Mask Mandate Reaches Truck Stops

One week from today another industry will take part in the efforts to contain the coronavirus. Yesterday, Love’s Travel Stops announced starting July 29th all 520 of their locations are requiring customers to wear face masks before entering their stores. Love’s joins the growing list of other retailers who have implemented a mask policy. Love’s President Shane Wharton states, “We are joining other retailers by implementing a face-covering policy for customers, and will continue to follow the guidance of health officials and adjust our practices to help keep our customers and team members safe.”

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Industries Seeking Tax Relief

While many sectors of the U.S. economy are reopening in the coming weeks, there are still concerns on how the economy will rebound. The trucking industry is seeking relief in a big way as they hope to push off the Federal Excise Tax (FEX) on new heavy-duty trucks and trailers through 2021.

Many obstacles have plagued the transportation industry during the last 18 months, including driver retainment and freight pay decreases. Those along with many other factors have contribattributed to hundreds of companies shutting down. Industry organizations including the American Truck Dealers believe the suspension of the 12% FEX will help bolster new truck sales as the industry recovers from  the impact of COVID-19.

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Getting Educated on Truck Safety

Truck safety the most important part in the transportation industry. According to CDL Knowledge, in 2015 there were 415,000 crashes involving large trucks. Of those, 4,050 were fatal incidents and there were a total 87,000 injuries. Most people who died as a result of these large truck crashes were in cars or passenger vehicles. Only 16% of truck occupants died compared the 69% of car occupants. The top three causes of truck accidents in 2015 were; prescription drugs (26%), driving too fast (23%), and over the counter drugs (17%). The impact that truck safety can have is astounding and there are many organizations around the country committed to improving safety and educating drivers. While some may require registration or membership fees, the amount of value safety training could provide greatly outweighs the costs.

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Watch Your Weight

Have you ever wondered who is responsible for the size and weight limit of the thousands of trucks traveling the highways and interstates throughout the United States? The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Freight Management and Operations is responsible for establishing and enforcing heavy truck size and weight standards on the interstate.  Vehicle class and weight standards are illustrated in the chart below.

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“2020 Vision for Safety”

Yesterday, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) released a report of the top states for road safety enforcement efforts. Rhode Island, for the fourth year in a row, was top of the list. Advocates is an alliance of consumer, public health, safety and insurance firms that support policies and programs designed to promote highway safety. On average, about 100 people are killed and 7,500 are injured daily with an annual economic burden of $242 billion, according to the Advocates President Cathy Chase. Advocates’ ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on adoption of 16 traffic safety laws. “The 16 optimal laws are precisely the types of recommendations nurses endorse to help prevent crashes and fatalities from happening or to reduce their severity,” said Mary Jagim, former president of the Emergency Nurses Association. “The goal of this rating is not to shame those states but rather to serve as a clarion call to action.”

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Dash Cams in the Transportation Industry

Dash cams have quickly become a growing trend in the transportation industry.  Since their original use on police cars in the 1980s, they have evolved from bulky cameras requiring VHS cassettes to smaller, sleeker, high definition cameras available today.  In fact, early dash cams were so expensive and provided such poor video quality, many police departments were not interested investing in them.  In the early-1990s however, normal citizens began installing them and recording police officers in hopes to record any unlawful stops.  Naturally, this prompted police departments across the country to adopt dash cams which in turn led to humorous shows such as Cops and World’s Wildest Police Videos.  Dash cam usage increased even more once Russian citizens began capturing people throwing themselves at cars.  The cameras would prove that the drivers were not at fault and avoid paying any damages.  We now see taxis, buses, and trucking companies utilizing dash cams for a multitude of purposes. 

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