Your Jan. 21 Pre-Trip: ATA questions legality of truck restrictions in RI toll plan

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. The proposed truck toll battle continues, and now the American Trucking Assns. is involved. ATA is questioning the legality of Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo’s plan to have state police prevent trucks from exiting highways to avoid paying tolls. According to the Providence Journal, ATA vice president and acting counsel Richard Pianka warned the governor about relying on revenue from the proposed tolls that are “premised on truck restrictions that are currently disallowed by federal and/or state law.” The Providence Journal has more.

2. Ohio’s Highway Patrol and the trucking industry are partnering to raise awareness of human trafficking, IndeOnline reports. Truckers, referred to as the “eyes and ears of the highways and interstate,” are being educated on the problem of human trafficking, and troopers are providing them with ways to report suspicious activity and vehicles to authorities, according to the report. IndeOnline has more.

3. The New York Times posted a NASA video of a “truck plane” to study GHG emissions. Engineers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California are studying whether a wing outfitted with 18 electric fans can reduce aircraft emissions. It’s worth checking out.

4. Wrecks, traffic jams, inadequate parking, unpaid time off – those are some of the thoughts truckers conjure up when they think of wintry weather, according to the Times Free Press. One driver told the Free Press: “You never get used to it … It’s not so much that I’m afraid to drive in it, it’s what everyone else does,” she said. According to the report, trucking giants like Covenant Transport in Chattanooga have entire departments dedicated to monitoring weather and dealing with emergencies and re-routes. But when re-routing isn’t an option, companies often have to let customers know shipments will be late. The Free Press has more.

5. By now, President Barack Obama had hoped that one million electric vehicles would be on the nation’s roadways. However, due to low gas prices, only about 400,000 electric cars have been sold, Business Insider reports. Last year, sales fell 6% over the previous year despite the industry offering a variety of models, often at discounted prices. Regardless, the industry is moving forward with EV development for many reasons, including imposed zero-emission vehicle mandates in many states, Business Insider states.

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