part 395.34 by email, please submit your extension request to ELD-Extension@dot.gov. Include the legal name, principal place of business address and USDOT number of the motor carrier. To request an extension from the FMCSA Division Administrator in the Field Office in your state, you may contact the office directly. FMCSA Division Administrator contact information can be found here.
Electronic Logging Device HOS Violation Information Graphic
FMCSA has posted an informational graphic that tracks daily and weekly HOS violation information. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/enforcement/electronic-logging-device-information-graphic
Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Frequently Asked Questions: The ELD Frequently Asked Questions have been updated with questions that address Non-compliant drivers and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Out of Service Criteria, Malfunctioning Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRD), and Malfunctioning AOBRD extension requests
If you have additional questions, please click here.
CVSA-certified enforcement personnel will conduct roadside inspections on commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week, Sept. 16-22, in order to identify and remove CMVs with critical brake violations from our roadways and to call attention to the dangers of faulty brake systems.
Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe CMV operation. Brakes must be routinely inspected and carefully and consistently maintained so they operate and perform to the manufacturer's specifications throughout the life of the vehicle. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency, posing serious risk to public safety on our roadways.
Data and research are clear:
Brake Safety Week aims to reduce the number of crashes caused by poorly maintained braking systems on CMVs by conducting roadside mechanical fitness inspections and removing dangerous vehicles from our roadways.
In addition to inspections and enforcement, outreach efforts by law enforcement agencies to educate drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance are integral to the success of the safety initiative.
During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspections conducted will include inspection of brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts; air or hydraulic fluid leaks; defective rotor conditions; measurement of pushrod travel; mismatched air chamber sizes across axles; air reservoir integrity and mounting; worn linings, pads, drums or rotors; required brake-system warning devices; and other brake-system components. Vehicles with defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will be placed out of service.
In addition, in the 12 jurisdictions using performance-based brake testing (PBBT) equipment, vehicle braking efficiency will be measured. PBBTs measure the cumulative brake force for the entire vehicle and divide it by the total vehicle weight to determine overall vehicle braking efficiency. The minimum braking efficiency for trucks is 43.5 percent, required by 393.52 of the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake Program, sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) customers are advised that the Plainfield Inspection Facility, located at 1600 South Second Street, will permanently close at the end of business (noon) on Saturday, June 30, 2018.
Customers may choose to use the following nearby State Inspection Facilities:
Alternate inspection locations may be found by visiting:
State inspection facility hours of operation are:
Further customer information is available by calling (888) NJ-MOTOR.
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a former New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission clerk was sentenced to prison today for operating a scheme in which he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in payments in return for allowing over 200 people to obtain permits and licenses without passing required exams.
Rodman Lora, 39, of Ridgewood, N.Y., a former clerk at the Lodi MVC Agency, was sentenced today to seven years in state prison, including two years and four months of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge James J. Guida in Bergen County. He pleaded guilty on April 16 to charges of conspiracy (2nd degree), computer criminal activity (2nd degree), and tampering with public records (3rd degree). He forfeited his state pension and is permanently barred from public employment. Deputy Attorney General Christopher J. Keating prosecuted the defendants and handled the sentencing hearings for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau.
Lora was charged in an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation revealed that Lora altered MVC driver records for over 200 people between 2014 and 2016, enabling them to obtain various permits and licenses without having passed the mandatory written and/or driving exams, including commercial driver’s licenses with school bus and HazMat endorsements. In return, he received cash payments averaging over $700 per license or permit.
The following three men previously pleaded guilty to third-degree tampering with public records in connection with the scheme. They also were sentenced today by Judge Guida.
“The illegal brokering and sale of driver’s licenses compromises public safety and security on multiple levels, by allowing unqualified drivers to share our roadways and by enabling criminals to steal identities and use false identities to commit crimes,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The MVC has enhanced its technology and programs to prevent this type of fraud, and we will continue to collaborate with them to investigate and aggressively prosecute those responsible.”
“We left no stone unturned in our investigation, charging a total of 70 people, including many defendants who illegally obtained licenses through this scheme,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The prison sentences ordered for this former MVC clerk and one of his runners send a strong deterrent message that document fraud of this kind is a serious crime that will be met with serious penalties.”
“I’m so proud of our staff for uncovering these bad apples and helping to root them out of a great organization full of hard-working, honest people dedicated to serving millions of New Jerseyans on a daily basis,’’ said MVC Chair and Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. “The MVC does not tolerate any type of criminal activity whatsoever, either from employees or customers. This case is a prime example of our efforts to weed out fraud and abuse and enhance security throughout the entire organization. We will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to ensure the quality and integrity of our motor vehicle services, and the safety of New Jersey drivers.”
Nine defendants were indicted with Lora, including the three men sentenced with him today and six others. Two pleaded guilty previously to tampering with public records and face sentences of probation: Carlos Vicuna, 37, of Elizabeth, N.J., was a “runner” for the scheme, and Jose Lora, 45, of Newark, N.J., Lora’s brother, received a commercial driver’s license without passing the written exam. Four defendants were admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.
