Carriers are charged $10 for each driver’s history and an annual subscription fee of $100, or for carriers with fewer than 100 power units, $25.
Companies may continue to obtain driver safety performance information by submitting a Privacy Act request to FMCSA at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/foia.
— Jill Dunn
KANSAS TRUCK OWNERS may receive grant money to buy truck equipment for reducing diesel emissions. Eligible items include engine idling-reduction devices, engine upgrade and replacement, low rolling resistance tires, retrofit technologies and vehicle replacement. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is accepting applications until June 18. For information, go to www.kdheks.gov/bar and click on “Kansas Clean Diesel Grant Program.”
LOVE’S TRAVEL STOP at I-40 in Choctaw, Okla., was destroyed by tornados May 10. Employees and visitors took cover in the beverage cooler and restrooms. No injuries were reported. The company said the location, which has been in operation for nearly 25 years, will be demolished. Replacement plans have not been announced.
PETERBILT’S MODEL 384 was named heavy-duty winner of the American Truck Dealers Commercial Truck of the Year for 2010. Trucks were judged on innovation and design, driver satisfaction, ease of maintenance and safety.
Cross-border plan coming soon
Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told a May 6 congressional hearing that a cross-border trucking program with Mexico would be announced soon.
“We will come to Capitol Hill and brief every senator that has an interest in what it says, get feedback,” he said. “It’s part of NAFTA. It needs to be restarted. We believe if it is restarted these tariffs will be lifted.”
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) questioned LaHood at the end of a Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee meeting. She has pushed for progress on a new program to end retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico after Congress voted to end cross-border trucking last year.
Murray said she hoped for resolution when Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon visited President Obama in May. A few days before the hearing, she had met with Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, who told her Calderon planned on raising the issue during the visit.
On April 14, U.S. Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.) and 78 congressional members sent LaHood and U.S. Trade Rep. Ronald Kirk a letter asking them to renegotiate a section of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He describes this section, U.S. NAFTA Annex I (I-U-21), as committing the United States to “liberalize cross-border trucking.”
“NAFTA does not bind the U.S. to accept subpar safety standards, and Congress is not going to waive our rights under NAFTA,” DeFazio wrote. “We are entitled to require comparable standards for safety from Mexican trucking companies.”