Trucking news and briefs for Monday, July 27, 2020:
Trade groups sound off in opposition to liability insurance hike
A group of more than 60 trade associations from various industries penned a letter to Senate transportation committee members in opposition to including language in a highway funding bill that would increase the minimum liability coverage for trucking companies.
The letter comes as the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation works on the upper chamber of Congress’ highway bill. The House’s highway bill included a provision to increase carriers’ minimum liability to $2 million.
“An increase in insurance requirements is wholly unnecessary, would do nothing to improve highway safety, and would have a severe negative impact on truckers, farmers and manufacturers by significantly increasing their operational costs,” the group said in the letter. “Increasing minimum liability coverage would affect all businesses transporting property, not just long-haul trucking operations.”
The group includes a number of state trucking associations, various agriculture associations and more.
Illinois police warn of cargo theft ring near Chicago
The Illinois State Police issued a warning Sunday of an increase in cargo theft activity along the southern Tri-State Tollway in Chicago at the Hinsdale Oasis and the Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis.
“All vehicles and trailers should not be left unattended for extended periods while stopping at these locations, especially during the overnight hours,” ISP said in a Facebook post.
ISP said it is “taking preventative measures to prevent, locate and apprehend criminals at the Oasis facilities.” To help prevent cargo theft, the agency offers the following recommendations to truck drivers:
- Utilize padlocks and other safety measures to prevent easy access to trailers
- Don’t leave trailers unattended for extended periods
- Do a visual check and walkaround of your vehicle frequently
- Call 911 if you see any unusual activity or offloading
ISP said it will also be upgrading lighting and increasing patrols at these locations.
Earlier this year, Illinois DOT and ISP also warned of a cargo theft ring along I-80.
Third major truck stop chain to require masks
TravelCenters of America, operators of TA-Petro truck stops, has confirmed it will be requiring the use of masks and facial coverings in its stores, following a recommendation from truck stop trade association NATSO. The company will begin requiring masks Wednesday, July 29.
TA joins Love’s and Pilot, which both announced last week that all customers would be required to wear masks in their stores. Pilot will require masks as of Tuesday, July 28, and Love’s as of Wednesday, July 29.
The company operates 265 TA, TA Express, and Petro travel centers in 44 states and Canada.
Women in Trucking moves annual conference online
The Women in Trucking Association’s annual Accelerate! Conference and Expo will move to an online format and will be held Nov. 12-13 due to continuing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference was originally scheduled to be held in Dallas on Sept. 23-25.
“This decision was made in conjunction with soliciting feedback from more than 400 WIT members, sponsors, exhibitors and other key stakeholders, which has confirmed that our community is fully supportive of a virtual conference,” said Brian Everett, organizer of the event.
The 2020 virtual event will feature more than 40 educational sessions over two days focused on various transportation issues and trends, along with perspectives of women in the industry. There will also be panel discussions, peer-to-peer interactive roundtable discussion groups and more. All features of the event will be available on-demand for those who cannot participate in real time.
Group discounts are available to companies wanting to support teams interested in gender diversity within their organizations. More details and registration can be found here.