5 trucking companies back EOBR bill
Industry coalition asks all haulers to support effort
Five trucking companies announced their support for legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) that would require trucking companies engaged in interstate commerce to install electronic onboard recorders in all trucks in order to verify the duty status of their truck drivers. The five companies – J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Knight Transportation, Maverick USA, Schneider National and U.S. Xpress Enterprises – formed an industry coalition, The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, to urge Congress to pass the legislation and also to advance other measures that can improve highway safety within the trucking industry and benefit the motoring public. Executives for the companies have asked all transportation firms that embrace the legislation to join the coalition and support the effort.
The Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act would require commercial motor vehicles used in interstate commerce to install the electronic devices within three years after passage. The legislation will require companies to install an electronic device that is engaged to the truck engine that will identify the driver operating the truck, record a driver’s duty status and monitor the location and movement of the vehicle. The legislation calls for using technology and devices that are currently in the marketplace.
Passing the bill “will improve safety on our nation’s highways by applying technology to document driver compliance,” says Craig Harper, chief operating officer of Lowell, Ark.-based J.B. Hunt. Kevin Knight, chairman and chief executive officer of Phoenix-based Knight, says the legislation “is a sensible initiative to improve working conditions for commercial drivers and to promote highway safety. … Under a uniform standard, the public will be able to rely on the hours in service of all drivers rather than just some drivers.”
Mandating EOBR use “commits the entire supply chain to meeting the challenges that face this generation in surface transportation,” says Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Little Rock, Ark.-based Maverick. Williams, former chairman of the American Trucking Associations, says that installing these devices will help assure the public that commercial vehicle drivers are “well-trained, drug- and alcohol-free, and sufficiently rested.”
Donald Osterberg, senior vice president of safety for Green Bay, Wis.-based Schneider National, says that while the current federal hours-of-service rules are “science-based, reasonable and effective,” the problem under the status quo is that there is a “lack of compliance with the rules. … Fatigue is underreported and thus underestimated as a causal factor in truck-involved crashes. Electronic logs take the noncompliance issues off the table.”
Adjustments to L.A. port concession schedule OK’d
The Los Angeles Harbor Commission approved an adjusted implementation schedule for provisions of the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program Concession Agreement that previously were enjoined by the federal court. The commission approved an adjustment of the dates for Licensed Motor Carriers to comply with the employee driver requirement, job referral services requirement and the off-street parking requirement. The board’s action will allow time to develop compliance systems and provide LMCs more time to begin compliance.
“We’re pleased to make these changes, which allow us to implement the full Concession Agreement as soon as it’s practical,” says Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski. “Our full Concession Agreement ensures that we will continue to reduce emissions and provide the port with LMC accountability for meeting safety and security requirements.”
The board’s action was in response to a judgment that may have placed many port concessionaires out of compliance. The adjustments to the transition toward using only employee drivers for L.A. marine terminal calls were adjusted over the next two years as follows:
• 0 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31, 2010;
• 20 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31, 2011;
• 66 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31, 2012; and
• 100 percent gate moves by employee drivers by Dec. 31, 2013.
Other adjustments include compliance with some requirements only on a going-forward basis, such as financial capability information submitted with concession applications and ongoing recordkeeping by the LMCs enrolled in the Los Angeles Clean Truck Program.
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