The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on a potential pilot program that would allow drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.
“Commercial trucks and buses are essential to a thriving national economy, and the Department wants to ensure the public has an opportunity to comment on this important potential change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Drivers ages 18-20 may currently only operate CMVs in intrastate commerce. In July 2018, USDOT announced the details of the Commercial Driver Pilot Program required under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allows certain 18- to 20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
Today’s action requests comments on a second pilot program to allow non-military drivers ages 18-20 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. FMCSA requests comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing options or approaches for a second pilot program for younger drivers.
“We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry, while maintaining the highest level of safety. We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.
The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available here.
The American Transportation Research Institute has announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors:
· Clifton Parker, G&P Trucking Company, Inc. President and General Manager, Gaston, South Carolina;
· John A. Smith, FedEx Freight President and Chief Executive Officer, Memphis, Tennessee.
The appointments were made by ATRI Chairman of the Board Judy McReynolds, ArcBest Corporation Chairman, President and CEO.
Mr. Parker has served as President and General Manager of G&P Trucking Company since 1986. During his tenure at G&P, the company has grown from $5 million to sales of over $150 million in 2017. He has been active in the South Carolina Trucking Association where he served as Chairman for two years, and currently serves as SCTA’s representative to the American Trucking Associations. He has been recognized by the South Carolina House for Outstanding Leadership in the field of transportation and appointed to a study committee on Public Private Partnerships in Transportation to make recommendations to the Governor. He has a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Mr. Smith has 32 years of experience in the transportation industry. He has been with FedEx since 2000 where he currently provides strategic direction for the less-than-truckload (LTL) FedEx companies throughout North America. He also serves on the Strategic Management Committee of FedEx Corp., which sets the strategic direction for the FedEx enterprise. His experience spans every area of the business, including operations, sales, transportation, fleet maintenance, facility services and safety. John currently serves on the boards of the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Automotive Service Excellence Education Foundation. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a degree in geology.
"Our board plays a critical role in guiding and shaping ATRI’s research priorities," said ATRI President and COO Rebecca Brewster. "We are fortunate to have a very engaged Board of Directors and look forward to working with Clifton and John."
Drivers' actions contributed to a staggering 94 percent of all traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2015 Traffic Safety Facts report
In response to this issue, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in dangerous driver behaviors July 14-20 as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week. Drivers engaged in unsafe driving behaviors will be pulled over by law enforcement and may be issued a warning and/or citation.
For these reasons, CVSA selected speeding as the emphasis area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week and law enforcement jurisdictions throughout North America will be endorsing, promoting and supporting the following message: Late won’t kill you, speeding will.
“For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “That is unacceptable, especially because it’s preventable. We will continue to educate the public on the dangers of speeding and we will identify individuals who are speeding on our roadways and may issue citations as a deterrent to future speeding tendencies and to affect diver behavior.”
In addition to the emphasis on speeding, law enforcement personnel will be tracking other dangerous driver behaviors throughout Operation Safe Driver Week, such as distracted driving, texting, 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.
A 2014 study, titled “Do Traffic Tickets Reduce Motor Vehicle Accidents? Evidence from a Natural Experiment,” investigated whether traffic violation enforcement actually reduces the number of motor vehicle crashes. The study’s author used one of the best-known enforcement programs, Click It or Ticket, which focuses on mandating seat belt use and ticketing violators. The study found that the Click It or Ticket campaign decreased motor vehicle crashes by roughly 11 percent and found that a 1 percent increase in citations issued led to a 0.28 percent decline in motor vehicle crashes. The ticketing campaign also reduced the number of non-fatal injuries from motor vehicle crashes.
“As unpopular as traffic citations are among drivers, we know that driver behavior does respond to contacts with law enforcement and warnings and citations,” said Chief Thompson. “Roadway safety is our top priority and this traffic enforcement initiative supports our goal of making sure everyone driving on our roadways is doing so safely.”
CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with FMCSA and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations. The initiative aims to help improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around commercial motor vehicles – through educational and traffic enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk driving behaviors.
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 U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today relaunched a $5.6 million public safety awareness campaign – Stop. Trains Can’t. – urging Americans to take greater care at highway-rail grade crossings.
In 2018 alone, 270 people were killed at railroad crossings. Of those, 99 people died after the driver went around lowered crossing gate arms – a 10-year high.
“So many fatalities at highway-railway crossings are preventable, and this campaign is key to raising public awareness and saving lives,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
Every four hours in America, a person or vehicle is struck by a train at a rail crossing. Over the past five years, 798 people have died while trying to drive across railroad tracks.
Stop. Trains Can’t. reminds drivers about the potential risks of an approaching train when crossing railroad tracks, especially when active warning devices such as flashing lights or gate arms are descending or lowered.
Given their size and weight, neither freight nor passenger trains can stop easily to avoid cars or other vehciles on the tracks. Trains cannot swerve out of the way, and a freight train traveling 55 mph can take more than a mile to stop, even when emergency brakes are applied.
“We are pleased to collaborate with our colleagues at NHTSA to improve driver behavior at highway-rail crossings and reduce preventable injuries and deaths,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “Rail safety isn’t just about the safe movement of passenger and freight trains; it’s also about helping the American public be safe near railroad tracks.”
“Road safety is NHTSA’s mission, and too many lives are lost every year when drivers disregard safety warnings at rail crossings,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King. “Working with Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao and FRA, we want every American to understand the danger surrounding rail crossings and to act with safety in mind. Trying to save a few minutes can cost you your life.”
The campaign’s targeted advertising will run from Tuesday, April 16 through Sunday, May 12. It includes video spots that will run on digital and social platforms, radio advertising, and social media messaging, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The new Stop. Trains Can’t. campaign video can be viewed here.
While national in scope, ads will be targeted to high-incident communities in the following states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas.
Consistent with 23 U.S.C. 127 (s) and N.J.S.A. 39:3-84.1, the State of New Jersey will allow an increased registration weight up to 82,000 pounds for vehicles operated by an engine fueled primarily by natural gas. Such a vehicle may exceed any vehicle weight limit (up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 82,000 pounds) by an amount that is equal to the difference between:
The weight of a comparable diesel tank and fueling system.
The New Jersey fee table is not changed. For these vehicles, the maximum registration fee rate (80,000 pounds) will be applied.
Governor Murphy has declared a State of Emergency and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan has announced a commercial vehicle travel restriction due to the anticipated severity of the impending winter storm. Effective, Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 3:00 PM, there will be a commercial vehicle travel restriction for the following roadways:
The commercial vehicle travel restriction does NOT apply to the following roadways:
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced the Route 495 eastbound Columbia Avenue exit ramp to Paterson Plank Road will be closed and detoured beginning tomorrow for several weeks as the Route 495 Bridge over Route 1&9 and Paterson Plank Road project advances in North Bergen.
In addition to the ramp closure, one lane of Route 495 eastbound will be closed overnight on Wednesday to pour concrete.
Columbia Avenue exit ramp to Paterson Plank Road closure
Between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., tomorrow, Tuesday, February 26, NJDOT’s contractor, IEW Corp, is scheduled to install concrete barrier to close the Columbia Avenue exit ramp to Paterson Plank Road. No lane closures are necessary for the installation of the barrier, however, there will be periodic temporary stopping of Route 495 eastbound traffic for a few minutes during that two-hour time period.
Motorists are advised to expect delays while the barrier is being installed. The exit ramp will be closed and detoured for several weeks. Access from Columbia Avenue to the 30th Street ramp to Kennedy Boulevard will be maintained. The following detour will be in place:
Columbia Avenue Exit to Paterson Plank Road
Route 495 eastbound lane closure Wednesday night Beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 27, until 5 a.m. the next day, NJDOT’s contractor, IEW Corp, is scheduled to close one lane of Route 495 eastbound to pour the concrete deck. Two lanes will be maintained.
