The Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus Rule, which looks to set strict emissions criteria for new engines sold in the state starting in 2024, is under consideration by CARB. The Truck Dealers Alliance of California (TDAC) has been urging California Governor Gavin Newsom to direct the CARB to align with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a single nationwide Low-NOx truck engine standard for 2027. For California-based fleets, a California-only engine standard will result in higher equipment costs, which will place those fleets and their dealer partners at a competitive disadvantage when contending with fleets and dealerships based out of state. A single, national engine standard across the United States is the only way to ensure a consistent and level playing field for all equipment operators and vendors in California. Source: TDAC
American Trucking Associations’ Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference has filed a federal lawsuit against the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and 10 international ocean carriers, alleging they colluded to manipulate the intermodal chassis market at dozens of ports across the country. The lawsuit seeks $1.8 billion in damages.
Read full article at https://www.ttnews.com/articles/imcc-sues-ocema-ocean-carriers-18-billion-chassis-dispute?utm_source=breaking%20news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News-Story-August-2020&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWXpBMFlqQmtaakEzTm1ReiIsInQiOiIwOW93bU9yS3pXMXo5TDV5YlwvUVNVeXB2QUhMTFwvbWRkVTRlM3VuSk5HRnlOSzFBZDFvYTBcL1BLc0I4K1hScWVLbzY3c3Ewd1BTT3NNcm5yMEIxa0F2dXpQWFNxeW5jalhKbVQ4SDE5RVpGUTc3dk5FNHZybkFDU1ltNklrK1MzUSJ9
In March 2020, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced the postponement of International Roadcheck due to the coronavirus pandemic, with new dates to be determined. CVSA has now rescheduled International Roadcheck for Sept. 9-11.
International Roadcheck is a 72-hour high-volume, high-visibility inspection and enforcement initiative when CVSA-certified inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. conduct commercial motor vehicle and driver inspections at weigh or inspection stations, at designated fixed locations or as part of roving mobile patrols. Over that three-day time frame, law enforcement personnel will inspect commercial motor vehicles for compliance with federal regulations and utilize the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria to identify critical inspection item violations.
Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is on the driver requirements component of a roadside inspection. According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) data, of the approximately 3.36 million inspections conducted in 2019, 952,938 driver violations were discovered, of which 199,722 were out-of-service conditions.
“Although the coronavirus pandemic, understandably, shifted priorities and personnel during the spring, the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement community has reasserted its focus on the roadside inspection program and enforcement duties,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “Jurisdictions are nearly back to their pre-pandemic capacity with a strengthened concentration on identifying and removing unfit vehicles and drivers from our roadways using federal safety standards and the out-of-service criteria.”
In the U.S., commercial motor vehicle inspections are conducted to check for vehicle and driver compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, a compendium of rules and regulations applicable to the motor carrier industry. In Canada, inspectors use a combination of the National Safety Code and various provincial/territorial regulations to verify commercial motor vehicle and driver safety compliance. And in Mexico, Normas Oficiales Mexicanas are the commercial motor vehicle regulations and standards established by the Mexican government.
During International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes two main inspection categories: an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. A third category, hazardous materials/dangerous goods, may also be part of a Level I Inspection. Depending on weather conditions, available resources or personnel, or other factors, inspectors may opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection. Roadside inspectors will conduct vehicle and driver inspections following their department’s health and safety protocols and procedures in consideration of the challenges associated with the pandemic.
For the driver portion of an inspection, the inspector will collect and verify the driver’s documents, identify the motor carrier, examine the driver’s license, check record of duty status and review periodic inspection report(s). If applicable, the inspector will check the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate and the driver’s daily vehicle inspection report. Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, illness, fatigue, and apparent alcohol or drug possession or impairment.
Drivers found to be operating without the proper driver credentials; in possession of or under the influence of drugs or alcohol; operating while ill, fatigued or showing other signs of impairment; or in violation of hours-of-service rules may be placed out of service.
The vehicle portion of an inspection includes checking critical vehicle inspection items such as: brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat (missing), exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers. Additional items for buses, motorcoaches, passenger vans or other passenger-carrying vehicles include emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments, and temporary and aisle seating.
If an inspector identifies critical inspection item violations that meet the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria during a vehicle inspection, the inspector will render the vehicle out of service, which means that vehicle will be restricted from traveling until those violations are corrected.
International Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by FMCSA, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Ministry of Communications and Transportation) of Mexico.
The New Jersey Motor Truck Association Golf Outing & Networking Event schedule for September 10 at Forsgate Country Club is filling up fast . Get your registration in today!
A special thank you so some of our sponsors
Major Tournament Sponsor - Safeway Trucking Corporation
Player Gift/Prize Sponsor - Atlantic Utility Trailer Sales, Inc.
Cocktail Party/Lunch Sponsor - Hall's Fast Motor Freight
Cigar Roller Sponsorship - National Retails Systems, Inc.
Mega Door Prize Sponsorship - NFI
Breakfast/Beverage Cart Sponsor - Hermann Transportation Services
Golf Cart Sponsor - Bergey's Truck Centers
Halfway House Sponsors - Strick Trailers & Campbell Freightliner & FedEx
Cup Sponsor - Mack Trucks, Inc.
Putting Green Sponsor - Edge Consulting
Email email@example.com if you have any questions.
Driver Knowledge Testing Restarts August 3
MVC Licensing Centers to Offer Testing by Appointment Only
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced today that driver knowledge exams, also known as “written” driver tests, will be available to all drivers, including commercial drivers, by appointment starting August 3. All Licensing Centers except Oakland and Flemington will offer the tests.
Appointments can be made up to thirty days in advance, at https://mymvc.state.nj.us/apps/schedule-knowledge-test-appointment.html. Customers are cautioned that demand will be high, so it may take time to secure an appointment.
Road tests, which re-started June 29, continue on a by-appointment basis. More information about road tests is available at the MVC website.
For more MVC news and updates, customers should visit NJMVC.gov.
On July 8, 3:30-4:30 p.m. EDT, FMCSA will host a webinar to answer questions about the new HOS final rule. We encourage attendees to watch the recorded HOS presentation, and then submit questions here.
Register for the question and answer webinar.
FMCSA's new hours-of-service rule--which provides greater flexibility for commercial drivers--goes into effect on September 29, 2020. You can learn more about the new rule here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOSFinalRule
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2020 Operation Safe Driver Week will go on as scheduled, July 12-18. During this week-long traffic enforcement safety initiative, law enforcement personnel throughout North America will be looking for drivers who are engaging in unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways. Identified drivers will be pulled over by law enforcement and may be issued a warning or citation.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, less traffic may be encouraging some drivers to ignore traffic safety laws, including speed limits. Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, many jurisdictions are seeing a severe spike in speeding.
As the number of vehicles on roadways decreased in March and April, average speeds measured during the first week of April increased significantly in the five largest U.S. metropolitan areas. According to recent data, the average speed on interstate highways, state highways and expressways in those areas increased by as much as 75% compared to January and February.
To address this alarming trend of increased speeding on our roadways during the pandemic, CVSA selected speeding as the focus area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week.
“It’s essential that this enforcement initiative, which focuses on identifying and deterring unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, go on as scheduled,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “As passenger vehicle drivers are limiting their travel to necessary trips and many commercial motor vehicle drivers are busy transporting vital goods to stores, it’s more important than ever to monitor our roadways for safe transport.”
Historically, drivers’ actions have contributed to 94% of all traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts report. And although NHTSA’s 2018 highway crash fatality data showed a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by 0.9%.
“While, of course, we’re pleased to see a decrease in the overall number of fatalities, it was also devastating to learn that the number of fatalities involving large trucks increased. Any increase whatsoever in roadway fatalities is unacceptable,” said Sgt. Samis.
Data shows that traffic enforcement interactions between drivers and law enforcement reduces targeted problematic behaviors. CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week aims to reduce high-risk driving behaviors through traffic enforcement strategies.
In addition to a focus on speeding, examples of other dangerous driver behaviors that law enforcement will track during Operation Safe Driver Week include distracted driving, failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely, improper lane change, reckless or aggressive driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc.
To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events going on in your area, contact the agency or department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your jurisdiction.
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released comprehensive research that confirms that large verdicts against trucking fleets are increasing dramatically, both in number and in size of awards. ATRI’s research is partially based on a newly created trucking litigation database that provides detailed information on 600 cases between 2006 and 2019. In the first five years of the data, there were 26 cases over $1 million, and in the last five years of the data, there were nearly 300 cases.
