ELD FAQs updated

From FMCSA.

Recently, FMCSA made the following updates to the ELD Frequently Asked Questions. The question below has been revised (updates are in bold).

What must a driver do if there is an electronic logging device (ELD) malfunction?
If an ELD malfunctions, a driver must:

  1. Note the malfunction of the ELD and provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours;
  2. Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days, and record the records of duty status on graph-grid paper logs, or electronic logging software, that comply with 49 CFR 395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD; and
  3. Continue to manually prepare RODS in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8 until the ELD is serviced and back in compliance. The recording of the driver’s hours of service on a paper log, or electronic logging software, cannot continue for more than 8 days after the malfunction; a driver that continues to record his or her hours of service on a paper log, or electronic logging software, beyond 8 days risk being placed out of service.

The question below is a new addition to the ELD FAQs:

When should a driver use paper logs or electronic logging software if an ELD malfunction occurs?
A driver should only use paper logs, or electronic logging software, or other electronic means to record their HOS if the ELD malfunction hinders the accurate recording of the driver’s hours-of-service data (i.e., 10/11, 14/15, 60/70 hours; or 30 minute).

Read more about ELD Frequently Asked Questions, or visit the FMCSA ELD Website.

XPO’s Ernie Budlowski drives straight to Connecticut Grand Champion title

From Transport Topics.

Ernie Budlowski of XPO Logistics drove straight to the Straight Truck title en route to claiming Grand Champion honors in the Connecticut Truck Driving Championships in Windsor Locks on June 8.

Budlowski will be joined by eight other class winners at the National Truck Driving Championships in Pittsburgh on Aug. 14-17. Last year’s Grand Champion was Mark McClure, who competed for the second straight year in 5-Axle after winning Sleeper Berth in 2016-17.

Tony Spero of ArcBest Freight posted the highest written score and also won the Flatbed class.

See the complete article (and list of winner) from Transport Topics online.

FMCSA PSP monitoring service now available

Message from FMCSA.

The Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) added a new service to help drivers keep track of changes to their PSP records.

Your PSP record contains FMCSA-reportable crash and roadside inspection information. PSP records are updated about once a month, and safety information could be added to or removed from your record during the process.

With the free monitoring service, you can ask PSP to notify you every time your record changes. The monitoring service will automatically email you and add a message to your PSP account dashboard when your record changes.

Ready to sign up?

  • Log into your PSP account and click the “Enroll in PSP Monitoring” button on your dashboard. You can unsubscribe anytime.
  • Any questions? Email us at PSPHelp@egov.com or call 877-642-9499 from Monday – Thursday, 8AM – 6PM ET or Friday, 8AM – 5PM ET.

Sincerely,
Pre-Employment Screening Program

Rebuttal: Connecticut DOT does not have a car culture

Op Ed in CT Mirror by MTAC President Joe Sculley.

In his May 30 submission, Robert Hale of New Haven submits that Connecticut DOT “remains wedded to investment decisions that prioritize private vehicle use instead of transit.” The fact that 64 percent of the ConnDOT operating budget is eaten up by transit subsidies (even though only about 5 percent of Connecticut commuters take transit to work) says otherwise.

The money for these transit subsidies comes mostly from fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees – things paid by owners and operators of motor vehicles. These vehicle operators are led to believe that these taxes and fees are paid for the privilege of using the roads and bridges they drive on, and in return, the money will be reinvested into said roads and bridges. Instead, the money is spent on transit (or other non-road purposes).

That hardly seems like a car-centric approach to transportation. This is also one of the main reasons for the push for tolls, but I digress.

Hale writes regarding the Hartford line railroad that “the schedule still contains several two-hour gaps and a four-hour gap in northbound service during the midday.” Has he considered that the reason for that could be a lack of ridership? Why should trains or buses be run if there are little to no riders? After all, at an April 4, 2019 Office of Policy and Management Finance Advisory Committee meeting, ConnDOT representatives stated that statewide transit ridership has declined by about 6 percent. This is consistent with a national trend, and helps explain all the empty transit buses I see driving around the Greater Hartford area.

See the complete Op Ed by Joe Sculley in the CT Mirror online.

TFI closes Highland Transport subsidiary

Excerpt from Transport Topics.

TFI International Inc. is closing its 150-truck Highland Transport division, a possible sign of softness in the Northeast freight market, according to a TFI official.

A trucking official in New England blamed some of the freight problems on people and businesses fleeing the Northeast because of taxes and regulations. Joseph Sculley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said state government leaders have failed to keep businesses and residents in the state.

Bloomberg News ranks Connecticut as No. 1 in outward migration of income in the Northeast.

Bloomberg’s analysis of state-to-state moves, based on 2017 data from the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Census Bureau, found Connecticut lost the equivalent of 1.6% of its annual adjusted gross income, or $2.6 billion. (Those moving out of the Connecticut had an average income of $122,000, which was 26% higher than those migrating in.)

