Advertise in MTAC’s magazine, The Transportation Professional

MTAC’s inaugural edition of its brand new, official magazine will launch in the spring of 2020 and you’re invited to be a part of all the excitement!

The Transportation Professional will be the only publication in Connecticut dedicated to leaders in transportation. We will feature unique editorial content exploring issues relative to you and your business in a high-quality format with outstanding photography and design.

Advertising in The Transportation Professional will be a terrific opportunity for you to deliver your company’s message into the hands of 3,000 of the most prominent, highly respected leaders in Connecticut’s trucking industry. All of our readers will be either your current or potential customers, or someone who may refer you to new customers. This makes the decision to advertise in The Transportation Professional a very smart one that is sure to make your marketing budget really count!

Shown below is a mock cover for The Transportation Professional.

For more information, please contact our publisher at (501) 690-9393.

FMCSA increases random drug test rate to 50% for 2020

From Transport Topics.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for truck drivers.

According to a document published in the Federal Register on Dec. 27, the agency is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing from 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50% of the average number of driver positions. This change will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

For reference, FMCSA estimates there are 3.2 million commercial driver license holders participating in interstate commerce and 1 million CDL holders participating in intrastate commerce. Under the annual random testing rate of 25% of all driving positions, this meant at least 1.05 million random controlled substances tests were to be conducted. With a new annual random testing rate of 50%, approximately 2.1 million random tests will need to be conducted in 2020.

See the complete article from Transport Topics online.

Note from MTAC: Participation in MTAC drug and alcohol testing consortium, which is administered by Fleet Screen, will ensure compliance with this regulation, while saving members money and easing their administrative burdens. Contact the MTAC office if you need to get signed up for the MTAC drug and alcohol testing consortium.

What is the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse?

From FreightWaves.

A loophole that allows truck drivers who fail a drug or alcohol test to get hired shortly after by another carrier starts to close on Jan. 6, 2020.

That’s when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) begins to employ the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a final rule for which was issued in December 2016.

The purpose of the congressionally mandated clearinghouse, according to FMCSA, is to create an online database “that will allow FMCSA, [commercial motor vehicle] employers, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and law enforcement officials to identify — in real-time — CDL drivers who have violated federal drug and alcohol testing program requirements, and thereby improve safety on our nation’s roads.”

See the complete article from FreightWaves online.

Godfrey doubts Lamont has votes for commercial truck tolls plan

From Patch – Brookfield, Conn.

State Rep. Bob Godfrey (D-110) says he doesn’t think that Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Greenwich) has enough votes to get his plan for tolls on commercial trucks approved at a January special session because of his inconsistency on funding transportation infrastructure improvements and the threat that the plan will be ruled unconstitutional.

“My colleagues are uncomfortable because every time you turn around it’s a different proposal,” said Godfrey of Danbury, who was initially elected to the state House in 1988 and currently serves as deputy speaker pro tempore.

Lamont told Patch.com in a February 2018 phone interview – about five weeks after formally entering the gubernatorial race – that he supported a tolls plan for all vehicles. Then during the primary and general election campaigns, he said that he would support tolls only for commercial trucks.

See the complete article from Patch online.

Additional Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Seminar scheduled

Did you miss the recent Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse seminar at MTAC? You are in luck, because FMCSA Division Administrator Chris Henry will teach another class at the MTAC building on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. If you have questions about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse, or are having issues getting set up on the clearinghouse, you need to attend this class. The class will be free for members. Simply register to attend through the MTAC website

Beginning Jan. 6, 2020, employers will be required to query the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol violations before permitting those employees to operate a CMV on public roads. Additionally, employers will be required to annually query the Clearinghouse for each driver they currently employ.

Accordingly, all employers of CDL drivers must purchase a query plan in the Clearinghouse. This query plan enables employers, and their consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), to conduct queries of driver Clearinghouse records.

The seminar on Jan. 28 will cover everything you need to know to be in compliance with the drug and alcohol clearinghouse regulation. Register online in advance for this seminar.

Face the State: Special session on tolls

From WFSB.

MTAC President Joe Sculley was a guest on WFSB’s Face the State on Sunday, Dec. 15. An archived version of the interview can be seen online.

 

 

Important FleetScreen compliance clearinghouse data request

The following message is being sent to participants in the MTAC – Fleet Screen drug and alcohol testing consortium.

Beginning in January 2020 all FMCSA companies are required to register with the FMCSA Clearinghouse. We have attached both the registration and reference guid for both Employers and CDL Drivers.

Since January will be a very busy time with all the new changes, FleetScreen’s Compliance Department would like to be proactive to begin updating the current rosters with the additional information needed.

We are requesting that you please gather all your driver information and submit your current FMCSA DOT roster with the requested information listed on the attached Excel spreadsheet and send to compliance@fleetscreen.com for upload.

The roster is requested by FleetScreen for your Q1 random selections and will not be uploaded to the Clearinghouse.

Please send your roster by the end of December. Selections begin in January.

Trucks-only Connecticut tolls a ‘tax on the middle class,’ trucking advocate says

From CT Post.

Proposed tolls will tax lower wage workers in order to subsidize white collar employees who commute to New York, according to the president of a Connecticut trucking advocacy group.

“This is a plan to tax the blue-collar, middle class trucking industry and use that money to benefit wealthy individuals taking subsidized train rides to New York City, where they pay New York income tax, not Connecticut income tax,” said Joe Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut. “It is a reverse redistribution of wealth.”

Gov. Ned Lamont’s plan to construct a series of toll gantries on Connecticut highways will reportedly be discussed during a January special legislative session.

The latest iteration of that plan calls for trucks-only tolling, and Democrats were aware that there would be pushback from the trucking industry. A similar plan in Rhode Island resulted in a lawsuit, and Democrats said they expected the same in Connecticut.

See the complete article from CT Post online.

No Tolls CT flexed muscle ahead of possible special session

Excerpt from Yankee Institute article.

Lamont said the tolls on trucks in Connecticut would not affect the cost of goods in the state because trucks already pass through states that have tolls.

“What we are saying that we have old bridges and 90-year old rail bridges that are not all in a state of good repair. We got to fix it, we got to pay for it,” Lamont said. “I’ve got a good way to do it on a consistent basis going forward and the truckers are going to be a part of that solution.”

Joseph Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, pointed out that 62 percent of freight in Connecticut is moved by truck from one place in the state to another, while 48 percent was interstate shipping either into or out of Connecticut.

“For all the talk about out-of-state trucks, this data shows that truck-only tolls will be merely another blow to our state’s economy,” Sculley said in a December 4 press release.

Sasser says he doesn’t believe the tolls will be limited to trucks and, regardless, his organization opposes tolls in any form.

“The governor himself keeps saying that tolling trucks is just a start,” Sasser said. “Whether it’s tolling trucks or cars and trucks, this is just going to raise the cost of living in Connecticut and push more people out of the state.”

See the complete article from Yankee Institute online.

House approves fiscal 2020 Transportation Funding Bill

From Transport Topics.

Funding for freight safety programs would be increased and infrastructure grants would receive $1 billion under fiscal 2020 legislation the U.S. House of Representatives advanced Dec. 17.

As part of a multibillion dollar package that would ensure federal government funding, the House voted 297 to 120 to advance $1 billion for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grants. Also in the bill, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would receive $679 million, $12 million above the 2019 enacted level.

The legislation advances to the Senate, where lawmakers there will have a few days to consider it in order to avert a government shutdown. Funding for federal agencies expires Dec. 20. A White House official recently indicated President Donald Trump would support the funding measure.

See the complete article from Transport Topics online.