When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s obstructive sleep apnea committee met in January to discuss seven questions, important to trucking companies, about the condition and treatment of sleep apnea, compliance monitoring for truckers diagnosed with the condition and the relationship between sleep apnea and highway safety.
A tragic accident involving multiple trucks, cars, and fatalities that took place on the I-75 outside of Gainesville, Florida, last week has once again brought into question the driving habits of both truck drivers and car drivers. While many drivers of regular automobiles believe that truck drivers are the most dangerous things on the road, the truck drivers insist that it is the other way around.
In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama again spoke about using alternative fuels as a means of escaping dependence on foreign oil. This follows a speech the President made last spring where he voiced a desire to the see the country cut foreign oil imports by 33 percent over a 10 year period. Obama’s re-election campaign focuses on education, manufacturing and production of alternative energy sources. The President later in the week visited five western states, which included Nevada, where he ceremoniously opened a trucking natural gas corridor.
Not all truck drivers have a need for speed. Many recognize the road hazards and economic disadvantages to excessive speeding. That is why many are opposed to increasing the speed limit along interstate highways in Ohio.
Freight costs in North America are on the rise according to the latest figures from the Cass Freight Index, which show an increase of 1.8% since November. This is in contrast to freight volume which showed no change over the same time frame.
This follows the yearly trend that shows freight costs up by almost 19% while freight volumes increased by not even 1% according to Cass. The 4th quarter of 2011 also saw freight volumes off by 12% as compared to the previous 3 months.
After a rough few years, the economy finally found some breathing room last month as the national unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level since February 2009. The Labor Department reported that employment increased by 200,000 jobs in December 2011, with the unemployment rate falling to 8.5 percent.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has begun the process to roll out a proposal that would require stability control systems on manufacturers of heavy trucks. The only officially released information is that the Office of Managment and Budget received a notice of the proposal on December 13, 2011.
Representative Micheal Grimm R-New York and Senator Frank Lautenber, D-New Jersey are calling for fiscal management regarding tolls. They have recently introduced a bill that would restore the ability of the United States Department of Transportation to determine the fairness of toll hikes and issue tolls that are reasonable. Lautenburg is the chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. This committee has jurisdiction over policy regarding interstate trucking and transportation.
A new U.S.-Canadian border plan is expected to boost trade, streamline regulatory standards and enhance border security. While some of the measures may help trucking companies, it does not go far enough in alleviating truckers' main concerns about mandatory speed-limit laws in Ontario and Quebec.