U.S., Canada requiring COVID vaccine for cross-border truckers

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021:

U.S., Canada requiring cross-border truckers to be vaccinated

The U.S. and Canadian governments are each requiring non-citizens entering their respective country – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – to be fully vaccinated.

Beginning in early January 2022, the United States Department of Homeland Security will require all foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land or ferry ports of entry to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination. The same vaccination requirement began in November for non-essential travelers entering the U.S.

In Canada, beginning Jan. 15, 2022, truck drivers and other groups of travelers who have been exempt from entry requirements will only be allowed to enter Canada with proof of full vaccination.

To meet the requirements of being “fully vaccinated” to enter the U.S., travelers must have received either two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Covishield, Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines; or one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

To meet the requirements of being “fully vaccinated” to enter Canada, travelers must have received either two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines; or one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In both countries, the last doses must have been received at least 14 days before entering the country.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance said in a press release Nov. 19 that it will be pressing both governments for more time to prepare for the cross-border mandates.

“We are extremely concerned there is a perfect storm brewing,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “In light of worldwide supply chain disruptions and delays, it’s unclear how the supply chain and the trucking industry, in particular, can withstand further turmoil and maintain the service levels required to deliver critical products Canadians and Americans need.”

CTA estimated that 10-20% of Canadian truck drivers crossing the border (12,000-22,000), and 40% of U.S. truck drivers (16,000) traveling into Canada would exit the Canada-U.S. trade system should the vaccination mandate take effect in January 2022.

Pilot car company ordered to pay $730M in wrongful-death suit

A 2016 fatal crash in Texas involving an oversized load of more than 197,000 pounds being hauled by a Landstar Ranger-leased truck with a front and rear pilot car, resulted in a jury verdict of $730 million against the company operating the front pilot car.

According to a press release from the prosecuting law firm Goudarzi & Young, Landstar Ranger previously settled for $50 million, and the rear pilot car company, S&M Pilot Service, settled for $1 million. The case proceeded against 2A Pilot Cars, the employer of the front escort vehicle.

The crash occurred on Feb. 21, 2016, when Toni Combest was killed on a narrow bridge in Titus County, Texas, when her vehicle was struck by the nearly 200,000-pound truck.

According to the allegations, while crossing the 26-foot-wide bridge with a 16-and-a-half-foot wide load, the cargo struck the 2001 Buick LeSabre being driven by Combest, ripping off the top portion of the car, killing Combest. The prosecutors alleged that, before the crash, the pilot cars and the truck did not communicate as they approached the bridge that a vehicle was traveling in the opposite direction.

The jury awarded $480 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.