Deborah Whistler

NTSB says trucker involved in Maryland crash was distracted

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that a truck driver who smashed into two vehicles on the Bay Bridge in Maryland in July — pushing a car over the guard rail and into the river below — was distracted by lights and sounds behind him at the time of the crash, according to a preliminary report by the safety agency.

The NTSB said the truck driver in the July 19 accident was employed by a Canadian trucking company and was on his first solo trip in the United States.

Fatigued truckers targeted by law enforcement agencies

Law enforcement agencies in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia are partnering to target truck drivers who are running over allowable hours of service.

In an attempt to reduce the number of fatigued commercial vehicle drivers, the Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) Commercial Vehicle Division (CVD), along with highway enforcement in Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia will step up enforcement efforts focused on commercial vehicle driver’s hours of service.

Speed limit in Illinois to raise to 70 mph next year

The speed limit on rural interstate highways in Illinois will be raised to 70 mph next year after Gov. Pat Quinn approved legislation Aug. 19, despite opposition from the Illinois Dept. of Transportation, state police and leading roadway safety organizations.

The speed limit in Illinois is currently 55 mph in metropolitan areas and 65 on rural highways. But on Jan. 1, Illinois will become the 37th state to approve limits of 70 mph or higher.

Florida Highway Patrol seeks help finding hit-and-run trucker

The Florida Highway Patrol is seeking help locating a flatbed semitrailer truck carrying an industrial crane that struck an overpass Tuesday morning on Interstate 275 before the driver sped away.

The accident caused significant structural damage to the Kennedy Boulevard overpass at the Howard Frankland Bridge. A car that was driving direct behind the semi was also damaged, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.

PennDOT sets truck weight limits on bridges

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation plans to add new weight restrictions to 1,100 bridges throughout the state. The move would bar heavy trucks from critical travel routes.

The move could disrupt trucking routes and force big rigs onto back roads that aren’t designed to handle them, according to a Reading Eagle report.

PennDOT recently posted the list of bridges affected on its website at

Webinar will focus on intelligent transportation systems

Truckers are invited to participate in the Dept. of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Strategic Planning process on Tuesday, Sept. 10.  This is a rare opportunity to provide guidance directly to the DOT and influence future trucking industry research and technology initiatives, according to the Trucking Industry Mobility and Technology Coalition.

Ambassador Bridge ups tolls for 18-wheelers

The Ambassador Bridge tolls went up 25 cents for all vehicles on Aug. 15, a 5.3% hike. A discount of $1 per trip is available with a frequent user “Reward” program and use of a 3M 6C electronic toll sticker tag.
Truck tolls have risen a quarter for each class of truck. Class A  (0 – 36,000 lbs.) went from $3.25/axle to $3.50/axle; Class B  (36,001 – 54,000 lbs.) from $3.75/axle to $4/axle and Class C  (54,001 – 145,000 lbs.) from $5.25/axle to $5.50/axle

Truck drivers come to the rescue in fiery I-40 crash

A passing storm and subsequent wet highways were attributed to causing a fiery seven-vehicle crash including three tractor-trailer rigs recently on Interstate 40 in Cocke County Tennessee not far from the North Carolina state line.

TCA announces annual scholarship winners

Twenty-five college students will receive scholarships from the Truckload Carriers Assn.’s (TCA) scholarship fund for the 2013-14 academic year. Out of a grand total of approximately $75,000, the scholarships have been broken down into amounts ranging from $2,725 to $6,250. They are awarded to students associated with the truckload industry.

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