Cargo Theft Spikes During Holiday
During Thanksgiving, the national average of cargo theft goes up nearly 30%, straining profits for owner/operators and national carriers alike. Some of the worst news is that thieves appear to be very organized and are able to reach payloads in both secured and unsecured parking lots. The statistic comes from a study by Freightwatch International, a logistics security consulting firm. FreightWatch said it recommends drivers remain vigilant and maintain communication with their dispatch when stopped at high-risk areas such as truck stops and rest areas. Loads should not be dropped or left unattended for any reason, the company said.
Parking Deficit Referenced in New Highway Spending Bill
The Obama Administration signed a new spending bill into law this week that includes a federal study of how the lack of truck parking affects truckers’ health & safety, schedules and routing. It also inhibits their ability to comply with hours of service. The spending bill also contains a provision to extend a pilot program in Maine and Vermont to allow heavier trucks on interstates. Not to be confused with the transportation authorization debate in the House and Senate, this particular spending bill, known as HR2112, extends the spending level for federal and state roadways through August 2012.
Nationwide Conceal & Carry Law Moves to Senate
The bill introduced by Florida GOP Representative Cliff Stearns passed by an overwhelming margin last Wednesday 272 – 154. The bill, known as HR822 will now move to the Senate committee on the Judiciary. HR822 was created primarily to unify all Conceal & Carry laws across state lines. It is being labeled as a trucker-friendly federal safety measure that’s debated at a time when economic conditions are prompting more attacks on truckers to steal their possessions and payloads.
Mixed Results in Ohio Elections
As with many other cities around the nation that debate whether or not to keep red light and speed cameras in place, Cleveland voters were intimidated into keeping the cams operational as the mayor threatened deep cuts to police and fire services. The cameras funnel just over a million dollars into the civic budget per year, but it is not clear whether the money they generate goes directly to police and fire pensions.
Voters in Mantua, a southeastern suburb of Cleveland rejected ballot Issue 45 due to confusing language contained within the bill. Issue 45 was supposed to halt all tractor trailer traffic through the small town of 1,100 people and touted as a “child safety issue.” But conflicts arose quickly when it was discovered it would also ban commuter truck traffic as well, if a pickup had any sort of payload.
Maryland Carrier Gunthers Investigated for Falsifying Records
Gunthers Transport has been classified by the FMCSA as an imminent hazard to public safety for the second time since 1995 because company administrators not only allowed, but encouraged drivers to to falsify logbooks and skip pre-trip inspections. The FMCSA alleges that Gunthers poor equipment condition and rule breaking contributed to the company being responsible for seven crashes on state highways, one of which was fatal. They are currently shut down pending trial based on a two-year investigation.