The $90.3 million state-funded project began in September 2017. The project to rehabilitate the nine-span viaduct includes repairs and reconstruction of the bridge deck, replacement and strengthening of deteriorated structural steel, and the repair and painting of the substructure. Construction will be accomplished in stages by first making improvements to local streets in the surrounding areas that will need to handle some of the diverted traffic during bridge construction.
Community Outreach NJDOT created a project-specific website – www.RestoreNJ495.com – which contains a wealth of information about the Route 495 Bridge rehabilitation, and will be updated with relevant new information as work progresses. The Department is carefully coordinating the Route 495 Bridge rehabilitation project with other regional transportation infrastructure projects to minimize traffic congestion.
The Department has a project hotline telephone number, 201.408.8495, and email, DOTOutreachRT495@dot.nj.gov. Anyone who has questions, concerns, or suggestions is encouraged to contact the Project Outreach Team as work progresses.
NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs to provide advance notification to motorists of traffic pattern changes associated with the work. The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather or other factors.
Follow the project on Twitter @RestoreNJ495 and get real-time information on traffic conditions at www.511nj.org, where a widget will enable you to cut through all the other traffic information and focus in on the Route 495 area. For NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info and our Facebook page.
The commercial vehicle ban has been lifted on the roadways below:
Colonel Patrick J. Callahan has announced a commercial vehicle travel restriction due to the anticipated severity of the impending winter storm. Effective, Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 9:00 AM, there will be a commercial vehicle travel restriction for the following roadways:
* I-287 (entire length)
* I-80 (entire length)
* I-280 (entire length)
* I-78 (entire length)
* I-295 (entire length)
* I-195 (entire length)
* I-676 (entire length)
* I-76 (entire length)
* New Jersey Turnpike
* Garden State Parkway
* Atlantic City Expressway
CLICK HERE for more information
PennDOT has announced travel restrictions for Wednesday ahead of expected winter weather.
At 6 a.m. Wednesday, a full commercial vehicle ban (including buses) will be in place on I-70 in Fulton County (from the Maryland state line to the Turnpike); I-99 from I-80 to the Turnpike; and I-80 from I-79 to the I-99 interchange.
Also at 6 a.m. Wednesday, on I-80 from I-79 to the I-99 interchange and on the Turnpike from New Stanton (exit 75) east to Carlisle (exit 226), the Turnpike will prohibit:
At noon on Wednesday, PennDOT and the PA Turnpike will prohibit only empty, straight CDL-weighted trucks; all Large Combination Vehicles (double trailers); tractors hauling empty trailers; any trailers pulled by motorcycles, passenger vehicles, pickup trucks or SUVs; all motorcycles; and all recreational vehicles and RVs on the following roadways:
Click here for the full map of PennDOT’s travel restrictions.
Elizabeth, N.J., Feb. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – New England Motor Freight, Inc. (the “Company” or “NEMF”) today announced that the Company and ten related entities have voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark on February 11, 2019. NEMF intends to use these proceedings to facilitate an orderly wind-down of its operations.
Vincent Colistra, a Senior Managing Director with Phoenix Management Services, Inc., and Chief Restructuring Officer for the Company, said, “We have worked hard to explore options for New England Motor Freight, but the macro-economic factors confronting this industry are significant.
Upon the recommendation of its advisors, the Company has determined that a Chapter 11 proceeding is the best mechanism to maximize the value of its assets for the benefit of its employees and various creditor constituencies.
Phoenix Management Services is serving as the Company’s financial and restructuring advisor.
About New England Motor Freight
New England Motor Freight, Inc. provides less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier services in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1977, the company is based in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and has terminals in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
New Jersey Motor Truck Association | 160 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | 732-254-5000