Here are five things worth knowing today:
1. The FMCSA has ordered the shut down of two trucking companies that are considered “imminent hazards to public safety,” according to Occupational Health & Safety magazine. Rhino Displays of Payson, IL, and Prudential carriers of Hampton, GA, were ordered to be immediately shut down following investigations that revealed violations of critical safety regulations, according to the report. For Rhino, FMCSA discovered that the company transported fireworks to a baseball stadium in Missouri even though the company had said it closed commercial fireworks transportation back in 2010. According to the report, some of the violations found were: open and improperly secured fireworks, absence of a federally required fire extinguisher, presence of alcohol in the vehicle, and the driver not possessing a CDL, among others. For Prudential, the FMCSA found that the company instructed a driver to continue operating a truck transporting a leaking load of canola oil onto I-75 in Georgia. According to the report, four accidents resulted from the spill before the driver was arrested, and violations included: failing to ensure its drivers complied with HOS regulations, failing to ensure vehicle was systematically inspected, and failure to comply with alcohol and controlled substance testing of company drivers.
2. Members of the Rhode Island House Republican caucus on Monday unveiled an alternative Gov. Gina Raimondo’s trucking toll proposal, Go Local Prov reports. The proposal calls for $60 million dedicated to bridge restoration in the current budget and also “rejects the governor’s call for $900 million in borrowing as ‘too costly,’” according to the report. When it comes to the $100 million a year generated from tolling only the trucking industry, Rep. Robert Lancia expressed concern. According to Go Local Prov, he said: “We are concerned about the impact taking $100 million a year from our trucking industry will have on consumer prices and on our economy as a whole. No one can claim it won’t cause significant damage.”
3. U.S. LTL trucking companies have reported an increase in both freight volume and contract trucking rates for the second quarter, according to JOC.com. Old Dominion Freight Line and ABF Freight System reported stronger than expected freight demand, and Landstar hauled more truckloads in the first part of the second quarter than in any comparable period in the company’s history, JOC said. In addition, privately owned carriers reportedly pulled in more freight during the second quarter. JOC has more.
4. Cities across Utah are urging counties to include a sales tax increase for local roads and mass transit on their ballots this year, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. According to the report, critics call the measure unfair because municipal election turnout is usually light; they suggest waiting until the 2016 presidential election year when the turnout would be higher. However, supporters are saying “The longer you wait, the more you spend,” according to the Tribune.
5. North Carolina’s Republican Senate released a budget Monday that would increase motor vehicle fees by 20-25%, according to The News & Observer. According to the report, the higher fees would be worth an additional $29 million next year and $77 million for the following fiscal year.