News roundup, March 13: ATA files for preliminary injunction to halt Rhode Island’s trucks-only tollsd

Updated Mar 16, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, March 13, 2020:

ATA requests to have Rhode Island tolls blocked during ongoing lawsuit
The American Trucking Associations this week filed for a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island to prohibit the Rhode Island DOT from collecting tolls from truck drivers as part of the ongoing lawsuit against the RhodeWorks trucks-only tolls program.

“As the next step of our ongoing fight against Rhode Island’s unconstitutional truck-only toll scheme, ATA has asked the U.S. District Court to issue a preliminary injunction barring the state from continuing to collect the RhodeWorks tolls,” said Rich Pianka, ATA deputy general counsel. “We are confident that we will prevail on the merits of our challenge, and therefore have asked the court to take this step to stop the ongoing unconstitutional harms these discriminatory tolls are inflicting on the trucking industry every day.”

In the injunction request, ATA says the tolls are unconstitutional by discriminating against interstate commerce and falling â€śdisproportionately on out-of-state and interstate truckers, while sparing in-state users of the tolled facilities.”

Absent an injunction, ATA notes, truckers “will suffer irreparable injury” because of the state’s sovereign immunity that will prevent truckers from recovering any tolls already paid, even if the tolls are ruled unconstitutional by the court.

FMCSA postpones next week’s Truck Safety Summit
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made the decision Friday to postpone the March 19 Truck Safety Summit due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The agency said it is monitoring the impact of the new coronavirus and will work on setting a new date for the event.

“We are disappointed, but the safety of the attendees is of the utmost importance.  We look forward to setting a new date for the Summit,” the agency said in a statement.

FMCSA said the goal of the Summit is to use it “as a proactive dialogue between FMCSA, industry, law enforcement and safety advocates to help improve our shared goal of road safety for all Americans.”

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Kenworth expanding Bendix Wingman Fusion features on select truck models
The Bendix Wingman Fusion collision mitigation system with an enhanced feature set is now available on certain Kenworth heavy- and medium-duty Kenworth models. The system is standard on Kenworth T680 tractors and is available as an option on the vocational T880 and medium-duty T270 and T370 models.

The system now offers new Highway Departure Braking (HDB) and Multi-Lane Autonomous Emergency Braking (MLAEB). HDB builds on the system’s existing lane departure warning capability with auditory and visual alerts to the driver and, if necessary, applies the foundation brakes to reduce speed if it determines the truck has left the roadway unintentionally.

The MLAEB feature kicks in when a driver steers into an adjacent lane to avoid a crash and continues to apply the brakes if it detects another vehicle in the truck’s new traffic lane.

I-10 WB near Phoenix to close this weekend
Arizona DOT crews will close westbound I-10 this weekend west of downtown Phoenix for lane striping.

The interstate will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday, March 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, March 16 between 35th and 67th avenues. Ramps from I-17 to I-10 westbound will also be closed.

ADOT recommends drivers continuing west beyond Phoenix to exit I-10 before I-17 and follow either Van Buren Street or McDowell Road to 67th Avenue to re-enter westbound I-10.

Canadian truck show postponed over coronavirus concerns
In addition to the announcement that the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville will be canceled for 2020, organizers of Truck World, the national trade show for Canada’s trucking industry, announced they are postponing their event to later in the year due to concerns over the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

The event will now be held June 4-6 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, just outside of Toronto. It was originally scheduled for April 16-18 at the same venue. Organizers say the corresponding TruckTech fleet maintenance summit is being rescheduled to Friday, June 5.

Organizers say Truck World features more than 500 industry suppliers and draws more than 15,000 attendees from the Canadian trucking industry.