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Women trucker self defense course confronts attacks against women

Feb
20,
2017
0

Social Trucking Group to Engage Taekwondo on the High Seas

United States Taekwondo Directory

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.Jan. 10, 2017PRLog — The Real Women in Trucking Organization, a 501 (c) 6 trade association, will host a two hour Women’s Basic Self Defense Class in an unprecedented measure to bring awareness to the dangers female drivers face while living life on the road. The class will be part of the organization’s 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise, another first-of-its-kind event taking place March 26 through April 1, 2017.

Allen Smith, founder of the United States Taekwondo Directory and well-known trucking advocate will be conducting the class during the “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” event.

“For most people, the realm of professional over-the-road trucking is a secret world,” Allen pointed out. “It is recognized as a dangerous job but it goes far beyond that. It does not take into account the threats these men and women face while traveling into dangerous areas in the country in order to pick-up or deliver the goods. The industry operates 24/7 and the opportunities for assault, especially against women drivers, can be high. I don’t know too many women who like to walk across a dark, isolated parking lot for a 3 a.m. delivery appointment in Chicago or the Bronx. It makes sense to provide practical self defense education to those who keep America moving.”

The class will focus on real-life street assault scenarios. The purpose is to provide easy-to-understand, yet effective techniques that are efficient in a street attack.

Mr. Smith expanded by saying: “The problem with many women’s self defense classes is that they are unrealistic and in most cases, can get the person hurt in a real-life situation. This is a very real and dangerous issue within the industry and I take it very seriously. Will they leave a two-hour class as experts in self defense? Absolutely not, but they will have a better understanding of how to react if ever faced with a violent confrontation.”

Desiree Wood, founder of Real Women in Trucking, expanded on the importance for self defense instruction for women drivers:

“The self defense class idea came as a result of women drivers asking for it when we planned the cruise. Many of these drivers have never been given basic self defense instruction though they often find themselves working in isolated areas with poor lighting that are not familiar to them. There was an expressed desire by the women of the organization to have an actual class instruction while on the cruise.”

“In today’s world women should know some basic self defense skills. Truck drivers, regardless of gender, are at risk to be robbed and assaulted in the course of their work environment. Professional truck drivers need to have a general understanding on how to protect against an assault or avoid one altogether.” Desiree Wood

For a complete itinerary of the six-day cruise, visit the 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise page. All those in trucking and their families are invited to attend.

Common Street Attacks against women

Common Street Attacks against women- Self defense class scheduled March 27th – RealWomenInTrucking.org Lady Truck Driver Cruise

Allen Smith who was formerly in law enforcement and has taught Traditional Tae Kwon Do both publicly and privately since receiving his first black belt in 1979 will be teaching a “Women’s Basic Self Defense” course for attendees of the cruise that includes the following:

 
* Self Defense Theory of Simplicity
* Recognizing the 5 Stages of Imminent Violence
* The 5 Most Common Places For Attacks On Women
* The 5 Most Common Street Attacks on Women
* Soft Target Focus : Proven Self Defense Techniques : (Group Participation)
* Improvised Weapons
* Self Defense Legalities
Every attendee will receive a detailed booklet of the seminar to keep as a study/reference guide.

There’s still time
For additional cruise information including sponsorship opportunities contact Donna Smith at: donna@realwomenintrucking.org or desiree@realwomenintrucking.org

For media inquiries, contact: Desiree Wood via: info@realwomenintrucking.org.

If you are a martial arts instructor who holds a 3rd degree black belt or above and would like to participate in the class instruction, contact Allen Smith via the details listed below.

Contact
Allen Smith
United States Taekwondo Directory

Allen Smith, founder of United States Taekwondo Directory will teach a two hour Women’s Basic Self Defense Class to bring awareness to the dangers female drivers face while living life on the road. The class will be part of the the RealWomenInTrucking.org 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise, taking place March 26 through April 1, 2017.

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Judge grants class certification against C.R. England Student-Truck Lease Lawsuit

Feb
14,
2017
1

For many years I’ve been writing and warning new drivers not to be lured by company truck Lease Purchase programs.  Most veteran drivers know that  carrier Lease Agreements are meant for the company to be profitable and the driver to fail.

On January 31, 2017  IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF UTAH – CENTRAL DIVISION   MEMORANDUM
DECISION AND ORDER


Utah U.S. District Court judge, Judge Robert J. Shelby, granted certification to a nationwide class of truck drivers who allege fraud and other statutory claims against C.R. England.
The court issued this favorable ruling for truck drivers, certifying a class action in the C.R. England Student Driver- Truck Lease lawsuit.

Truck drivers allege claims of fraud, false advertising, and company unjust enrichment against C.R. England

Plaintiffs Charles Roberts and Kenneth McKay, who drove for C.R. England as independent contractors and leased trucks from Horizon in 2009, allege that the defendants developed a fraudulent plan to induce thousands of people to enroll in C.R. England’s driver training schools by promising students “the choice” of eventual employment as a company driver or the ability to earn a desirable income driving as an independent contractor. Truckers claimed however that the company driver positions were largely unavailable, leaving the enticing option to lease trucks from England and become independent contractor drivers.

Judge Shelby certified a nationwide class of C.R. England drivers who meet the following criteria:

1) signed the Vehicle Leasing Agreement with Horizon,

2) signed the Independent Contractor Operating Agreement with C.R. England,

3) during the applicable statute of limitations period, and

4) drove at least one day as an IC lease operator for C.R. England.

“This is a putative class action brought against two affiliated trucking companies by drivers once associated with those companies. Plaintiffs Charles Roberts and Kenneth McKay allege that Defendants C.R. England, Inc. and Opportunity Leasing, Inc. developed a fraudulent plan to induce thousands of people to enroll in England’s driver training schools by promising students the choice of eventual employment as a company driver or the ability to earn a desirable income driving as an independent contractor.  Plaintiffs contend that in reality, company driver positions were largely unavailable, and students in the driver training schools were subjected to a misinformation campaign to convince them to lease trucks from the Defendants and become independent contractor drivers affiliated with England. Hundreds, if not thousands, of students were persuaded to invest substantial sums of money to lease trucks from Defendants and become independent contractor drivers. But many soon found they could not earn a living as they had 2
been led to believe, and were left debt-ridden.

Plaintiffs sue to recover on behalf of these drivers and now move the court for class certification.
1 Defendants acknowledge the hardship accompanying the life of a long-haul trucker, but vigorously deny Plaintiffs’ allegations. Defendants oppose class certification, 2 move for judgment on the pleadings on several of the Plaintiffs’ claims, 3 and request summary judgment under several theories. 4 To Defendants, the fraud Plaintiffs allege is a fiction, and myriad individualized issues make this case unsuitable for class certification.
After careful consideration of the pleadings, the parties’ extensive briefing and post-hearing submissions, the record developed, and the arguments presented by counsel, the court grants Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings, denies Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and grants in part and denies in part Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.”  Read the entire Order here

If you are a current or former lease driver for C.R. England and want to share your experience as a lease driver go to CR England Class Action Lawsuit Website

We will be having the attorney for this case, Robert S. Boulter – Certified Specialist In Franchise and Distribution Law- on AskTheTrucker “Live” Saturday Feb 25th 6PM ET .

 

NOTE: A Certification Court ruling allows one or several drivers to bring suit for all others similarly situated.  In this CR England case for instance, the court allowed two drivers to sue on behalf of all 11,000.  These drivers are now all part of the case unless they opt out.  It’s s powerful tool to aggregate workers rights to seek back wages due.

Interestingly, bill H.R. 985 has been introduced, “Fairness in Class Action” To amend the procedures used in Federal court class actions and multi-district litigation proceedings to assure fairer, more efficient outcomes for claimants and defendants, and for other purposes.

As with many bills, their titles can be misleading and must be looked at with a grain of salt. The title “Fairness in Class Action”, actually translates to restrictions so broad, that the ability for workers to file Class Actions against corporations would pretty much come to an end.  Many of these companies have allegedly and willfully taken advantage of their workers.

As we always say, Power is in numbers, and if H.R.985 is passed, corporations would no longer be accountable when mass injustice is part of their business plan.  Individuals would need to file individually rather than Class Action.

