Trucking News Roundup--May 2013

By: Classadrivers.com

This month, truckers are faced with new restrictions that will change how you drive quite a bit. Take a few minutes to stay informed then head over to our jobs section and get back on the road!

  • Truckers Forced out of Left Lane in Texas
  • Legislation Looks to Freeze Load Weight and Size Restrictions
  • Interstate Citation Reporting Eliminated for Truckers

Texas Kicks Truckers Out of Left Lane

If you’re driving through the lone star state any time soon, make sure to avoid the left lane. The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) recently passed a vote to enforce left lane restrictions on trucks. These restrictions will impact US 77, US 83, and US 281. Once in place, this will give Texas a total of 443 miles of restricted driving space for truckers.

“Safety is always our first priority and the key deciding factor when weighing decisions related to efficient travel and commerce,” said Chairman Ted Houghton, Texas Transportation Commission. “As truck traffic increases along with our population, we must consider how different types of motorists and vehicles can safely interact on our highways.”

The law draws on a 36-week study back in 2000 focusing on left-lane truck restrictions along the I-10E in Houston that found a 68 percent reduction in crashes when restrictions were in place. A second study conducted on I-20 near Dallas found a 78 percent reduction in crashes.

The Texas Transportation Commission believes these left-lane restrictions will allow passenger vehicles to move more quickly and freely, reducing the number of lane changes and passing maneuvers that they feel results in an increase of highway crashes. Trucks will still be allowed to utilize the left lane for passing other vehicles.

Legislation Introduced To Freeze Truck Load Weight and Size

The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) recently joined with families and survivors of truck crashes as well as government officials to organize legislation that would freeze truck load weight and size restrictions. The legislation named ‘The safe highways and Infrastructure Prevent Act’ (SHIPA), will aim to close existing loopholes in the trucking industry that permit the use of oversized trucks and will hold trucking companies accountable for their usage.

The main issue that the TSC wants to address is the fact that trucks have gotten bigger and inflation has gone up, but the minimum amount of insurance coverage required for trucks has remained the same for the past 30 years. This results in medical coverage capping out very quickly and trucking companies being unable to fully cover a crash victim. Do you feel that insurance coverage for trucks is substantial enough, or after 30 years is it time for some increased coverage?

The one thing that seems to be missing from the discussion is the voice of truckers. We’re interested in hearing what you think about oversized trucks and loads. As a driver, do you feel any less safe driving trucks with increasingly larger loads or do you think this is just an overreaction from the public? Head over to our message board and make your voice heard!

Interstate Citation Reporting Eliminated for Truckers

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced that they have eliminated the regulation requiring interstate commercial truck drivers to report citations that they received in another state to the state which issued the driver’s CDL.

The department stated that this move will not compromise safety, as states now have the technology necessary to communicate citation information without having to involve drivers.

In fact, states have been sharing traffic conviction information electronically since 1994, eliminating the need for truckers to report their citations. For whatever reason, the rule remained on the books up until now.

It’s important to note that this does not change the requirement that truck drivers must notify their employer of any traffic convictions within 30 days of the incident.

This should make the lives of interstate truckers much easier, taking out a bit of the busy work on your hauls if you’re written up for a traffic citation.

The regulation will go into effect on May 28, 2013. Enjoy!