OREGON. Under a new law, trucks that aren’t equipped with an auxiliary power unit or other idle-reduction technology are prohibited from idling more than five minutes an hour on property open to the public. Idling is permitted for defrosting, air conditioning and heating when outside temperatures are below 50 degrees and above 75 degrees. Idling up to 30 minutes is allowed while a truck is waiting to load or unload, as well as loading or unloading.
PENNSYLVANIA. Cash tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike increased 10 percent on Jan. 1, while E-ZPass rates stayed the same. For a trucker driving from the Ohio border to the Delaware River Bridge, the 5-axle cash rate increased to $185.50 from $168.60. Rates remained the same on the Southern Beltway (Turnpike 576) in Allegheny and Washington counties.
TENNESSEE. A bridge for U.S. Hwy. 41 over the Tennessee River at Nickajack Lake is expected to be complete by February 2014. The existing bridge has been closed. A detour route that adds 1.5 miles to the current route has been posted.
Court sets EOBR deadline for FMCSA
A federal court has given the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration until Feb. 6 to answer a cease-and-desist motion regarding truck electronic on-board recorders.
On Jan. 24, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued the deadline for the FMCSA’s response to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s motion.
Last August, the association successfully appealed the agency’s 2010 recorder rule. That regulation would have required EOBRs for all trucks used by a carrier with a greater than 10 percent rate of noncompliance with hours-of-service regulations in any single compliance review
The court determined that “the rule cannot stand because the agency failed to consider an issue that it was statutorily required to address.” The Truck and Bus Safety and Regulatory Reform Act of 1988 “requires the agency to ensure that any such device is not used to ‘harass vehicle operators.’”
— Jill Dunn
TCA Highway Angels named
Guy Knudsen, a driver for ABF Freight System of Fort Smith, Ark.; Gyslain “Juice” Lemelin, a driver for N. Yanke Transfer of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and W. Paul Lothary, a driver for Tom Joy & Son Trucking of Peshtigo, Wis., have been named Highway Angels by the Truckload Carriers Association.
On Jan. 7, 2011, Knudsen was driving westbound on Interstate 80 east of Reno, Nev., when he came around a blind curve in a narrow canyon. Blocking the road was an upside-down car with no lights. He swerved but could not avoid hitting it.
As Knudsen asked his dispatcher to call 911, another truck hit the vehicle. Together, Knudsen and this truck driver attempted to prevent traffic from further hitting the wreck.
Knudsen figured the driver of the original vehicle must have been ejected from the car prior to the collisions. He injured himself and risked his own life by jumping over a barricade and sliding down a steep embankment to the eastbound lanes. There, he found a dazed and confused woman with a head injury near the edge of the freeway.