The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, released its 17th annual Top Industry Issues report, identifying a number of the industry’s key concerns including the driver shortage, driver retention, driver compensation, lawsuit abuse reform, truck parking and for the first time, the shortage of diesel technicians.
“The ATRI list of top industry issues provides a critical snapshot of the challenges impacting our industry at any given moment,” said ATA Chair Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Trucking, “and this year is no exception as supply chain constraints dominate the nation’s headlines. ATRI’s annual analysis not only captures the industry’s sentiment on the criticality of each of these issues but also maps out a course for addressing each through the stakeholder-ranked strategies.”
For the fifth year in a row, the Driver Shortage topped the list of industry concerns, garnering more than four times as many first-place votes as the number two issue, Driver Retention. Further reflecting the industry’s workforce challenges, Driver Compensation was ranked third overall. Lawsuit Abuse Reform rose three spots this year to take the number four spot and the lack of available Truck Parking rounded out the top five industry concerns. The Diesel Technician Shortage made the top-10 list for the first time this year, as the 10th ranked most critical issue in the industry.
Nearly 25 percent of the survey respondents were professional truck drivers and among driver respondents, Driver Compensation and Truck Parking tied for the number one industry concern. Detention / Delay at Customer Facilities was ranked by drivers as their second most pressing concern.
More than 2,500 trucking industry stakeholders participated in this year’s survey, including motor carriers, drivers, industry suppliers, driver trainers, law enforcement, and others.
“This year’s large response shows just how serious our industry is about identifying the most critical concerns and more importantly, figuring out how we collectively deal with each issue,” said ATRI President and COO Rebecca Brewster.
“It really is no surprise that truck driver-related issues – notably the driver shortage and driver retention – ranked so high on the survey. Coming out of the pandemic, with the increased demand for goods and other pressures on the supply chain, getting and keeping drivers has been a real challenge industrywide,” Brewster said. “We also see the impacts of the current supply chain crunch in how highly issues like driver compensation, truck parking, infrastructure and driver detention ranked on the list.”
Commercial motor vehicle inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. inspected 35,764 commercial motor vehicles during this year’s Brake Safety Week, a seven-day inspection and enforcement initiative aimed at inspecting commercial motor vehicles roadside and identifying and removing any commercial motor vehicles with dangerous brake-related issues from our roadways. Twelve percent of the vehicles inspected were placed out of service due to critical brake-related inspection item conditions.
Every year, for Brake Safety Week, law enforcement jurisdictions with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conduct commercial motor vehicle and driver inspections at fixed weigh stations, temporary pop-up inspection sites and during roving roadway patrols, paying special attention to brake components and systems. Participating jurisdictions capture and report data on inspections and the special focus area for that year. This year, the focus was on brake hose chafing violations.
CVSA devotes an enforcement initiative to brakes because of the importance of properly maintained and functioning brakes on commercial motor vehicles, including tractor trailers of all types, cargo tankers, vans, flatbeds, motorcoaches, straight trucks and specialty vehicles, such as cranes or automobile carriers, etc. “Properly functioning brakes may mean the difference between a catastrophic collision or the ability to avoid a crash,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Brake-related violations accounted for eight out of the top 20 vehicle violations in 2020, according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s data. And brake system and brake adjustment violations accounted for more out-of-service vehicle conditions than any other vehicle violation during CVSA’s three-day International Roadcheck inspection and enforcement initiative in May.
Fifty Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions, and Mexico’s National Guard and Ministry of Communications and Transportation participated in this year’s Brake Safety Week, which is a voluntary commercial motor vehicle safety initiative. In Canada, 1,903 commercial motor vehicles were inspected. The brake-related out-of-service rate was 15.4%. The out-of-service rate related to brakes in the U.S. was 13.5% out of the 28,694 commercial motor vehicles inspected. And in Mexico, 5,167 inspections were conducted with a brake-specific out-of-service rate of 2.6%.
Combined, for a North American total, 35,764 commercial motor vehicles were inspected, Aug. 22-28, for Brake Safety Week. Twelve percent of those vehicles were restricted from travel because inspectors found brake-related critical vehicle inspection item conditions and placed those vehicles out of service, using CVSA’s North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
That also means that 88% of the commercial motor vehicles inspected throughout North America during Brake Safety Week did not have brake-related critical vehicle inspection item violations. Vehicles that did not have any vehicle and driver out-of-service conditions during a Level I or Level V Inspection may have received a CVSA decal, which is a visual indicator to inspectors that the vehicle was recently inspected (valid for three months) and had no critical vehicle inspection item violations.