I can’t help but think, was the trucking industry involved in this bill?  How about “big pharma”?

If H.R.985 is passed, this could dissolve this CR England case,and if won by drivers,  drivers would not receive deserving compensation.

The ONLY Truck Lease we at AskTheTrucker.com and Truth About Trucking, LLC recommend is Lone Mountain Truck Leasing.

Lone Mountain Truck Lease

Lone Mountain Truck Lease (866) 512-5685

 

 

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Will the NRA embrace Michael’s Law Amendment Constitutional gun carry?

Feb
10,
2017
0

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been trying for over a decade with various national reciprocity gun permit attempts.  In accordance with the 10th amendment, each state has their own laws when it comes to gun rights and the 2nd amendment, with many states being strongly against national reciprocity,believing it would infringe on their state’s rights.

Legal gun owners many times find crossing state lines with a firearm confusing, as a permit legal in one state may not be acknowledged by another state. Some have even been arrested doing so.

Concealed Carry Permit Reciprocity Maps
The Permit map link  shows which states you can carry concealed in as well as which state’s permits are honored in a particular state.

The most recent bill introduced to the house has been applauded by the NRA.
H.R. 38, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, authored by Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8).
The question arises however, that even if the NRA is successful with a Republican Congress and President, it is unclear whether such a move that uses Federal power to force one state to accept the standards of another, would withstand judicial scrutiny. Most likely, restrictive states like New York would challenge national reciprocity on 10th Amendment “States’ Rights” grounds and such a law could be declared by SCOTUS “UnConstitutional.
Thus any victory in this area could wind up being very short-lived.

James Lamb of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) also has also been fighting for a gun rights law since 2014. The SBTC believes there is a better way to accomplish the NRA’s goal of national reciprocity, a “back door in” that avoids the state’s 10th amendment fight… It’s called the Michael’s Law Amendment

HISTORY OF THE MICHAEL’S Law Amendment

The initial attempt of the SBTC was called Michael’s law, named after murdered trucker Michael Boeglin.  Read more Trucker found shot in truck in Detroit, rig burned

The original 2014 Mike’s Law bill would have created a business carry permit for Americans working in Interstate Commerce. This was rejected by the NRA.
NRA objected to
(1) special carve out
(2) gun permitting leading to gun registration leading to confiscation.
So, James and the SBTC listened to NRA members, went back to the drawing board, and started all over from scratch.
SBTC  created Plan B the Michael’s Law Amendment to address the NRA and NRA membership’s concerns.

Both the NRA and the The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) believe there should be law allowing citizens to legally carry from state to state, relieving citizens with gun permits from the confusion of state carry laws.  The difference is the way these two organizations  have gone about addressing it.

The SBTC has chosen the different path of the Michael’s Law Amendment, one which they believe will be more tolerated by the states.   The amendment would be to an existing Federal firearms-related statute (18 U.S.C. 926A; Interstate Transportation of Firearms) in furtherance of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, calling for the statute to be re-entitled: “Interstate Possession, Transportation and Carrying of Firearms;”

As part of the Michael’s Law Amendment, SBTC has recently created the Trucker Lives Matter website which offers updates and information regarding the progress of the Michael’s Law Amendment. Along with the Trucker Lives Matter website, the Social Media group on Facebook, by the same name, is quickly becoming a movement. Tucker Lives Matter on Facebook presently has over 22,000 members in just 3 weeks.

Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A

Michael’s Law Amendment is a PRO GUN Federal legislative effort that ‘tweaks’ an existing Federal statute already on the books called “Interstate Transportation of Firearms” (18 U.S.C. 926A). Michael’s Law Amendment has two parts that would essentially do four things:

1. Michael’s Law Amendment makes the distinction between merely “possessing” a locked, unloaded firearm only for the purpose of transporting it… and actually carrying a firearm in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity for self-defense purposes. Currently, 926A neither authorizes nor prohibits the “carrying” of firearms interstate; it just speaks to “possession” for the purpose of transporting it unloaded and locked up.

2. Michael’s Law Amendment makes it a Federal Law to be able to CARRY from one state to another state. Without the need for a permit at all. It essentially just reaffirms the Second Amendment and is a declaration of all American citizens’ right to CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY from state-to-state.

3. Michael’s Law Amendment preempts a state’s ability to regulate the carrying of firearms by an American citizen who is entering their state, leaving their state or passing through their state pursuant to Federal authority under the Commerce Clause.

4. Michael’s Law Amendment, in accordance with the 10th Amendment, respects a state’s right to regulate its own residents who choose to live, work, and travel point-to-point within that state’s boundaries. But that right stops once another state is introduced into the equation, again, as a matter of Federal authority to regulate commerce between the states.

Existing Law §926A. Interstate transportation of firearms 

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter
from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such
firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any
ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle
without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. (Added Pub. L. 99–360, §1(a), July 8, 1986, 100 Stat. 766.)

Amended Law- Here is the full text of the proposed law:

18 U.S. Code 926A; (Renamed): Interstate possession, transportation and carrying of firearms…

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of any Federal law or any Federal rule, a person who is an American citizen and is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from possessing,
carrying, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to carry on his person in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity and transport a firearm for any lawful purpose
from any place in any state to any other place in a different state in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(2) FEDERAL PREEMPTION The states are hereby preempted from regulating firearms that are transported into, out of, or through their state by a person who is an American citizen
and is not a resident of that state, regardless of whether or not the firearm is carried in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the United States
Constitution.

The Michael’s Law Amendment… It’s NOT just for truckers.

Although The Michael’s Law Amendment is not just for truckers, the truck driving community has embraces the concept of a back door for legal gun carry in all states.

Trucker Lives Matter appeared Live on the NRA-TV show on Tuesday, Jan. 31st, 2017 at 5:30pm Eastern

NRA TV Trucker Lives Matter

James Lamb of SBTC appears live on NRA -TV to discuss gun rights and the Michael’s Law Amendment

Petition to NRA to Endorse and Lobby for the Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S.C. 926A

Q: How is Michael’s Law Amendment different from the NRA National Reciprocity bills?

A: The NRA has been pursuing “national reciprocity” in various different forms for over 10 years. They continue to go down this road. The SBTC is concerned that even if they are successful with a Republican Congress and President, it is unclear whether such a move that uses Federal power to force one state to accept the standards of another, would withstand judicial scrutiny. We expect highly restrictive states like New York would challenge national reciprocity on 10th Amendment “States’ Rights” grounds and such a law could be declared by SCOTUS “UnConstitutional.” So, any victory in this area could wind up being very short-lived. We believe there is a better way to accomplish this goal, a back door in that avoids the fight…

Once again, The SBTC bill merely tweaks an existing Federal statute (18 U.S.C. 926A) and creates a national right to carry from one state to another by asserting the “Commerce Clause” of the United States Constitution as the lawful basis for Congress to tell the states they may only regulate the carrying of firearms for their own residents that stay within their state. And it preempts them from interfering with interstate carrying of firearms in accordance with the Second Amendment. SBTS believes there is no bona fide states’ rights challenge since the Constitution clearly gives the Federal government jurisdiction over such matters pertaining to two or more different states.

The NRA has not officially recognized the Michael’s Law Amendment, although they did say they supported the right that “Mike’s Law” would bestow (without actually saying the supported the original Mike’s Law proposal outright.)
They have moved down only one path, the path to national reciprocity.

So the question is:  Will the NRA embrace Michael’s Law Amendment Constitutional gun carry?

The SBTC has been petitioning the NRA for over a year to lobby in favor of their bill as well.  Read more  Another Trucker Gets Shot: SBTC Challenges NRA to Back their Michael’s Law Amendment to 18 U.S. Code 926A to Allow Truckers to Defend Themselves

Trucker Lives Matter FAQ’s

***************************************

Truckers Lives Matters- Michael’s Law Amendment Press Release
Transportation Trade Group Launches ‘Trucker Lives Matter’ Movement

A South Florida-based non-profit transportation trade group representing small players in the industry across America, including truck drivers, says it is time to “Make the Roads Safe Again.”

