Your June 24 Pre-Trip: Senators blast NHTSA

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. U.S. senators are slamming the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the release of Monday’s audit, which found “the agency provided too little guidance to automakers, seldom tried to verify information it received and allowed a convoluted, overworked system to let defects go unaddressed,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The audit was initiated amid last year’s General Motors’ ignition switch defect recall, which is linked to 117 deaths, according to the Press. The audit found that “NHTSA provides automakers no detailed guidance on what they should report regarding potential problems, doesn’t verify completeness or accuracy of the data provided and generally relies on what agency officials called the ‘honor system’ for manufacturers to live up to their responsibilities to report defects,” the Press reports.

2. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a six-year highway bill that would boost overall spending on the nation’s roads and bridges, according to The Washington Post. According to the report, the bill would increase highway spending by almost 13% over the current level, and it includes a new program to spend more than $2 billion a year among states to invest in improvements for freight facilities. The current highway funding measure expires at the end of July, and senators in the coalition acknowledged that it will be difficult for the Senate and House to pass a bill. One of the major challenges facing Congress is how to pay for long-term highway funding. “Failure to address a multibillion-dollar deficit in the Highway Trust Fund is the reason Congress has been able to pass only one genuine long-term bill to highways and transit systems so far this century,” the Post said.

3. The Port of Oakland is installing sensors along the streets leading up to its terminals to gauge how long truck drivers wait to pick up cargo, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to the port, the sensors will pick up signals from cellphones and other wireless devices as drivers enter and leave the area. Truckers have complained of waiting in long lines outside of port terminals, and, according to the report, “since most port truckers are paid by the load, longer wait times mean fewer ‘turns’ at the port, and that hits their paychecks, they say.”

4. Warehouse storage, truck transportation and other shipping costs are likely to rise due to capacity and driver shortages, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ annual State of Logistics report, “shipping volumes will soar and capacity will struggle to keep up, particularly in the trucking business, which already faces a driver shortage.”

5. A Hickory, NC, man and his sister-in-law are suing a moving company that they claim stole more than $7,000 worth of household items, WBTV reports. William Morris said he hired AAA Moving & Storage to move his sister-in-law from Hickory to Houston, TX, according to the report. After the movers delivered a truck load of boxes, Morris said his sister-in-law called him to report that her silverware, pots and pans, lamps and assorted tools were missing. WBTV has more.

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