In addition, during Brake Safety Week, inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. recorded 5,667 brake hose chafing violations, which are a common brake-related violation, whether out-of-service or not. Inspectors reported brake hose chafing violations in five different categories, illustrating levels of chafing severity, including two which are out-of-service conditions, and submitted that data to CVSA.
Table 1: Percentage of brake hose chafing violations by category and country
Table 2: Number of brake hose chafing violations by category and country
Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program, in partnership with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and Mexico’s National Guard and Ministry of Communications and Transportation. Operation Airbrake is a comprehensive program dedicated to improving commercial motor vehicle brake safety throughout North America. The goal is to reduce the number of crashes caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles by conducting roadside inspections and educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation.
View results from previous Brake Safety Week initiatives, along with the results from previous Brake Safety Day initiatives, CVSA’s one-day unannounced version of its week-long brake-focused inspection and enforcement initiative.
Law enforcement officers in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. stopped 46,058 passenger vehicle and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers engaging in dangerous driving behaviors during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safer Driver Week safety initiative.
Officers pulled over 28,148 commercial motor vehicles and 17,910 passenger vehicles July 11-17 and issued 10,486 warnings and 16,863 citations. Throughout the week, law enforcement personnel pulled over and issued warnings or citations to drivers they observed engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or distracted driving. The goal of Operation Safe Driver Week is to dissuade dangerous driving behaviors through interactions between drivers engaging in risky driving behaviors and law enforcement officers, and through a heightened law enforcement presence on our roadways.
Table 1: Top Five Warnings and Citations:
Segmented by driver type:
Table 2: Top Five Passenger Vehicle Driver Warnings and Citations:
Failure to use a seat belt
Table 3: Top Five Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Warnings and Citations:
Speeding, which was the focus of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, was the top driver-behavior violation for both types of drivers. Officers issued 11,039 citations and 5,478 warnings for speeding/basic speed law/driving too fast for conditions. That’s 9,349 citations and 2,929 warnings for speed-related offenses to passenger vehicle drivers, and 1,690 speed-related citations and 2,549 warnings to commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Failure to wear a seat belt was the second most-cited violation, with 2,580 total citations and 1,308 warnings. Officers issued 1,355 citations and 354 warnings to passenger vehicle drivers, and 1,225 citations and 954 warnings to commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Law enforcement personnel also issued 9,302 warnings and 8,484 citations to drivers for state/local driver violations. Examples of such violations may include vehicle-related observations an officer may notice during a traffic stop, such as equipment violations, expired license plate tags, inoperative lamps, etc. Broken out by driver type, commercial motor vehicle drivers received 6,631 warnings and 4,007 citations, and passenger vehicle drivers were issued 2,671 warnings and 4,477 citations.
In addition to traffic enforcement, 2,469 motorists were assisted during Operation Safe Driver Week, highlighting law enforcement’s commitment to public service and roadway safety. Motorist assistance may include help fixing a flat tire, providing gasoline for a stranded vehicle, checking on someone who may be pulled over, assisting individuals in distress or experiencing a medical emergency, jump-starting a vehicle, traffic control, etc.
In Canada, officers pulled over 1,828 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 7,759 passenger vehicle drivers engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, and issued 275 warnings and 4,020 citations. Broken out, that’s 136 warnings and 593 citations for commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 139 warnings and 3,427 citations to passenger vehicle drivers.
Table 4: Top Three Warnings – Canada
Table 5: Top Three Citations – Canada
In Mexico, officers pulled over 2,449 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 785 passenger vehicle drivers for unsafe driving behaviors. Officers issued a total of 1,689 warnings and 528 citations. That’s 1,115 warnings and 412 citations for commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 574 warnings and 116 citations to passenger vehicle drivers.
Table 6: Top Three Warnings – Mexico
Following too closely
Table 7: Top Three Citations – Mexico
In the U.S., officers pulled over 23,871 commercial motor vehicle drivers and 9,366 passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors. Law enforcement personnel issued a total of 8,438 warnings and 12,264 citations, made up of 4,420 warnings and 3,158 citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers, and 4,018 warnings and 9,106 citations to passenger vehicle drivers.
Table 8: Top Five Warnings – U.S.
Table 9: Top Five Citations – U.S.