The combination of fewer businesses and fewer residents creates a “smaller universe” in which to do freight business, Sculley said.

Following Connecticut in the Northeast were New York and New Jersey, ranking Nos. 5 and 7, respectively. New York lost $8.4 billion in income, or 1.1% of its annual adjusted gross income. New Jersey lost $3.43 billion in income, or 0.93% of its annual adjusted gross income, according to Bloomberg.

For that reason, for about a year, members of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut have been telling Sculley that while the national freight market looks strong, they “have not noticed the same trends within the state of Connecticut.”

See the complete article from Transport Topics online.

Load restriction announced for Route 34 across Stevenson Dam Bridge

From CT Post.

A load restriction of 15 tons will be enforced along Route 34 at the Stevenson Dam Bridge until repairs on the roadway in the area are complete.

Route 34 carries traffic over the Housatonic River between Monroe and Oxford.

The load restriction was decided on by the state Department of Transportation and announced by Monroe police and the Derby City Clerk’s Office.

The restriction to 15 tons applies to all vehicles and will remain in place “until needed repairs are designed and completed,” the DOT alert said.

See the article from CT Post online.

Senate approves two-year, $43 billion state budget; Gov. Lamont expected to sign

From The Hartford Courant.

The state Senate approved a two-year, $43 billion budget Tuesday night with Democrats hailing the plan as fiscally prudent and Republicans blasting the package as a bad deal with too many tax increases.

The 567-page budget, which passed in the House of Representatives late Monday night, closes a projected deficit of $3.7 billion over two years and funds a wide variety of programs. The spending increases of 1.7 percent in the first year and 3.4 percent in the second year are lower than in some past years.

After nearly eight hours of debate, the Senate voted 20-16 with two Democrats — freshman Alex Bergstein of Greenwich and veteran Joan Hartley of Waterbury — joining with the Republicans against the package.

The budget does not increase the rates of the income or sales taxes and includes no reductions in state aid to cities and towns. The budget would also expand the state’s 6.35 percent sales tax to include parking, dry cleaning, laundry and interior design services, but coin-operated laundries would be exempt.

See the complete article from the Hartford Courant online.

Connecticut Resources

Lamont lacking on specifics over paid FMLA; Gets started on compromise

From CT News Junkie.

It’s been a week since Gov. Ned Lamont threatened to veto the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill approved by the Senate, and as of Wednesday morning House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said the governor has offered no specifics as to how to resolve the conflict and get the bill passed.

“I don’t think we’re that far off,” Aresimowicz said Wednesday during a press conference in his Capitol office.

At the same time, he also admitted that he actually doesn’t know how far apart the two sides are in reaching an agreement.

“We’re just waiting on specifics for what the governor actually wants. I think it’s the board make-up and how they allocate the resources out to provide the program,” Aresimowicz said.

But he doesn’t necessarily know.

Aresimowicz said they’ve been floating different ideas regarding the make-up of the board that would run the quasi-public agency.

But why are they having to guess what Lamont actually wants?

Aresimowicz said the governor has not given them any language.

See the full story from CT News Junkie online.

In another shift, Lamont wants regular session vote on tolls

From CT Post.

Gov. Ned Lamont has asked lawmakers to fast-track electronic highway tolls, reversing a previous position to let the issue slide for a special session after the June 5 adjournment of the General Assembly.

In meetings with majority Democratic leaders this week, Lamont asked for them to return his signature legislation to the front burner. Doing so would threaten hundreds of other bills that would die at 12:01 a.m. June 6 if they don’t get legislative approval.

“He reached out to leadership to see if there was one last try, to see if the votes were there for this session, and to not have to go into a special (session) for the issue of tolls,” said Sen. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford, co-chair of the Transportation Committee.

This change now puts extra pressure on lawmakers, including Rep. Roland Lemar, D-New Haven, Leone’s transportation co-chair, who would have to lead passage of tolls through the House, before the legislation can advance to the Senate. Lemar was told by legislative leaders on Tuesday to get ready to run the bill in the House, he said.

I-91 NB Exit 28 to close from tonight (May 29) for two years

From CT DOT.

The closure is necessary to facilitate the first major stage of construction activity (lowering of southbound Routes 5/15 under I-91), and will last approximately two years.

From tonight, Wednesday night, May 29, detour signs will direct I-91 northbound motorists seeking Routes 5/15 southbound at Exit 28 to follow the detour route as follows, and as depicted below:

  • Follow I-91 northbound to Exit 29 (to Routes 5/15 and cross over the Charter Oak Bridge)
  • Take Exit 90 to Route 2 westbound
  • Take first Exit to East River Drive
  • Turn right on East River Drive
  • Turn right onto ramp for Routes 5/15 southbound

See the complete article online.