Congratulations to our New America’s Road Team Captains
I can’t tell you how excited I am to have John Borman of Koch Trucking and Nathan Wick of UPS Freight as members of the 2013 ATA America’s Road Team. I have had the pleasure of working with Road Team members for the past 17 years, and they are truly the best! You will not find safer and more articulate truck drivers anywhere on this planet. Their commitment to improving highway safety and telling the trucking story is unparalleled. I have also grown to appreciate the huge commitment the motor carriers make to support these drivers.
Great Minds Think Alike
I just have to comment on the amazing timing of two major honors for Nathan Wick. His selection and announcement as both a Road Team Captain AND MTA Driver of the Year are purely coincidental. The evaluation process for each honor proceeded independent of the other. It just goes to show what a solid individual Nathan is, and how great minds to think alike!
Minnesotans Hold Key Transportation Positions in Congress
From a congressional perspective, Minnesota retains key seats on the congressional committees charged with overseeing transportation issues. Senator Amy Klobuchar retains her position on the Senate Commerce Committee. Congressman Tim Walz returns to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with a new peer, newly elected Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN8).
Join Us for April Call on Washington
We will be meeting with the entire federal delegation when we make our 2013 Call on Washington, April 9 to 11. Every year for more than a decade we have made the trek to our nation’s capitol to educate lawmakers regarding our issues. These visits make a difference, as evidenced by many MTA priorities included in the 2012 Federal Highway Bill. The trip is open to all MTA members. In addition to our congressional visits, we include a little site seeing and have time to enjoy some great food.
MBUF Will Be Key Topic
The concept of mileage-based user fees is simply not going away. The Government Accounting Office says Congress might want to consider a mileage fee for trucks and electric vehicles when it looks for ways to strengthen highway funding. GAO said that while privacy concerns and other issues limit the usefulness of such fees for automobiles, Congress should consider a pilot program to test them for trucks and electric cars. The agency was responding to a 2011 request for an analysis of vehicle mileage fees from the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee. You can bet this will be one of the topics we will discuss when we go to Washington.
Regulations in the Pipeline for 2013
Recently, the Department of Transportation released its annual list of regulatory priorities. The relevant truck safety issues of particular significance include:
- Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse – Proposed Rule Planned for April 2013
- Mandatory Truck Speed Limiters - Proposed Rule Planned for May 2013
- Electronic Logging Devices (EOBRs) – Supplemental Proposed Rule Planned for July 2013
- Safety Fitness (CSA Safety Ratings) - Proposed Rule Planned for November 2013
These dates are merely targets and are not set in stone. In fact, it is far more common for agencies to miss these targets than to hit them. However, they do offer some indications of DOT’s priorities and when the industry might anticipate action on important issues. We’ll keep you updated as these and other issues move forward in 2013. Remember, we’ve got your back!