In an effort to stop the current murder rate of interstate truckers– and other workers in interstate commerce– of approximately 50 men and women per year (according to US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,) the Small Business in Transportation Coalition’s (“SBTC”) president, James Lamb, announced today the group has formally launched the ‘TRUCKER LIVES MATTER’ (“TLM”) movement through their new website: http://www.TruckerLivesMatter.com.

According to Lamb, the website directs truckers– and other interested Americans– to join the movement on social media by becoming a member of the group’s Facebook Page. TLM is encouraging supporters to adopt the TLM logo as their social media profile picture through this Twibbon campaign. The site is also selling TRUCKER LIVES MATTER t-shirts to raise funds. A detailed FAQ page explains the group’s legislative efforts, their take on NRA’s “national reciprocity” efforts, and the various existing state laws that currently prevent truckers from carrying firearms nationwide to protect themselves. Lamb’s bill asserts Federal authority through the Constitution’s “Commerce Clause,” which allows Congress to preempt the states’ regulation of guns entering, exiting, or merely passing through their states.

The website directs visitors to a petition to the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) in an effort to promote and acquire NRA support of the SBTC-written pro-gun bill called the “Michael’s Law Amendment (to 18 U.S.C. 926A),” named after the late Indiana-based over-the-road trucker Michael Boeglin who was killed and burned while sleeping in his truck in Detroit in June 2014. Lamb has been pursuing new legislation in various forms since Boeglin’s death. Boeglin’s then-pregnant widow Ashley Boeglin teamed up with Lamb in 2014 and signed on to the SBTC-led efforts to get a law passed that would enable truckers to thwart future attacks against them on the road. She has approved the use of her late husband’s name in connection with the legislation, currently under consideration by the Honorable U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“If there’s one thing we have learned over the past two and a half years, it’s that you don’t get a pro-gun bill introduced into Congress easily without the support of the NRA,” Lamb noted. NRA disapproved of Lamb’s first legislative draft and he says they have not commented on the new version yet, which seeks to address NRA’s past concerns.

“Unlike our first attempt, this Plan B bill is not a special carve out for truckers in that it applies to all Americans and there is no gun permit or registration issue involved. We would hope the NRA is not opposed to simultaneously backing two bills, theirs and ours, as all roads lead to respecting the Second Amendment for all Americans,” Lamb said.

Rubio, from Miami, Florida, who ran for president this past election cycle (2015-2016), in part, on fighting ISIS and was later re-elected to the Senate in November 2016 to a new 6 year term, is a well known supporter of Second Amendment rights. Lamb said he has pointed out to Rubio’s staff that with all the recent terrorist “truck jackings” in Europe and an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack at Fort Lauderdale airport just two weeks ago, which is in SBTC’s home city and Rubio’s own state: “It’s only a matter of time before trucks are used as weapons by terrorists here on American soil,” Lamb warned.

“In talking with Rubio’s staff, we believe introduction of the bill into the U.S. Senate will happen later this month after the new Republican President has settled in, Lamb said.

The TruckerLivesMatter.com website points truckers to employers that will allow them to carry firearms to protect themselves against the dangers of living and working on the road, including the safe truck parking shortage recently highlighted by the Wall Street Journal.

Lamb appeared on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Trucking News with Mark Willis earlier this week to promote the new TLM movement and take calls for truckers. Lamb released this Facebook live footage, which represents an excerpt from the interview.

“I believe the fact that over 15,000 truckers immediately joined TLM within just a few days of our launching this movement shows that truckers believe their lives do indeed matter and it’s high time we ‘make the roads safe again’,” Lamb said.

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Congressional Law could further hurt driver wages IF no action is taken

Jan
19,
2017
1

InfoGraphic explains how upcoming Congressional Law could further hurt driver wages IF drivers do not take action

Say NO to Additional Federal Law to Preempt State Labor Laws.
Call the Government Switchboard 202-224-3121

The #1 priority for Trucking Associations, such as the ATA, is to assert Federal Authority ( such as the F4A preemption), to ensure drivers are not paid for all time working.
They plan on doing this by over riding Supreme Court decisions and states rights by appealing ( lobbying) to Congress in order to Preempt State Labor Laws using Federal Authority.    ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power

Should this legislation pass, it would ensure that drivers will be paid only for the miles they drive and none of the 30-40 hr/week they do in addition to driving.

Trucking industry lobbyists have stated that they plan to target the new Republican control in Washington, D.C., to pass legislation which would preempt State Labor laws. These state labor laws pay truckers for work and breaks in addition to their driving time.

American Trucking Associations and the Western States Trucking Association, both of whom have said legislation to assert federal authority over break and pay laws for truckers is a top-level agenda item in the coming years. “This actually is our No. 1 priority,” says Western States’ head of government affairs Joe Rajkovacz. Read more

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ATA wants Federal Laws- Truckers Say NO! Give states the power

Jan
9,
2017
4

Say No to additional Federal Laws used to preempt  State Labor Laws

There are many concerns for drivers in 2017.  According to surveys, both from Overdrive and ATRI, on top of the list are the concerns for ELD and Hours of Service. It makes sense that they would be the top 2 concerns as both affect truck driver wages and the ability to earn a living wage.
Drivers are paid piece work wages, or cents per mile as most know. The HOS dictates how many hours you may drive and work, and the ELD enforces it. So I guess you could say that Truck Driver Wages are the top concern for professional drivers. For some silly reason, truck drivers believe they should be paid for ALL their time.  The industry thinks differently.

Piece work wages

Piece work wages and “working for free”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A study in 1998 by Martin Labbe Assoc commissioned by the Truckload Carriers Assoc. reveals truckload drivers spend about 40 Hrs. per week waiting loading and unloading.

FACT: The more unpaid hours you work, the less valued you are

Do you believe drivers should be paid for all time? All time such as waiting at loading docks, inspections, and all non driving responsibilities? I know I do, and there are many others who would agree.
We asked this question on Facebook and here are the replies, there were many.

Next question is, Do you believe the Federal  deregulation laws, such as the 1994 Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act ( F4A), designed to deregulate a states ability to regulate freight, should also be used to over ride or preempt their Labor Laws?
The industry has taken this argument to court. The courts, including supreme courts said NO. States have their rights to protect employees.

Summary  and vision of what is coming SOON in 2017 affecting  Driver Wages- Are you ready?

 

1994, congress passed the Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act (F4A1994)in an effort to deregulate the aviation and trucking industries.
F4A had all to do with Freight rates and NOTHING to do with Labor rates.

There are about 20 states which enforce labor laws, many paying employees for all time working.  Motor carriers have lost a number of lawsuits where they failed to pay drivers for their tasks other than driving in these states. ( such as detention time, waiting, inspections, etc…) Although drivers were allowed rest breaks, they are not forced to take them.

meal and Rest Break

Intrastate Truckers- Meal & Rest Break Allowances- Drivers not forced to take them but are paid.

Read more about the different cases.  California Meal and Rest Break Laws Are Not Preempted by the FAAAA: Ninth Circuit

Since motor carriers lost these cases in Federal Courts, the industry ( ATA) wants the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to STEP in and create LAWS ( to over ride the Supreme Court decisions), referring to F4A1994 ( scroll down to the bottom) saying that Labor laws should be preempted by Federal laws.

TITLE VI–INTRASTATE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY
 
SEC. 601. PREEMPTION OF INTRASTATE TRANSPORTATION OF PROPERTY.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/house-bill/2739/text
 
……2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law,
regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier ……

 Again, the intent of the 1994 Federal Aviation bill was designed to prevent the states regulation of FREIGHT, not to regulate state labor Laws. The Circuit Courts and the Supreme Court has stated this regarding lawsuits between motor carriers and drivers, MANY TIMES.  The Carriers Lost.
Now the trucking industry  wants to bypass the courts and go directly to Congress.

If  you can’t win in the Supreme Court then take it to Congress and change the Law!

Chris Spear,The President and CEO of the ATA has said “…. preempting states that have added redundant rest break requirements on top of the existing federal standard, ATA will continue to push hard for federal preemption of specific state laws when the 115th Congress convenes next month.”  In other words, they will target the new 2017  Trump Administration.
It’s not just paid rest breaks that are in jeopardy, it’s all non driving responsibilities such as all waiting time.