Beyond the indictment charging those 10 defendants, the investigation led to charges against 60 other customers and runners, bringing the total defendants to 70. Seven of those 60 pleaded guilty to tampering with public records and face probation, and 52 were admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.
The investigation was conducted for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau by Detective Cecil Boone, Sgt. Kelly Howard, Detective Jessica Marcacci and Analyst Terri Drumm, under the supervision of Sgt. Andrea Salvatini, Lt. Bill Newsome, Acting Bureau Chief Andrew Johns, Deputy Bureau Chief Jacqueline Smith, and Division of Criminal Justice Deputy Director Jill Mayer.
The Motor Vehicle Commission uncovered the alleged scheme involving Lora and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice after an initial internal investigation and audit. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Motor Vehicle Commission’s Division of Security, Investigations & Internal Audit for its referral and valuable assistance. He also thanked the following agencies that assisted in the investigation: Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Department of Treasury-Division of Payroll, Lodi Police Department, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
This case came to light through the efforts of NJ MVC Investigator 2 Johannes Segboer of the Security & Investigations Unit (SIU), under the direction of SIU Supervising Investigator Richard Stryker and SIU Chief of Investigations James Clifford. NJ MVC Information Technology (IT) personnel were also brought into the mix by SIU Supervising Investigator Gary Nucera, who realized the need for specific database searches to be designed and conducted in order to identify the full extent of the fraudulent activities perpetrated by Rodman Lora: IT Director Joseph Csolak, Administrative Analyst 4 Philip Fink, Administrative Analyst 3 Alyssa Rosenlicht and Administrative Analyst 3 Carol Sokolowski. Their assistance was of great value throughout. Even after the matter was referred to the NJ DCJ, Investigator Segboer and the NJ MVC IT Team continued to support DCJ in their investigation.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a toll-free tip line 866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities. The public can also log on to the Division of Criminal Justice webpage at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially..
A number of states have a variable component to their fuel taxes, typically designated either as a sales tax on fuel or as a part of the fuel tax itself, tied to fuel price or some other index. For purposes of the International Fuel Tax Agreement, states that have varying rates may change them no more frequently than quarterly.
California, which has a large sales tax component embedded in its fuel tax, only adjusts its IFTA rate on diesel – that is, the per-gallon rate it charges per gallon on underpurchases or allows as a per-gallon credit on overpurchases in the state -- once a year, to reflect changes in prices in the interim since the last adjustment.
Since this is done only once every twelve months, the adjustment can sometimes be quite considerable. And so it will be in 2018, when the California’s IFTA rate on diesel (the state does not require gasoline to be reported for IFTA) will jump from 57 cents a gallon to 70 cents on July 1, two weeks off.
We don’t usually report adjustments in IFTA rates in the SLN before they take effect, but this change in California is so large, and affects so many trucking companies, that we’ve made an exception for it. Other changes in tax rates for the third quarter will be published in our quarterly fuel tax rate chart early in September.
SOURCE: THE STATE LAWS NEWSLETTER
The NYS Thruway Authority is trying to get users of the NYS Thruway to fill out a survey about the services they provide and the services people would like to see.
There is an entire survey dedicated for the opinions of commercial drivers. Considering the responses will help determine what changes the Thruway Authority will make to accommodate commercial drivers, please take a moment to complete the survey. Many thanks for your input.
The survey is available at: www.Thruwaysurvey.com
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today issued a data call for the annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report. Among the for-hire fleet metrics being requested by ATRI are driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums and lease or purchase payments. Carriers are asked to provide full-year 2017 cost per mile and/or cost per hour data.
The results of this data collection, combined with the previous Operational Costs of Trucking reports, will yield 10 full years (2008 - 2017) 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 transportation infrastructure investment decisions.
"It's not hard to understand why ATRI's Operational Costs of Trucking report is among its most-requested studies - fleets large and small can use ATRI's analysis to identify ways to improve your operating efficiency. We look forward to participating in this year's data collection and encourage others to do so as well," said Mark Droubay, president of Double D Distribution in Salt Lake City, Utah.
For-hire motor carriers are encouraged to provide confidential operational cost data to ATRI by Friday, June 22, 2018. ATRI's data collection form is available online at www.truckingresearch.org. The results of this study will be available later this year, however participating motor carriers will receive an advance copy of the report.
Following a review of the requirements put in place in 2016 regarding the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” regulation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has taken action to correct an error that was made with regard to implementing the final rule.
OSHA determined that Section 18(c)(7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and relevant OSHA regulations pertaining to State Plans, require all affected employers to submit injury and illness data in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal, even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their own state rule.
OSHA immediately notified State Plans and informed them that for Calendar Year 2017 all employers covered by State Plans will be expected to comply. An employer covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of a state rule must provide Form 300A data for Calendar Year 2017. Employers are required to submit their data by July 1, 2018. There will be no retroactive requirement for employers covered by State Plans that have not adopted a state rule to submit data for Calendar Year 2016.
A notice has been posted on the ITA website and related OSHA webpages informing stakeholders of the corrective action.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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