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Overdrive Staff | June 01, 2010

MICHIGAN. New legislation prohibits a person from reading, writing or sending text messages while driving a vehicle in the state, except in an emergency. Under the ban, texting while driving is a secondary offense that allows law enforcement officials to ticket drivers if they are pulled over for another offense.

NEBRASKA. Starting July 1, texting while driving will be a secondary offense, which means police officers can’t stop potential violators without suspecting them of breaking another law. Violators could face $200 fines.

PENNSYLVANIA. The state has ended its idling exemption for trucks during federally mandated operator rest periods. Before May 1, trucks were exempt from the idling restriction under a 2008 state law covering idling of diesel-powered motor vehicles.

UTAH. Expect delays of one to two hours during peak periods and five hours during holidays as the state rebuilds I-15 from Lehi to Spanish Fork. The 24-mile long project entails reconstructing 55 bridges and 10 interchanges. Work is planned to be done by December 2012.

WISCONSIN. Starting Dec. 1, drivers who text while driving face fines of $20 to $400. second-time violators face fines of $200 to $800. The law is primary, which means police can stop motorists suspected of this offense alone.



Trucking jobs up in April

Trucking companies added 1,000 jobs in April, but payroll employment for the industry was 3,200 lower than what the government had reported earlier for March.

Preliminary figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show that for-hire trucking added 1,000 jobs in April over March, but the latest figures also revised downward the payroll employment numbers for February and March.

The upshot is that the 600-job increase the Bureau reported for March in April became a 2,400-job loss. That’s on top of a 1,200-job downward revision for February that’s also included in the figures released May 7.

Trucking employment in April was down 47,700, or 3.7 percent, from April 2009. Preliminary data show payroll employment of almost 1.227 million jobs – down 226,700, or 15.6 percent, from the trucking employment peak in January 2007.

Nationwide, the economy gained 290,000 jobs in April.

— Avery Vise



MARK YOUR CALENDAR

JUNE 8-10: COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY ALLIANCE ANNUAL ROAD CHECK, www.cvsa.org, (202) 775-1623.

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    I have at least one modern vehicle, and the brakes are not controlled by computer. They are hydromechanical, exactly as brakes have been for a couple generations now (except, of course, with the addition of ABS). And the majority of brand new cars continue to use that system.