This study was identified as the highest research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2019.
In response to arguments that nuclear verdicts reflect real-world cost increases, the research documents that from 2010 to 2018, the size of verdict awards grew 51.7 percent annually at the same time that standard inflation grew 1.7 percent and healthcare costs grew 2.9 percent.
The research also surveyed and interviewed dozens of defense and plaintiff attorneys as well as insurance and motor carrier experts, and generated a qualitative analysis for why the litigation landscape has changed, recommendations for modifying pre-trial preparations, litigation strategies and mediation approaches, and how large verdict awards impact both safety and insurance.
“This issue has had a stifling impact on motor carriers and industry stakeholders – well beyond those involved in a truck crash”, said Rob Moseley, Founding Partner with Mosely Marcinak Law Group. “ATRI’s research on litigation provides important guidance on leveling the playing field between truckers and trial lawyers, both in and outside of the court room.”
“Runaway verdicts are increasing in both size and numbers. This study documents a frequency in excessive awards that, while not surprising, tells us that the trial system has gotten off track. Foundational changes are needed in the way we determine non-economic and punitive damages,” said Clay Porter, Partner at Porter Rennie Woodard and Kendall.
The report – Understanding the Impact of Nuclear Verdicts on the Trucking Industry – is available for download on ATRI’s website by clicking here.
The IRS has temporarily suspended the ability for taxpayers to pay the tax due on Form 2290 returns using a credit card or debit card. Form 2290 will not be revised to remove the Credit or Debit Card check box on line 6. The ability to make credit card and debit card payments for tax due on Form 2290 returns is expected to resume on January 1, 2021. See the section titled How To Pay the Tax in the Instructions for Form 2290 for information on alternative methods to pay the tax.
This July 2020 revision is for the tax period beginning on July 1, 2020, and ending on June 30, 2021. Don’t use this revision if you need to file a return for a tax period that began on or before June 30, 2020. To obtain a prior revision of Form 2290 and its separate instructions, visit www.irs.gov/Form2290.
FMCSA has updated the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to allow employers to link their Clearinghouse accounts with their FMCSA Portal accounts. This will enable employers to associate Clearinghouse activity (reporting violations, conducting queries, purchasing query plans, and designating consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs)) with a specified USDOT Number in their Portal account.
To complete this process, employers must enter their FMCSA Portal User ID and password. Any employer having trouble accessing their Portal account should contact the FMCSA Portal Registration Call Center at 800-724-2811 (hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET).
Employers with multiple USDOT Numbers in their Portal account will need to ensure they have the correct Clearinghouse Portal user role for each USDOT Number. For more information, see the Clearinghouse Portal User Roles job aid.
To add a USDOT Number (or USDOT Numbers) to a Clearinghouse employer account:
1. Log in to the Clearinghouse.
2. Go to My Dashboard > My Profile.
3. Click the button that says Add USDOT# at the top of the My Employer Profile screen.
4. Follow the instructions provided by the Clearinghouse.
Don’t have an FMCSA Portal account?
Each Clearinghouse user whose company has a USDOT Number should have their own personal FMCSA Portal Account. To request an account, visit the FMCSA Portal page.
Don’t have a USDOT Number?
Not all entities registered in the Clearinghouse will have a USDOT Number. For more information visit the Do I Need a USDOT Number? page on the FMCSA website.
Employers who have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) have the option to add their CDL information. This will create an additional “Driver” role in their Clearinghouse account.
To add CDL information to an employer account, click the Add CDL# button at the top the My Profile page (under My Dashboard) and follow the system instructions. If you have already added a CDL, this button will say “Update CDL#.”
If you have inadvertently entered incorrect CDL information, click the Update CDL# button on your My Profile page and click Remove CDL.
Actual KnowledgeWhat It Is, And What It Isn’t
An employer’s actual knowledge of a violation must be based on one of the following:
• Employer’s direct observation of an employee.
• Information provided by the driver’s previous employer(s).
• A traffic citation for driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
•An employee’s admission of alcohol or controlled substance use, except as provided in § 382.121.
A verified positive drug test result does not qualify as actual knowledge. Employers and C/TPAs do not report verified positive test results to the Clearinghouse, as these are reported by the medical review officer (MRO).
For more details on what qualifies as actual knowledge of a violation, see § 382.107.
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