In addition to the data submitted to CVSA from its member jurisdictions in Canada, Mexico and U.S., the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also participated in this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week. The agency ran an investigative event, parallel to the Operation Safe Driver Week roadside activities, targeting motor carriers with a history of crashes and unsafe driving behavior.
FMCSA’s investigative event ran for seven weeks, from June 7 to July 16, with participation from all its divisions. The agency prioritized moderate-risk and high-risk carriers for remote on-site and off-site investigations.
FMCSA field staff completed 90 high-risk and 201 moderate-risk carrier investigations, resulting in 64 conditional ratings and 30 unsatisfactory ratings. Three driver notices of claim are planned, 21 carriers entered the denial of access process, 10 out-of-service orders were issued and one pattern of safety violations case is under review. Out of 291 investigations, nine resulted in enforcement for the violation of 392.2 – unsafe driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94% of car crashes are caused by drivers. And when a passenger vehicle collides with a large commercial motor vehicle, the result can be catastrophic. The majority of deaths in large-truck crashes are occupants of the passenger vehicle (71%), followed by the truck’s occupants (18%). CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week aims to prevent CMV-involved crashes through interactions between law enforcement and drivers.
“Since we know that most crashes are caused by drivers, the best way to prevent crashes is to start with the cause – drivers,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with South Dakota Highway Patrol. “If seeing a patrol car causes a driver to slow down in a high-risk crash area of the roadway, then we’ll put patrol cars in that area. If being stopped by an officer causes that driver to be more conscientious, then our officers will pull over unsafe drivers. We will continue to do our part to make our roadways as safe as possible.”
In partnership with the federal government, the law enforcement community and the motor carrier industry, CVSA launched the Operation Safe Driver program to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from dangerous driving behaviors.
The American Transportation Research Institute today released research that describes a framework for electric vehicle (EV) taxation to support transportation infrastructure. Through a small tax on the electricity that is used in transportation, the report identifies an approach to efficiently connecting the growing number of U.S. electric vehicles with highway trust fund (HTF) revenue streams.
At present, electric vehicles do not contribute substantively to state and federal highway trust funds. In fact, there are numerous programs that subsidize the use of electric vehicles, thus exacerbating the infrastructure investment deficit. ATRI’s analysis quantifies this revenue loss at more than $4 billion over the next 10 years.
The report suggests that U.S. electric utilities are well equipped to begin collection of a per-kWh charge of 2.1 cents for transportation-related electricity consumption in the coming years. Using a phased approach, utilities would identify, measure and tax electricity that is used for transportation – starting first with electricity that is dispersed through public charging stations and residential smart chargers.
“This analysis demonstrates how an electricity tax can easily emulate all the key components of a fuel tax. Moving forward with an efficient utility-based approach will help EV owners support the infrastructure that they use every day,” said Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association.
IMPORTANT Webinar - Register today!
The Owner-Operator Model - Avoiding Misclassification
This Thursday, September 30th - 10 am - 11 am
Guest Speaker Greg Feary, Scopelitis Law Firm
This webinar will discuss:
Complementary Webinar sponsored by NJMTA Member True North Insurance for NJMTA members
Click HERE REGISTER
The American Transportation Research Institute today launched a new data collection initiative to better understand the motivating factors for being an owner-operator, independent contractor, or company driver. This research was identified by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee as a top research priority in 2020.
Drivers are asked to provide input through an online data collection form that will measure what job-related factors contributed to becoming an owner-operator, independent contractor, or company driver and whether those expectations have been met. This timely research will provide valuable insight into understanding how drivers could be impacted by legislative and regulatory actions that may impact the way in which drivers are classified.
“This ATRI data collection initiative will be critical to understanding why drivers choose the type of employment they do. The motivations behind these choices and their level of satisfaction are important for understanding what types of employment opportunities drivers are looking for and why,” said Tom Weakley, OOIDA Foundation Director of Operations and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.
Commercial motor vehicle inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. conducted 10,091 inspections and placed 1,273 vehicles out of service for brake-related critical vehicle inspection items on May 26. Inspectors tracked and reported this data to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) for Brake Safety Day, the Alliance’s unannounced one-day inspection and enforcement initiative focused on brake systems.
In addition, inspectors compiled and reported data specifically on brake hoses/tubing, the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Day. Canada, Mexico and the U.S. reported a total of 1,725 brake hoses/tubing violations from the one-day unannounced brake safety initiative.
View the full press release for much more data and information.
