TRUCKERS WILL PAY $20 instead of $16.25 in cash tolls to drive a five-axle truck across tolled Delaware River bridges between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission approved the increase for its seven toll bridges, the first since 2007. The hike is to pay debt, continue capital improvements and offset low truck revenue collections from 2008 and 2009.
WILLIE’S PLACE, the former truck stop in Carl’s Corner, Texas, has reopened as a Petro Stopping Place travel center. TravelCenters of America bought the Dallas-area property, which included Willie Nelson as an investor, March 1, after it was posted for foreclosure. Willie’s Place opened in 2008.
FMCSA issues CDL amendments
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its final rule amending the commercial driver’s license knowledge and skills testing standards and establishing new minimum federal standards for states to issue a commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
The final rule requires a permit holder meet virtually the same requirements as those for a license holder, including driver disqualification penalties. The rule also specifically prohibits a motor carrier from using a driver who does not hold a current and appropriate permit or CDL to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
The final rule implements relevant sections of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) and the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006.
Successful completion of a knowledge test, currently a prerequisite for the CDL, now will be required for a CLP. The rule requires states to use driver and examiner reference materials, state testing questions and exercises, and state testing methodologies that FMCSA has preapproved. It prohibits use of foreign language interpreters in the administration of the knowledge and skills tests to reduce the potential for fraud.
The final rule requires each applicant obtain a CLP and hold it for at least 14 days before applying for a CDL. It establishes a minimum age of 18 for a permit, which must be a separate document from the CDL, tamperproof and include the same information as the CDL. The only endorsements allowed on the CLP are a restricted passenger endorsement, a school bus endorsement and a tank vehicle endorsement.
In addition, the final rule strengthens the legal presence required and increases the documentation required for permit and CDL applicants to demonstrate their legal presence in the United States. The rule also addresses applicants who wish to attend a driver training school in a state other than the applicant’s state of domicile; states are required to recognize permits issued by other states for training purposes.
FMCSA’s final rule is effective July 9. States must comply by July 8, 2014. To read the final rule, go to www.regulations.gov; the docket number is FMCSA-2007-27659.
— Staff reports
THE OUTLOOK for shippers declined in April, based on FTR Associates’ Shippers’ Condition Index. The index fell to -11.4, reflecting tightening capacity and accelerating transport costs. Readings below zero indicate an unfavorable shipping environment.