In Brief

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U.S. Department of Transportation announced plans for a rulemaking that would prohibit truck and interstate bus drivers from using text messaging while driving. In addition, DOT plans to place restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving. The announcement followed a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, proposed legislation in Congress to ban texting, and a two-day summit on distracted driving that DOT hosted in late September. For more on the study, legislation and summit, see the online version of this article at www.ccjmagazine.com.

State of the nation’s economy tops the list of the American Transportation Research Institute’s top 10 critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. In the survey of more than 5,000 trucking industry executives, government regulation was ranked No. 2. Other top 10 issues include fuel, congestion, hours-of-service and the environment.

Freight Transportation Services Index rose 0.7 percent in August from its July level, the second consecutive monthly increase, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said.

American Trucking Associations Board of Directors named G. Tommy Hodges as ATA chairman. Hodges, chairman of Tennessee-based Titan Transfer Inc., says he will work with the board of directors, state trucking executives and ATA members to unite and engage the industry to demonstrate the critical role of trucking.

U.S. Energy Information Administration released updated energy projections for 2009 that imply a 5.9 percent reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels from the 2008 level. Thirty percent of the emissions decline — totaling 102 million metric tons — is due to reduced consumption of jet fuel and distillate fuel oil, including diesel fuel and heating oil.

Facing a $100 million budget shortfall, the Arizona Department of Transportation temporarily closed 13 highway rest areas, shut down 12 Motor Vehicle Division field offices and deferred $370 million in highway construction projects, among other cutbacks.

President Obama and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced last month that more than 8,000 highway projects have been funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act since its passage in February. Of the nearly $27 billion available for highway projects through the Recovery Act, $19.5 billion has been obligated for 8,050 projects nationwide. As of Oct. 9, 4,760 highway projects were under construction.

Evans Network of Companies acquired the container drayage, domestic truckload and brokerage assets of Land Transportation and Phoenix Transit and Logistics; terms were not disclosed. A total of 25 new agent partners will be added to the network, bringing Evans’ service center locations to more than 100 across the United States. About 250 drivers will be added to Evans Network.