The large ten foot table in Linden Mayor Derek Armstead's office is crowded with neatly organized files. It's understandable since the vacant land in his city has become attractive for warehouse facilities.
The reality is that the tremendous need for warehouse space to meet the bustling Port of New York and New Jersey and the availability of vacant land and even some deserted retail box stores buildings has made the city an inviting location.
So much so, that Linden officials claim to be hub of warehouse development - the largest in the entire east coast. The lack of available space elsewhere and the potential at the city's Trembly Point road made the city a natural.
Armstead points to the Linden's new logistics center along the New Jersey Turnpike with a staggering 840,000 square feet and a second building of 480,000 square feet both located less than 20 miles for New York City. With access from USI, Marine Terminal and the Turnpike the city became a natural for the ferocious warehouse surge.
The difference is that while some communities such as Robbinsville and Piscataway have mounted legal challenges to warehousing, the vacant and underutilized land in Linden made it a welcome location.
One published report estimated that 11.1 million square feet of warehouse space was leased just in the past fiscal quarter of 2021. For the trucking industry the evening television shows urging online shopping means there has to be a place to store the goods before being delivered.
The warehouse locations in Linden have become home to Amazon, and Walgreens among others. For Mayor Armstead, the ability to provide new job opportunities, new tax ratables, and little demand for municipal services is a coup.
For the motor carrier industry that volume growth equates to demand for providing supply to the goods to meet the expansion.
By Frank Capece an attorney who represents Trucking Companies
Piscataway Township PD requested our assistance in reminding motorists of a 10-ton weight limit on River Road between Rt. 18 and I-287.
STMC: Beginning Tuesday, July 6, 2021 and continuing through Friday, August 6, 2021
Please activate the following messages as described below.
Please note that most of these VMS boards normally display travel times. To minimize interference with travel time messages, we are dedicating only one of three boards on each highway for the messages below.
We will alternate the messages on the other two boards, displaying travel times during rush hour as usual, and displaying the message below at all other times.
VMS # 58 - I-287 South @ Rt. 28 - Union Ave. (MP 13.6)
VMS # 97 - I-287 South @ Elizabeth Ave. (MP 11.5)
VMS # 98 - I-287 North at S. Randolphville Rd. (MP 7.3)
Message Activation Date: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.
Message Activation Times on VMS #58:Run message steady beginning Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. to Friday, August 6, 2021 at midnight.
Message Activation Times on VMS #97 & #98:Run messages Weekdays & Weekends 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (not to interfere with travel time messages).
Message Deactivation Date: Friday, August 6, 2021 at midnight
VMS # 165 – NJ 18 South @ Hoes Lane (MP 46.0)
VMS # 122 - . NJ 18 North @ NJTPKE (MP 39.5)
VMS # 171 - NJ 18 North @ River Rd. (MP 43.9)
Message Activation Times on VMS #171:Run message steady beginning Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. to Friday, August 6, 2021 at midnight.
Message Activation Times on VMS #122 & #165: Run messages Weekdays & Weekends 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (not to interfere with travel time messages).
With less than a week's notice, multiple misclassification bills were introduced and passed out of both the Senate and Assembly Labor Committees.
S-3920, would provide the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) greater enforcement powers in regards to violations of state wage, benefit and tax laws. It would also provide additional enforcement options in the Office of Administrative Law and in the courts through subpoena powers and injunctive relief.
This bill would permit the Commissioner to issue a stop-work order for one or more worksites, or across all the employer’s worksites. The orders remain in effect until the Commissioner finds that the employer has come into compliance and has paid any penalties assessed.
S-3921, would create the “Office of Strategic Enforcement and Compliance” within LWD. It would oversee and coordinate across the divisions of the department and, when necessary, between the department and other state agencies and entities, for strategic enforcement of state wage, benefit, and tax laws, as deemed appropriate by the Commissioner.
The bill would appropriate $1 million from the General Fund to the department to support and expand the Office of Strategic Enforcement and Compliance.
The third bill, S-3922, would streamline the identification of employee misclassification. Specifically, the bill would make misclassifying employees for the purpose of evading payment of insurance premiums a violation of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. The Act is currently silent on misclassifying employees as a form of insurance fraud.
The bill would specify penalties for fraud when misclassification occurs as $5,000 for the first violation, $10,000 for the second violation and $15,000 for each subsequent violation.
Identical bills were also passed in the Assembly (A5890/5891/5892)
The bills passed out of the Assembly 6/21. Should be on Senate list for 6/30 vote.
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