NOTE:  70% of Truck Drivers voted for Donald Trump in hopes he would stand for truck drivers. In other words,  the ATA isn’t the only one’s who will address their fight to the 115th Congress.

 EVERYONE NEEDS to be aware in early 2017
Coming soon in the form of an amendment or provision in an existing bill, such as the amended THUD ( passed the house but needs to be voted on in the Senate), or even  a stand alone bill. If passed, it would affect truck driver wages in 2017, and permanently, just as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has. The Fair Labor Standards Act ( FLSA) which has exempted truckers for decades from being  paid overtime.

The FLSA provides an overtime exemption for employees who are within the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service according to Section 204 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935.

The trucking industry, including The ATA, 50 ATA-affiliated state trucking associations, the National Private Truck Council, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association,  continue to argue the meaning and” intent” in Federal Law of 1994 Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act,  saying the F4A “meant to” preempt state labor laws. Read more  The Truth about Meal and Rest Breaks

Here’s what OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said regarding amended wording in the F4A Reauthorization Act,
“Driver pay and situations where a driver’s time is taken advantage of without compensation most certainly should be addressed,”  “While the section of the aviation bill is intended as a response to the California meal and rest break law, its implications go well beyond that state. Its ultimate impact on all states is simply not known.” If the bill is passed with Section 611 intact, motor carriers could only have to pay drivers on a piecework or per-mile basis. Gone could be any chance at pay for detention time, safety inspections, paperwork, or any other work-related tasks that do not involve racking up miles. It could also gut the ability of states to individually address these sorts of issues in the future, according to OOIDA.

 

Use GovTrack to find out who represents you in Congress and what bills they have sponsored.

SUMMARY

After losing case after case in Federal Courts, the focus of those opposed to driver fair wages, was and remains, that by applying the exemption in the 1935 Motor Carrier Act, and then altering by persuasion the original meaning and intent of Congress  in the 1994 federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act ( Title VI section 601)  to deregulate the aviation and trucking industries, the ATA and others in the trucking industry, hope that Congresses provisions to bills would be passed and  state labor laws (protecting trucker wages) would be preempted by Federal Law. They have FAILED to do so in 2015 and 2016.
First attempt failed in the FAST ACT  Transportation bill in 2015, (at that time the Denham Amendment was attempted to be slipped in at the 11th hour), and then attempted again, as wording was attempted to be included in the Federal Aviation re-authorization bill in 2016 . Again it Failed and the wording was not included in the final bill.

BUT They are trying it AGAIN in early 2017….and they are determined! COULD BE the THUD bill next

The  THUD bill (Transportation Housing and Urban Development Section 134)), if passed, would end all hopes for drivers to be paid for all time.  It would then be almost impossible to create any new labor laws to pay drivers for all time.

NOTE:    Legislation is pending in the House of Representative, entitled H.R. 5394 –Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 (“THUD”).

On May 17, 2016, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved the 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill.

This bill included an amendment of the FAAAA that would preempt state rest- and meal-break laws, retroactive to 1994.
Congress recently combined the FAAAA amendment as Section 134 of H.R. 5394, which is an omnibus federal budget bill to fund the federal government through most of 2017.  Congress could very well vote on H.R. 5394 in 2017

BE AWARE. We will keep you posted.
We must make our representatives aware as well as the members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Highways and Transit.

CONCLUSION
In 2017 if the ATA succeeds, initiating Congress to pass new law preempting ALL STATE LABOR laws for  intrastate TRUCK DRIVERS , then that same provision or law would then be applied to all 50 states and eliminate any chance for being paid non driving responsibilities.
It’s an attempt  to ensure that truck drivers will NEVER be able to be paid anything except their piece work wages, as we all know it, cents per mile.

It’s not just Intrastate drivers who will be affected

Truck drivers in all 50 states would be affected by this dangerous provision or any new bill which would include the wording, because their states would be barred from passing laws that protect drivers from being docked, not only for bathroom and meal breaks, but for ‘non-driving’ responsibilities, such as loading the truck.

Remember The ATA has stated that one of their 2 major goals would be in 2017 to overturn the states labor laws which protect drivers who pick up and deliver in states which have labor laws to protect their employees.

So I ask you again, Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers?

Most of us believe that the Federal Government should not be able to overpower the states. Most of us do not believe in more regulations, especially when it come to trucking and regulations which affect drivers ability to earn a living wage. So why would we want the Federal Government to over ride STATES RIGHTS?

At a time when HOS and ELD’s are affecting driver wages, SAY NO to any bill or provision  which would prevent any hope for drivers to be paid for ALL time.

We’ll be making a series of videos and post updating you on the progress of the ATA and their attempts to influence government regarding labor laws and truck driver wages.

I invite EVERYONE to a show on AskTheTrucker Live I’ll be hosting. We will be discussing the seriousness of this issue Federal Laws Preempting State Labor Law- How they affect truckers now and in the future.

 

*************************************************

Additional Reading

How to Ensure Fair Trucker Wages in the 2015 Transportation Bill

Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611

ATA urges TIC to include provision in AIRR Act keeping trucker wages low

Senator Boxer urges Appropriations Committee not to add “Denham Language” in THUD

The Truth About Trucking Network says NO to the Denham Amendment

Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers?
The Denham Method. Will it Take Money Out of Your Pocket??? by Pat Hockaday

AskTheTrucker “Live” 2 Crucial Trucking Topics for drivers

Trucking Open Forum- Blocking Fair Wages for Truckers

The Denham Amendment MUST Be Defeated!! by Hal Kiah

House Passes Transportation Bill with Meal and Rest Break Implications

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Attention Shippers & Receivers-TIRED TRUCKERS NEED YOUR HELP

Dec
27,
2016
0

Attention Shippers & Receivers -TIRED TRUCKERS NEED YOUR HELP!

 Jason's Law Proclamation

Greg Nadeau, FHWA Administrator- Jason’s Law Proclamation

It’s the end of a 12 to 14 hr day.

A day of traffic congestion, tight delivery/pickup schedules, pickup and delivery delays, weather, and when all the time on the job is considered (loading and unloading times) the driver is already nearing a 100 hrs on the job this week when he has arrived at a truck stop and discovered there are no parking places available.

Maybe there is a tight irregular space he could maneuver into if he could find a couple drivers to watch his vehicle corners and maybe the truck stop operators would not require him to move during the night because he is illegally parked.

If he calls his company they will blame him for not sufficiently planning his day, and besides, what can they do anyway, that is the only truck stop close to where he ran out of log hours, which naturally was his fault.

Very often, I have watched tired drivers circle and circle the parking lot hoping they can snag a spot, before the other drivers that are also circling await for another truck to pull out.

It is painful to watch this, because, we have all experienced the pain and agony of being tired to the bone and no place to park.  I challenge anyone reading this article to travel to a truck stop after 6 PM and observe this part of a professional driver’s life.

Is this how American industry treats their professional drivers?

There have recently been truck parking conferences, the National Truck Parking Coalition, who are discussing solutions to this issue.
Read More: Truck Parking Coalition proceeds to focus on parking crisis

An interesting observation by the attendees was that trucking management had nearly no participation.  Read more : Is ATA honoring pledge to the Truck Parking Coalition?

Interesting, the LTL employers don’t have this problem. They assume the responsibility of providing parking for their drivers. It is built into their business pricing, because, they don’t see their drivers as trucking gypsies.

Problem is, except for the few drivers that can afford to attend these conferences, some believe the other participants  don’t fully understand the whole context of the problem. According to many however, attendees, including the DOT and FHWA, very much understand are dedicated to finding solutions.  Driver comments needed NOW to improve Rest Area Parking

Turning the worm on parking

STATE DIRECTORY LISTING FOR METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS (MPO's)

STATE DIRECTORY LISTING FOR METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS (MPO’s)

 

Myself and other drivers see little value in the millions of dollars spent seeking high technology solutions of computerized rest areas and truck stops. Although the technology may help wasting time searching for parking, the bottom line is…WE NEED MORE TRUCK PARKING.

