Overdrive Staff | May 04, 2010

Correction: Peterbilt 348

A story in the April issue on the Peterbilt 348, “Durable by design,” contained photographs of a different truck. A corrected version of the story, including this photo and others, appears in the digital edition under the magazine section of OverdriveOnline.com. Overdrive regrets the error.

Highway Hero named

Junichi Shimizu received a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond for helping to save the lives of three people.

An Oregon truck driver who helped save the lives of three people involved in a fiery traffic accident, including a driver who was trapped in his burning vehicle, was awarded the 2009 Goodyear North America Highway Hero.

Junichi Shimizu, of Gladstone, Ore., accepted the award and a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond June 25, in Louisville, Ky. Shimizu was selected along with three other truck drivers as finalists for the 2009 award.

On Feb. 20, 2009, Shimizu, a driver for Chipman Relocations, witnessed a vehicle cross the centerline on Highway 12 near Fairfield, Calif., and strike an automobile in front of his truck. The auto spun into the ditch, and the other vehicle then hit his tractor twice before bursting into flames.

Shimizu called for assistance and then headed to the burning vehicle. He and another motorist freed the driver and carried him to safety. The driver of the other car died, but Shimizu removed two injured passengers.

— Staff reports


FMCSA proposes texting ban

As expected, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a detailed, explicit ban on texting by commercial motor vehicle drivers while operating in interstate commerce. The proposal would impose sanctions on drivers and would bar motor carriers from allowing their drivers to text while driving.

Drivers convicted of the texting ban two or more times would be subject to temporary disqualification – at least 60 days for the second offense within three years and at least 120 days for three or more offenses within three years. In addition, each violation of the ban would subject a driver to a civil penalty of up to $2,750.

FMCSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking follows regulatory guidance issued Jan. 27 that interprets an existing regulation governing “additional equipment and accessories” to prohibit commercial motor vehicle drivers from using electronic devices to text. The proposed rule would establish more detailed, binding requirements and would allow the opportunity for comment.

The agency acknowledged in the NPRM that many carriers have invested significant resources in electronic dispatching tools and fleet management systems.

“This rulemaking should not be construed as a proposal to prohibit the use of such technology,” FMCSA said. Neither should the proposal be construed as prohibiting the use of cell phones for purposes other than texting, the agency added.

For information about the proposed rules go to http://www.regulationroom.org/.

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