Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. According to a report in The Hill, a $325 billion highway bill introduced in the House would make it more difficult for states to add tolls to U.S. highways. Present law requires that states construct new lanes on the highways they want to add tolls to, unless they are granted an exemption, which is limited to three states – Virginia, Missouri and North Carolina, The Hill says. Tolling advocates have said Congress should make it easier for states to add tolls as federal transportation funding is drying up. The most recent measure unveiled by the House would require states to approve legislation before participating in a federal pilot program to make it easier for states to ask permission to toll their roads.
2. Three lawmakers are on a mission to block Congress from permitting 10-ft.-longer trailers on the nation’s highways, according to The Sacramento Bee. According to the report, Se. Roger Wicker (R-MS) led a news conference asking his congressional colleagues to stymie the measure. He was joined by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, as well as the Teamsters Union president, safety advocates and numerous smaller trucking firms. Opponents do not support the measure due to safety reasons, and many have called the longer trucks “deadly doubles.”
3. Bryan Knowlton of Knowlton Trucking in Missouri has been nominated for a national award from FedEx Ground, the Liberty Tribune reports. Today, he is on his way to Pittsburgh to see if he is one of the three national winners. According to the report, Knowlton was selected as a regional winner for the FedEx Ground Entrepreneur of the Year Award in recognition of his “success, growth and commitment to customer service.” The Tribune has more.
4. We hear a lot about the truck driver shortage, but in Nashville, TN, there’s a school bus driver shortage. And ironically enough, Metro Nashville’s Public Schools have lost many of its bus drivers to trucking and other better-paying driving jobs, according to the Nashville Scene. School district officials say another 143 bus drivers are needed, and the district seeks anyone with a commercial driver’s license and clean driving record, according to the report.
5. Double Coin announced that a fleet owner-operator from Newfane, N.Y., has won its Smart Money Drawing, according to Tire Review. Robert Brueckner was randomly selected to receive a free set of Double Coin tires. According to the report, he operates a small trucking fleet that includes both Kenworth and Freightliner power units and lowboy trailers. The company’s next drawing is open now through Dec. 31, and a winner will be selected in mid-January.