Example: I can check my cell phone app for parking info 30 miles ahead. Elementary problem here is, it is illegal for me to use phone while driving and otherwise just dangerous.

Well, pull over to check the app, “emergency parking only” on shoulders and again very dangerous.

Driver eventually decides which action is less of a risk at that time and discovers there is one parking space open 30 miles away, great! Except that the ten trucks ahead of him are all heading for the same space!

Unless somehow drivers can reserve a space, it’s just a poor gamble.

Tech people say we will have other options at other locations that will be displayed on the app.

But what about log time travel to other locations that may now be off route, this may require the driver to work in violation of log rules, not to mention the fatigue conditions the driver is already experiencing that I mentioned earlier.

I believe one solution that would solve multiple problems would be parking at or near shipper and consignee facilities. Example  Safe Haven Truck Parking -Shippers receivers step up

The reserved parking could mostly be eliminated, and because the driver is at his destination he will rest better and would not have to deal with 2-3 hours of congestion in the morning traffic.

Other commuters would have fewer trucks to slow the commute and this would reduce accidents.

The driver would intelligently decide to wait until after the evening commute to drive to his delivery/pickup.

In fact, most of the time he will be traveling opposite of the commute.  Again, much safer, and fewer accidents.

If there are those in the supply chain that understood this, they could make a tired driver’s life better, and this would be better for their own businesses because the truck would not be late due to traffic congestion.

Would the location be safe for the driver to sleep overnight in his truck?

We would only need access to toilet facilities, porta johns are acceptable (if they get serviced) etc.

One consignee in the Portland, Or area used to provided overnight parking for deliveries, but withdrew the policy, because, “next day his maintenance people had to clean up human waste”.

That action seems to be fair, except, believe it or not, truck drivers are not yet robots, we have human needs too.

Wouldn’t a porta john be an affordable solution?

Could the customers allow overnight truck parking in employee parking areas till next morning?

I believe if we could get the customer to appreciate the “problem”, they may introduce new solutions, after all, late shipments create many other issues.

I know that this is not the total answer to the parking problem.

There is not a one silver bullet answer, but, every truck that we can get to another location will open parking to trucks that are still enroute to delivery or pickup and this reduce commuting congestion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Driver comments needed NOW to improve Rest Area Parking

Dec
19,
2016
2

On December 12th 2016 was the final meeting for the National Truck Parking Coalition held at the United States Department of Transportation in Washington D.C.
These meetings began November 2015 and followed with 5 more during the year.

United States Department of Transportation

The National Truck Parking Coalition brings together stakeholders from transportation organizations, the freight industry, and other relevant groups to advance safe truck parking. The goal of the meetings are to address and find solutions identifying real life strategies for the real life truck parking shortage.

I was honored to be able to listen to and speak with many of those within the DOT, including FHWA Administrator Gregory G Nadeau.

  • Mr Nadeau spoke with concern and urgency. Many time drivers feel that the government isn’t aware, doesn’t care, doesn’t understand the challenges and obstacles, and overall has no idea what’s going on in the life of the professional driver.
    I will tell you, listening to Mr. Nadeau speak, “he gets it”, and so do many of the others in government positions who were there.
  •  The Administrator and the  FHWA  has issued a Notice for Requested Comments regarding  Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest Areas

Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau- National Truck Parking Coalition

This notice of comments for Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest Areas was brought up at the National Truck Parking Coalition which some were not aware. For those who weren’t aware,  We now only have a few days to reply.

The importance for your reply of these comments?  The ideas CAN aid in maintaining rest areas,  opening closed ones and allowing for additional Rest Rea Truck Parking.

Rest Area Truck Parking should be a major concern fro EVERY DRIVER who believe that Truck Parking is in crisis and that state Rest Areas need to be able to sustain and maintain themselves to remain open.  Many rest areas have had to close down because of lack of funding, adding to the truck parking shortage.

The FHWA provides financial aid (Federal-aid) to States for the construction, maintenance and operation of highway transportation facilities that are primarily on the National Highway System (NHS). The NHS consists of highways important to the Nation’s economy, defense, and mobility, including the Interstate System.

Many times Federal Aid is not enough to sustain and commercialization for these rest areas would help keep may of them open. Antiquated laws are prohibit over the counter sales of merchandise in rest areas located on the Interstate.  The FHWA is seeking YOUR input to modify existing laws..

The Interstate System is a critical element of the surface transportation system, providing a network of limited access freeways which facilitate the distribution of virtually all goods and services across the United States. The Interstate System also influences the mobility and safety of people and goods by providing access to local highway and networks of public streets

Because of laws, dating back to over 50 years ago. commercialization of rest areas has been prohibited.

States that receive Federal-aid for their NHS highway facilities or who wish to maintain eligibility to receive it must adhere to applicable Federal statutes and regulations. Section 111, of Title 23, United States Code, and 23 CFR 752.5 prohibit over the counter sales of merchandise in rest areas located on the Interstate.

Allowable commercial activity in rest areas on the Interstate System includes:

  • Installation of commercial advertising and media displays, if such advertising and displays are exhibited solely within any facility constructed in the rest area and are not legible from the main traveled way;
  • sale of items designed to promote tourism in the State, limited to books, DVDs, and other media;
  • sale of tickets for events or attractions in the State of a historical or tourism-related nature;
  • distribution of travel-related information, including maps, travel booklets, and hotel coupon booklets;
  • installation and operation of lottery machines; and
  • installation and operation of vending machines which may only dispense such food, drink, and other articles as the State transportation department determines are appropriate and desirable and which are operated in accordance with the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936 found at 20 U.S.C. 107.

Recently, several State departments of transportation have raised questions about what constitutes a vending machine and consequently what can or should be allowed in Interstate rest areas.
There is currently no definition of vending machine either in the statute at 23 U.S.C. 111 or the regulation at 23 CFR 752.5. The current regulation and law have remained substantially the same and have not defined the term “vending machine” for more than 30 years. At the time of publication of both the statute and final rule, vending machines were generally similar in that they accepted coins or paper currency, were operated by either a push button or a pull lever, and dispensed similar limited products. In the last several years, however, technology has evolved well beyond the types of machines that were available when the law was enacted and the final regulation was published. Vending machines can now accept electronic means of payment and can vend a continually evolving and broad range of products.

Additionally, there is now technology that is similar to vending machines, but not in existence at the time the statute was enacted. For example, self-serve kiosks at which the customer scans the goods for sale and then pays by cash or electronic method and which requires no assistance from either the kiosk owner or employee have become readily available.

The FHWA is interested in gathering public comments on how certain provisions of the current law should be interpreted and applied in consideration of advancements in technology and the interests of the States. Specifically, FHWA is interested in comments concerning the definition of vending machines. The FHWA is also interested in public input concerning the provision of law that allows the sale of items designed to promote tourism in the State, currently limited to books, DVDs, and other media.

Specific questions to guide the input are as follows:

  • Considering advances in technology, what defines a vending machine in today’s world?
  • What types of “media” should be considered as promoting tourism in the State?
  • Should local agricultural products be considered media that promotes tourism?
  • Are there other commercial activities that should be allowed consistent with Federal law?
  • Is there a need for additional Federal guidance on commercial activities in Interstate rest areas, and if so, what should the guidance address?

The time is NOW to reply to the Regulations.gov in response to
Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest Areas

1 Driver comments allow for real life input on how the need and importance of Rest Areas affect their lives and their ability to find safe haven for their federally mandated breaks.  This would include their Hours of Service and ELD’s which will enforce HOS.

2)  How defining and expanding allowance of  existing laws in 23 U.S.C. 111 or regulation at 23 CFR 752.5 would help states maintain their rest areas without depending  on Federal Aid.
3)  Rest areas which exist now would benefit by expanding the definition of Vending Machine and how they can offer more services and remain in compliance of the law, increasing state revenues.
4)How expanding  the existing provision of law that allows  sales of items designed to promote tourism in the State, currently limited to books, DVDs, and other media could ALSO include agricultural products which would not only promote tourism of the states, but add to the revenue, and would offer truckers nutritional food, many time not offered at truck stops.
5)  There also needs to be a serious look at allowing further sales of commercial items to truckers and the motoring public, which would not negatively impact the flow of highway traffic or hurt businesses now existing on exits off the highways.  With thought and discussions this can be achieved.

