Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. The U.S. Department of Labor has given the Teamsters Safety and Health Department a $4.6 million grant to establish apprenticeship programs for workers in the trucking industry. According to PR Newswire, the grant will be awarded over a five-year funding cycle. The grant is part of an effort to help develop a trained workforce in industries that are deemed critical to the U.S. economy and have shortages of qualified workers.
2. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal says a proposal to allow 18-year-olds drive commercial trucks would jeopardize motorists’ safety, the Hartford Courant reports. During a news conference earlier this week, Blumenthal and a trucking union leader also said the proposal would endanger truck drivers as well as other motorists on the highways, according to the Courant. The Courant has more.
3. Kentucky is considering arming police officers with portable kits to test drivers for controlled substances, according to The Courier-Journal. Kits include a mouth swab and screening device that can analyze saliva samples for up to 10 drugs, the report states. State officials are looking to help police counter the growing number of drivers who are high behind the wheel. The Courier-Journal has more.
4. The South Carolina Department of Transportation is studying the area of I-95 near the Georgia state line for improvements, such as cutting trees and adding cable barriers, The State reports. A recent fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer swerving and hitting a tree has prompted a call for cutting trees along the highway’s median, according to the report. The State mentioned that there have been 16 deaths associated with tree-related accidents in the area within the past five years.
5. Titan Transfer publicly thanked its staff of 500 drivers this week in honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, the Times-Gazette reports. Titan is honoring its drivers with cookouts, thank you gifts and giveaways, the company said. Titan also asks that consumers recognize the “significant contributions of professional truck drivers.”