| August 07, 2007

Joining New Jersey in the bottom five are Hawaii, Rhode Island, New York and Alaska. Rounding out the top five are Kansas, New Mexico and Montana.

Of the nation’s most populous states, the top performers are Georgia (6th overall), Texas (15th) and Ohio (16th). “The big states that score well have been able to achieve needed improvements and adequate maintenance at relatively low costs,” Hartgen said.

The full 16th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems, with detailed information for each state, is available on Reason’s website. Reason’s 2006 study showing how congested each city in the country will be in 2030 and how many new lane miles are needed to eliminate congestion is also on the website.
- Kristie Busam

FYI/News Briefs
Lake Named to NATSO Foundation Board

The NATSO Foundation has named Robert Lake, vice president/group publisher of Randall-Reilly Publishing’s Truck Stop Group, to its board of directors. He will oversee and contribute to the foundation’s main programs, including the Moon Scholarship Program and support the foundation’s Drive to Save Lives blood drive program that is a nationwide effort by truckstops and travel plazas to collect life saving blood.

Tonnage Index Declines
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.3 percent in May, marking the second consecutive month-to-month drop. In April, tonnage fell 2.2 percent. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the tonnage index declined to a six-month low of 110.6 in May from 112.1 the previous month. Compared with a year earlier, tonnage was down 3.6 percent, the largest year-over-year drop since January 2007.

Top Truck Border Ports
Detroit and Laredo, Texas, were the top U.S. border ports for the value of trade moved by truck in 2006, according to a special report on North American freight transportation from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Detroit was the gateway for $64 billion in merchandise carried by truck to Canada and $51 billion from Canada. On the Mexican border, $34 billion in merchandise was exported and $44 billion was imported through Laredo by truck.

Large Fleet Turnover Up
The annualized driver turnover rate for large truckload carriers during the first quarter of 2007 was 127 percent, 6 percentage points higher than the rate in the last quarter of 2006, the American Trucking Associations reported. Those carriers ended the first quarter with 1.8 percent fewer drivers than at the start.

Indiana Ups Work Zone Fines
Indiana’s highway work zones now will result in stiffer fines and possible jail time. Under a new law, a driver faces a $300 dollar fine for speeding in a work zone. The penalty increases to $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense within three years. Those who drive recklessly or aggressively through a work zone face fines up to $5,000. Drivers who injure or kill a highway worker may find themselves paying a $10,000 fine or serving up to eight years behind bars.

Technology Tour
Shell Lubricants has launched its second annual, 10-city Shell Technology Tour to update fleet customers about the latest industry changes, including biodiesel fuels, ULSD update; 2007 equipment changes and maintenance considerations; CJ-4 and synthetic oils update; and Shell fleet services including Lube VideoCheck and Shell Fleet Management Program. For more information, visit this site.

Alaska Gets FMCSA Compliant
On June 22, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signed into law a bill that makes the state compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. The act requires more vehicle and driver inspections, stronger enforcement measures against violators and stronger commercial driver’s license testing and recordkeeping. Federal officials notified the state that it was out of compliance and facing severe penalties, including a loss in federal highway construction funds.

GM to Sell Allison
General Motors Corp. has reached a definitive agreement for the company to sell its Allison Transmission commercial and military business to The Carlyle Group and Onex Corporation for about $5.6 billion. Allison designs and manufactures transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Onex is one of Canada’s largest corporations, with businesses that generate annual revenues of $30 billion. The Carlyle Group is a global private equity firm with $58.5 billion under management.

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