History and Background of National Highway Laws

Service stations and other commercial establishments have been prohibited since 1956 from the interstate right-of-way, in contrast to the franchise system used on toll roads.

TITLE I—FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY ACT OF 1956 ( PP 10&11 of 29 PDF)

  1. AGREEMENTS RELATING TO USE OF AND ACCESS TO RIGHTS-OF-WAY.

All agreements between the Secretary of Commerce and the State highway department for the construction of projects on the Interstate System shall contain a clause providing that the State will not add any points of Access to, or exit from, the project in addition to those  approved by the Secretary in the plans for such project, without the  prior approval of the Secretary. Such agreements shall also contain  a clause providing that the State will not permit automotive service stations or other commercial establishments for serving motor vehicle users to be constructed or located on the rights-of-way of the Interstate System. Such agreements may, however, authorize a State or political  subdivision thereof to use the air space above and below the established  grade line of the highway pavement for the parking of motor vehicles  provided such use does not interfere in any way with the free flow of  traffic on the Interstate System.

 

Title 23, United States Code (current as of October  19, 2012, including public laws through P.L. 112-196)

Sec. 111. Agreements relating to use of and access to rights-of-way -Interstate System https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/docs/title23usc.pdf pages 35 & 36 of 303

(a)

In General. -All agreements between the Secretary and the State transportation department for the construction of projects on the Interstate System shall contain a clause providing that the State will not add any points of access to, or exit from, the project in addition to those approved by the Secretary in the plans for such project, without the prior approval of the Secretary.

Such agreements shall also contain a clause providing that the State will not permit automotive service stations or other commercial establishments for serving motor vehicle users to be constructed or located on the rights-of-way of the Interstate System and will not change the boundary of any right-of-way on the Interstate System to accommodate construction of, or afford access to, an automotive service station or other commercial establishment. Such agreements may, however, authorize a State or political subdivision thereof to use or permit the use of the airspace above and below the established grade line of the highway pavement for such purposes as will not impair the full use and safety of the highway, as will not require or permit vehicular access to such space directly from such established grade line of the highway, or otherwise interfere in any way with the free flow of traffic on the Interstate System.

Nothing in this section, or inany agreement entered into under this section, shall require the discontinuance, obstruction, or removal of any establishment for serving motor vehicle users on any highway which has been, or is hereafter, designated as a highway or route on the Interstate System
(1) if such establishment
(A) was in existence before January 1, 1960, (B) is owned by a State, and (C) is operated through concessionaries or otherwise, and
(2) if all access to, and exits  from, such establishment conform to the standards established for such a highway under this title.

(b)

Rest Areas

(1)

In general.- Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Secretary shall permit a State to acquire, construct, operate, and maintain a rest area along a highway on the Interstate System in such State.

(2)

Limited activities. -The Secretary shall permit limited commercial activities within a rest area under paragraph
(1), if the activities are available only to customers using the rest area and are limited to –

(A) commercial advertising and media displays if such advertising and displays are -(i) exhibited solely within any facility constructed in the rest area; and

(ii) not legible from the main traveled way;

(B) items designed to promote tourism in the State, limited to books, DVDs, and other media;

(C) tickets for events or attractions in the State of a historical or tourism-related nature;

(D) travel-related information, including maps, travel booklets, and hotel coupon booklets; and

(E) lottery machines, provided that the priority afforded to blind vendors under subsection (c) applies to this subparagraph.

(3) Private operators.

– A State may permit a private party to operate such commercial activities.

(4) Limitation on use of revenues.

– A State shall use any revenues received from the commercial activities in a rest area under this section to cover the costs of acquiring, constructing, operating, and maintaining rest areas in the State.

(c)

Vending Machines. –

Notwithstanding subsection (a), any State may permit the placement of vending machines in rest and recreation areas, and in safety rest areas, constructed or located on rights-of-way of the Interstate System in such State. Such vending machines may only dispense such food,drink, and other articles as the State transportation department determines are appropriate and desirable.

Such vending machines may only be operated by the State. In permitting the placement of vendingmachines, the State shall give priority to vending machines which are operated through the State licensing agency designated pursuant to section 2(a)(5) of the Act of June 20, 1936, commonly known as the

“Randolph- Sheppard Act” (20 U.S.C. 107a(a)(5)). The costs of installation, operation, and maintenance of vending machines shall not be eligible for Federal assistance under this title.

(d) Motorist Call Boxes. –

(1) In general.- Notwithstanding subsection (a), a State may permit the placement of motorist call boxes on rights-of-way of the National Highway System. Such motorist call boxes may include the identification and sponsorship logos of such call boxes.

(2) Sponsorship logos. –

(A) Approval by state and local agencies. -All call box installations displaying sponsorship logos under this subsection shall be approved by the highway agencies having jurisdiction of the highway on which they are located.

(B) Size on box. –

A sponsorship logo may be placed on the call box in a dimension not to exceed the size of the call box or a total dimension in excess of 12inches by 18 inches

Federal Aid Policy Guide – Non-regulatory SupplementTransmittal 6: Vending Machines in Interstate Rest Areas and Abandonment of Interstate Rest Areas

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Title 23 ? Chapter I ? Subchapter H ? Part 752   PART 752—LANDSCAPE AND ROADSIDE DEVELOPMENT

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government produced by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Publishing Office.

§752.5   Safety rest areas.  

(a) Safety rest areas should provide facilities reasonably necessary for the comfort, convenience, relaxation, and information needs of the motorist. Caretakers’ quarters may be provided in conjunction with a safety rest area at such locations where accommodations are deemed necessary. All facilities within the rest area are to provide full consideration and accommodation for the handicapped.

(b) The State may permit the placement of vending machines in existing or new safety rest areas located on the rights-of-way of the Interstate system for the purpose of dispensing such food, drink, or other articles as the State determines are appropriate and desirable, except that the dispensing by any means, of petroleum products or motor vehicle replacement parts shall not be allowed. Such vending machines shall be operated by the State.

(c) The State may operate the vending machines directly or may contract with a vendor for the installation, operation, and maintenance of the vending machines. In permitting the placement of vending machines the State shall give priority to vending machines which are operated through the State licensing agency designated pursuant to section 2(a)(5) of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, U.S.C. 107(a)(5).

(d) Access from the safety rest areas to adjacent publicly owned conservation and recreation areas may be permitted if access to these areas is only available through the rest area and if these areas or their usage does not adversely affect the facilities of the safety rest area.

(e) The scenic quality of the site, its accessibility and adaptability, and the availability of utilities are the prime considerations in the selection of rest area sites. A statewide safety rest area system plan should be maintained. This plan should include development priorities to ensure safety rest areas will be constructed first at locations most needed by the motorist. Proposals for safety rest areas or similar facilities on Federal-aid highways in suburban or urban areas shall be special case and must be fully justified before being authorized by the FHWA Regional Administrator.

(f) Facilities within newly constructed safety rest areas should meet the forecast needs of the design year. Expansion and modernization of older existing rest areas that do not provide adequate service should be considered.

(g) No charge to the public may be made for goods and services at safety rest areas except for telephone and articles dispensed by vending machines.

[43 FR 19390, May 5, 1978, as amended at 48 FR 38611, Aug. 25, 1983]

Read other comments on the site

COMMENT NOW

Additional Read- Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956: Creating The Interstate System

 

 

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The Truth about Meal and Rest Breaks for Intrastate drivers

Nov
23,
2016
4

 The Truth about Meal and Rest Breaks for Intrastate drivers-
Concerning Meal and Rest Breaks for Intrastate Drivers

meal and Rest Break

Intrastate Truckers- Meal & Rest Break Allowances

 

 

Driver Wages continue to be attacked-  Provisions to overturn state laws designed to protect truckers began to first appear in the 2015 Highway bill- FAST ACT–  The provision was called the Denham Amendment, named after Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) Although the amendment passed in the House, it did not make it through the Senate.

