An eye on Washington

As part of our ongoing redesign of American Trucker and our new website, readers will notice a new page this month, Washington Update.

Simply, based on the high traffic counts that posts regarding trucking rules, regulations and legislation get on, we’ll be including some of that coverage here as well.

The leading transportation issue currently on Capitol Hill is the debate over a new, long-term federal funding plan, generally called the highway bill. Basically, both Republican and Democrats, along with almost everyone involved in moving freight on the road, want to see something done to improve and expand the highway system.

The problem is that the federal tax on a gallon of gasoline or diesel hasn’t changed since Bill Clinton was in the White House—and that money no longer keeps up with the increasing cost of road construction. But everyone seems to have a different idea about how to make up the difference.

The current highway bill, extended twice since last September, is set to expire May 31—so look for complete coverage in the June issue of American Trucker.

What we do have this month is a recent record-setter for views on the website and on the American Trucker Facebook page: an updated schedule of civil penalties for violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.

These take effect June 2, and some increases are substantial. The penalty for a driver who violates an out-of-service order is about to get $1,000 more expensive, for example, rising from $2,100 to $3,100. (See page 24 for the complete list.)

And speaking of regulations, also coming in June is the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 28th annual International Roadcheck, billed as the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world. Taking place June 2-4, this year’s point of emphasis is cargo securement. Some 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors will average nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected every minute in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

So truckers, triple-check those straps and chains—and buckle up while you’re at it. It’s that time of the year.

As always, be safe.


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