Your Aug. 7 Pre-Trip: How one state could be cashing in on truck inspections

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Trucking groups and traffic enforcement watchdogs in Michigan believe local police departments across the state got into the truck inspection business for more than keeping the roads safe, the Michigan Capitol Confidential reports. They believe local police are wrongly issuing citations to generate more revenue. According to the report, Mike Matousek of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said: “Local enforcement of commercial motor vehicle safety standards is about revenue, not about safety. There is a greater chance that local law enforcement officials will wrongfully issue a citation. It can effectively force professional truck drivers out of the industry and impact customers.” Under Michigan law, local police who have training can perform truck inspections, and municipalities get to keep a percentage from traffic and safety fines imposed for violations, CapCon said. CapCon has more.

2. One Senator is introducing legislation that would nearly double the 18.4-cents-per-gallon tax to help fund transportation infrastructure around the country, according to The Hill. Sen. Tom Carper’s (D-Del.) proposal would increase the gas tax by 4 cents per year for the next four years. According to The Hill, Carper said the Congress’ failure to pass a long-term transportation bill this summer showed it’s time to raise the gas tax, which has been the same since 1993. The Hill has more.

3. Joe Carson, a truck driver for the past 27 years, has logged 2.7 million miles and he’s never been in an accident, according to the Shelbyville Daily Union. Carson drives for FedEx in Effingham, Ill., and navigates a 48-ft. trailer through cramped car dealerships and backs the trailers along unpaved country driveways, the report said. Carson will be joining more than 400 of the nation’s best driver’s in next week’s National Truck Driving Championships in St. Louis.  

4. Lawmakers from California, Texas and Virginia are trying to attract the autonomous car industry by financing research centers, building fake suburbs for testing the cars, and possibly going light on regulation to bring autonomous vehicles to their states, according to The New York Times. According to the Times, their incentive is gaining a piece of the estimated $20 billion that automakers and other companies will spend globally on development over the next five years. The New York Times has more.

5. The American Association of State Highway and transportation Officials congratulates Greg Nadeau on his confirmation as the new Federal Highway Administrator, AASHTO News announced. The Senate approved Nadeau to run the FHWA before beginning its August recess.

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