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Overdrive Staff | December 01, 2011

Highway bill includes truck parking elements

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved more truck parking in a two-year transportation bill.

The $109 billion Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act was combined with other committee bills in the full Senate. The House Transportation and Infrastructure committee is working on a six-year transportation measure.

EPW Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced the bill, S.1813, which includes a section titled “Jason’s Law.”

The title refers to New York trucker Jason Rivenburg, robbed and killed in 2009 while he was parked at an abandoned service station. Boxer’s bill lists potential funding sources for projects that could include new rest areas or opening existing facilities to truckers, such as inspection and weigh stations and park-and-ride facilities.

Since 2010, the House and Senate have considered Jason’s Law bills to create grants mitigating the truck parking shortage.

Boxer has said the bill reauthorizes the federal-aid highway program at the Congressional Budget Office’s current funding, adjusted for inflation. It reduces federal transportation programs by two-thirds and eliminates earmarks, she said.

The bill would continue to provide most funding to the states through core programs. They include creation of a National Freight Network Program that would consolidate existing programs into one that would allocate state funding by formula for freight movement projects.

See details at epw.senate.gov.

— Jill Dunn


SHORT HAULS

DAIMLER TRUCKS North America announced the addition of a second shift and plans to ramp up production at its Western Star manufacturing plant in Portland, Ore., creating about 350 new jobs by the end of 2012. Hiring was scheduled to have started in November, and a second wave of hiring is planned for next summer.

FREIGHT HAULING as measured by the American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 1.6 percent in September. The nonseasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 3.1 percent below the previous month. Compared with September 2010, adjusted tonnage was up 5.9 percent.


Court orders release of truck stop tiger

Tony the Tiger must leave the Louisiana truck stop bearing his name after activists won an extensive legal battle for his removal.

Judge Michael Caldwell of the East Baton Rouge District Court ruled Nov. 2 in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which began litigation in April against Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin.

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