 

It since was attempted to be slipped into another bill in the 11th hour.  Thanks to Lawmakers such as Peter Defazio of Oregon, it did not make it.

Related article- How to Ensure Fair Trucker Wages in the 2015 Transportation Bill

Notice who pushed for Denham language: , After the Denham amendment failed in the transportation bill, the American Trucking Associations, the 50 ATA-affiliated state trucking associations, the National Private Truck Council, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association placed pressure on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to include this wage damaging “Denham Language in the FAA Reauthorization bill,  (AIRRACT)

Peter DeFazio Stands up for Truckers

HON. PETER A DEFAZIO OF OREGON IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Monday, March 21, 2016
Peter DeFazio

Rep Peter DeFazio of Oregon

 

…..The trucking companies supporting Section 611 argue that a driver would have to pull off the road at inconvenient times or in potentially unsafe situations to take a break. That is simply not true. In fact, case law has specifically established that employers do not have to require employees to take a break they simply must permit it by relieving employees of duties or pay employees for the time

Moreover, it is disingenuous for some in the trucking industry to imply that the need for this legislative fix was caused by one “rogue” Ninth Circuit court decision. California changed its meal and rest break law in 2000 –16 years ago–to provide a monetary remedy of an additional hour of pay to an employee if an employer does not allow for a meal or a rest break……

wages-paid-by-mile-reg-by-time

Stop the madness. Drivers should be paid for ALL HOURS. Call Senators- Say NO to THUD bill Jan 2017

Drivers Beware. Next will be  the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill which will be the target for this dangerous truck driver wage provision.

THUD– On May 17, 2016, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing,and Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved the 2017 Transportation,Housing and Urban Development funding bill. -THUD

THUD included an amendment of the FAAAA that would preempt state rest- and meal-break laws, ( as well as pay for all  non-driving time: detention,inspections, paperwork, fueling, etc.) retroactive to 1994.
Congress recently combined the above mentioned  FAAAA amendment as Section 134 of H.R. 5394, which is an omnibus federal budget bill to fund the federal government through most of 2017.
Congress will vote on H.R. 5394 in January 2017

The Denham Language originally attempted to be included in FAST ACT ( failed), but if enacted in THUD will affect many Drivers adversely in several different ways.
These are LABOR LAWS-
Meal and Rest Breaks for Intrastate Drivers, there are 21 sates that have such provisions in their Individual State Labor Laws.

This is the language NOW in  Section 134 of H.R. 5394 ( modified from Denham Language)
” “(A) A State, political subdivision of a State, or political authority of 2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law prohibiting employees whose hours of service are subject to regulation by the Secretary under section 31502 from working to the full extent permitted or at such times as permitted under such section, or imposing any additional obligations on motor carriers if such employees work to the full extent or at such times as permitted under such section, including any related activities regulated under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulation

Note:  Contrary to what drivers are being misleadingly told, a meal and break provision provided by a state, DOES NOT mean you are forced to take the break as the ATA would want you believe. It means however you will be PAID for those hours.

Read what the ATA put out to argue and support including of  the FAAAA Preemption. It is to be included in bills to relieve Motor Carriers  from paying drivers for all time .
Here it is:
FAAAA Preemption: Clarifying the Law to Reestablish Congress’ Original Intent

History  Opportunities and Pitfalls of Recent Transportation Deregulation

Federal Regulation ended in 1980 when Deregulation came about.
This did not prevent the States from regulating intrastate rates, intrastate routes, or intrastate services, therefore, to address this, Congress included an express preemption provision in the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA), prohibiting states from enacting or enforcing policies“related to a price,route, or service of any motor carrier.”

1994 FAAAA Was NOT meant to affect  STATE LABOR LAWS
Deregulation of the States ability to regulate Intrastate Commerce was brought about in the 1994 FAAAA Bill.  ( There was no mention of meal and rest break)

Prior to the 1994 FAAAA Bill, the States could, through a consensus of all concerned parties, establish what rates would be charged for routes taken and services provided just as the current Deregulated Federal System.

The purpose for a regulated system was to insure that sufficient rates were in place so that carriers operating Intrastate could adequately maintain their fleets, pay their employees an appropriate wage and insure that customers received an appropriate level of service for which they were paying.

The purpose of the regulated system was to prevent many of the downfalls that we face today from ever coming into existence.

The primary reason for regulated, I believe, was to prevent the predatory pricing that has led to unsafe equipment, under paid employees (who will then cut corners and operate inappropriately) and poor service to the customer that has evolved into Drivers being Detained at the customer as the customer exceeds the expectations of the rates, routes and Services as described within the States Regulatory Power.

From the 1994 FAAAA Bill;
(b) Freight Forwarders and Brokers.—
(1)General rule.—
Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, no State or political subdivision thereof and no intrastate agency or other political agency of 2 or more States shall enact or enforce any law, rule, regulation, standard, or other provision having the force and effect of law relating to intrastate rates, intrastate routes, or intrastate services of any freight forwarder or broker.

Due to many carriers claims and actions that this wording exempted them from fulfilling their obligations to the Intrastate Employee Drivers under State Labor Laws, Dilts v Penske and Campbell v Vitran were cases in which the 9th District Court found that;

The Court thus held that California meal and rest break laws are not preempted because they are “not the sorts of laws ‘related to’ prices, routes, or services that Congress intended to preempt.”. Instead, they are “normal background rules for almost all employers doing business in the state of California.”. 
In other words, a WIN for Truckers.

I have Never worked or managed a job that the employees were not granted a morning and afternoon 10 minute PAID break. If I needed my crew to work through their break, I would give them an extra 10 minutes on their lunch break, I would release them from work 10 minutes early or I would add 10 minutes pay to their workday.
This was on Union Jobs and I never had a grievance placed against me as I Took Care of My Crew.

Denying employees their paid breaks, without any type of restitution, is forcing a cut in pay on them to which Individual State Labor Laws address in different ways.
For example, some states require that a missed lunch break during which the employee worked, the employee must be paid at time and a half for working through their lunch break.

For We  OTR Drivers, who primarily operate Interstate and only operate Intrastate occasionally, to allow the ATA to reduce the level of compensation to Drivers who operate Intrastate INSTEAD of increasing our level of compensation to meet the generally acceptable levels of Many Individual States is ASININE!!!?

The Predatory ATA carriers, who insisted on ELD’s, have the technology at their fingertips, ELD’s, to know how to properly pay their Employee Drivers who at any given time may be operating in the Intrastate mode.

Many of these carriers have acted Criminally and they seek relief from future lawsuits as the Denham Method would be retroactive back to 1994.

These Criminal Minded Carriers are also seeking measures that will permit them to continue to Cheat Intrastate and Interstate Employee Drivers operating in an Intrastate capacity.

Example;
City Driver paid at $20.00 an hour delivers dropped, loaded trailer, 20miles from terminal. Then drops empty trailer 20 miles out and hooks loaded trailer to return to terminal.
The Driver takes first Paid 10 minute break while being offloaded at 1st stop.
The Driver takes 30 minute lunch break while being offloaded at 1st stop.
The Driver takes second Paid 10 minute break while dropping and hooking at 2nd stop.
The Driver puts in an 8.5 hour day for which he is owed 8 hours pay.
The Driver earned $160.00 for the day.

OTR Driver acting in Intrastate mode is paid at .50cpm delivers dropped, loaded trailer, 20miles from terminal. Then drops empty trailer 20 miles out and hooks loaded trailer to return to terminal.
The Driver does not get Paid 10 minute break while being on the dock offloading at 1st stop.
The Driver is not permitted 30 minute lunch break while being offloaded at 1st stop as he is on the dock.
The Driver does not get second Paid 10 minute break while dropping and hooking at 2nd stop.
The Driver puts in an 8.5 hour day for which he is owed 60 miles at .50 cents per mile.
The Driver earned $30.00 for the day.

Per California labor laws, this OTR Driver acting in the capacity of an Intrastate Driver and using the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 an hour as the prevailing wage would be owed an additional;
$28.00 for the 8hr work day
$4.83 for the 2 denied 10min breaks
$10.88 for being denied a lunch break
Making
$43.71 due to the Driver per Ca. State Labor Law.
The OTR Driver should have been paid $73.71 total for this 8.5 hr working day.

CONCLUSION

Hmm, the carrier would save $86.29 by operating within the law.
That’s not good enough, so the carrier Cheats the Employee OTR Driver out of $43.41 by Flagrantly Ignoring the Law.

NOW these Predators spin their Illegal Activity to the Drivers as being Good for the Drivers so that they may cover up their Criminal Acts and NOT Be Held Accountable in a Court of Law for their Criminal Behavior!!!!!!
They have brought million dollar lawsuits Against THEMSELVES that include back wages, fines and fees by Acting Criminally and WE Are Supposed to help them out by backing this Denham Method as it is GOOD FOR WE DRIVERS??

This is only one example in one area that the Denham Method Addresses that will in fact, Take Money Out of the Pockets of Drivers OVERALL!!!

Additional Related Posts

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Truth behind trucker wage theft and FAA bill Section 611

ATA urges TIC to include provision in AIRR Act keeping trucker wages low

Senator Boxer urges Appropriations Committee not to add “Denham Language” in THUD

The Truth About Trucking Network says NO to the Denham Amendment

Is the ATA the voice for truck drivers?
The Denham Method. Will it Take Money Out of Your Pocket??? by Pat Hockaday

AskTheTrucker “Live” 2 Crucial Trucking Topics for drivers

Trucking Open Forum- Blocking Fair Wages for Truckers

The Denham Amendment MUST Be Defeated!! by Hal Kiah

House Passes Transportation Bill with Meal and Rest Break Implications

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XYpper, Inc. Launches Transformative Technology for the Trucking Industry

Nov
8,
2016
0
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Trucking photo featuring GPS location pin

 

XYpper, Inc. Launches Transformative Technology for the Trucking Industry

XYpper Technologies has developed, beta-tested and is now launching technology that completely transforms and streamlines operations for the trucking industry through a system that includes an Uber-like app. The current way that independent owner-operator truckers use to find loads is a system of fragmented, expensive and inefficient online message boards called “loadboards,” which work similarly to classified ad websites like Craigslist. Anyone who has ever bought or sold something that way can imagine the challenges you would encounter if you had to depend on it to make a living – having to constantly follow up, dealing with people who may be less than reputable, etc. This is extremely frustrating for truckers, who should be focused on driving versus having to struggle to find the next load in order to provide for their families. With XYpper, all transaction paperwork and finding loads across North America becomes a completely automated, seamless process, saving time, money and increasing profitability for both freight brokers and truckers.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2016) – Truckers across North America, particularly independent owner operators (IOOs), often struggle to find conveniently located and timely freight loads through an outdated, fragmented and often expensive system of loadboards – online message boards that work like classified ads. Twenty-eight percent of all trucks in the U.S. run empty every year, representing billions of profit in lost freight revenues and billions of dollars in wasted fuel. Truckers, on average, sit at truck stops for three days in anticipation of booking freight to avoid driving empty, causing them more anxiety, wasted time and lost revenue.

To solve these and other problems, XYpper, Inc. has developed and launched an app- and web-based system for the trucking industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, allowing IOOs and freight brokers to harness the power of web and mobile technology to connect, greatly improving efficiencies and increasing profit for both the truckers and brokers. The XYpper app works similarly to Uber and other “sharing economy” apps, by directly connecting individuals who have a need with someone who can perform a service – in XYpper’s case, connecting freight brokers who have loads that need to be delivered with truckers who are either in their geographical area or on their way.

Brokers post their load information online though a web-based portal, and truckers are alerted via the app in real time. After six years of development, a very positive 18-month beta testing period, and with more than 350 truckers and 50 brokers already signed up, XYpper is officially launching to all in the trucking industry.

 

Xypper APp Portal

Brokers post their load information online though a web-based portal, and truckers are alerted via the app in real time.

“XYpper is a game changing system for the trucking industry – a system designed by truckers for truckers,” said Founder Valerio Lanzieri, president of XYpper, Inc. “Our team is extremely excited about the possibility of this system to improve the lives of hard-working truckers and their families through our technology.”

Lanzieri, a longtime entrepreneur who has launched and sold two tech startups, discovered the need to streamline trucking operations through one of his companies, which assisted airlines in managing and tracking cargo. “We noticed the airline cargo industry was very dependent on the trucking industry, and finding carriers for cargo loads was the most difficult task – very laborious, time-consuming and resource centric.

We said, ‘There must be a better way.’” Lanzieri and his team then set out to develop an efficient solution, working closely to collect feedback from truckers and brokers over four years of research and development, and 18 months of intensive beta-testing before launching the first commercial version of the system in mid-September.

Other benefits provided by the system include tracking capabilities and automated document generation for truckers and brokers, so neither party has to create necessary paperwork for their transactions, a process that can be very cumbersome for someone who lives and works on the road.  XYpper also sends load offers while truckers are en route, minimizing downtime. The app also will soon be able to provide truckers with each broker’s credit score and payment trend, allowing them to choose whether to accept or reject loads based on broker reputability. The system is the only one of its kind that encompasses all of North America, is open to all brokers and carriers, and provides fully integrated document-generation capabilities.

Xypper Mobile App

XYpper Mobile app

The free app is available for download immediately in the Apple App Store and for Android devices on Google Play.  More information is available at www.xypper.com. For questions, contact Valerio Lanzieri at vlanzieri@xypper.com or 514-249-5101.

 

About XYpper, Inc.

Xypper is a privately-held software company, specializing in novel transportation software solutions. Xypper Technologies Inc. assists shippers and carriers of freight in maximizing proficiency by changing outdated freight and shipping operations to a technologically up-to-date approach. With over 30 years’ experience and numerous patents under its belt, Xypper takes pride in pursuing the developing and creating of the most advanced software solutions to help freight businesses run efficiently, productively and as profitable as possible.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kristine M. Gobbo
President-Spectrum Public Relations

561-463-0777, Kristine@spectrum-pr.com

Kristine M. Gobbo
President
Spectrum Public Relations

Email: Kristine@spectrum-publicrelations.com

Web: www.spectrum-publicrelations.com

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Recommendations and Controversies

Nov
4,
2016
0

Controversies Loom over 2016 Obstructive Sleep Apnea Recommendations

rosarian-dotmedexam_msthd

 

 

Timeline

3/8/2016:   After recommendations from the National Transportation and Safety Board the FMCSA and FRA jointly published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  The purpose was to collect data and information concerning the prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)  in highway and rail workers and it’s impact on safety.

8/22/2016-8/23/2016:  The FMCSA Medical Review Board (MRB) met to review more than 600 comments that were submitted from medical professionals and organizations, labor, industry and safety organization as well as reviewing it’s own previously published 2012 Report on OSA in  preparation for the recommendations that the MRB would be making to the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC).  Preliminary recommendations made were referral for diagnostic studies for OSA in drivers with a BMI greater than or equal to 40 or a BMI of 33-39 who meet 3 of 11 risk factors.

10/24/2016-10/25/2016:   The MRB and the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) agreed on recommendations.  It is up to the FMCSA at a later meeting to decide whether or not to adopt any of the recommendations made to it by the MRB and MCSAC.   If adopted, drivers with BMI equal to or greater than 40 OR with BMI 33-39 and 3 of 11 risk factors can receive conditional certifications and undergo testing.  If they are found to have OSA, they would need to undergo treatment.

Summary of Recommendations  (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)

Any driver with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more will require testing.

For those with a BMI of 33-39 the MRB recommended that they have at least 3 of 11 risk factors listed below to require testing.

  • Male or post menaupausal women
  • Age 42 or older
  • Loud snoring
  • Witnessed apnea
  • Mallampati Class 3 or 4
  • Neck size greater than 17 in men or 15.5 in women
  • Micrognathia or retrognathia
  • Hypertension
  • History of stroke, coronary artery disease (CAD) or arrythmia
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism

 

Related Articles –Truckers with high BMI would be forced into apnea screening under FMCSA committee recommendations, drivers respond

CPAP America assists driver Sleep Apnea needs without exploiting

CPAP America

 

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