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Police seek information after silver truck seen acting suspiciously in Saham Toney

JB_1_POLICE_CAR_STOCK Police are investigating after the driver of a truck was seen acting suspiciously in Saham Toney. Share [1] A post on the Norfolk Constabulary Facebook page said investigations had begun after rumours of an attempted abduction in Pages Lane appeared online. The post said: Police are aware of rumours circulating on social media of an attempted abduction of a boy in Pages Lane, Saham Toney yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, September 14). Whilst there is no evidence at this stage to suggest an attempted abduction took place, officers are investigating reports of a truck seen acting suspiciously in the area. A silver truck with a ladder, believed to be the same vehicle, was also seen near Watton Primary School at around 3.30pm yesterday (Wednesday). The driver was seen speaking to a boy. Anyone with information about either of these incidents is asked to contact Norfolk Police on 101. References ^ Share (www.edp24.co.uk)

Truckers are facing a new kind of scrutiny — electronic data tracking 0

Truckers are facing a new kind of scrutiny — electronic data tracking

Big-rig driver John Randy Saunders recently had a scare caused by a turtle. As on most days, he was behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, headed from Norfolk International Terminals, where he had just dropped off a container full of paper, to the Pinners Point Container Yard in Portsmouth to pick up an empty box. Coming off the bridge on Hampton Boulevard, he noticed something in front of him. It was a teeny little box turtle, Saunders said. I can t run nothing over. He was in the center lane, which is the same lane I was in. After checking out the right lane, he braked and went around the turtle. Then began to worry. He was going 37 mph. If he had braked hard enough to drop his speed by 27 mph in three seconds, an electronic-logging device, or ELD, in his truck would have recorded the whole thing: his exact speed, digital snapshots of his actions in the moments before he braked, and latitude and longitude, among other things. Saunders would have been required to go back to his company s office and fill out paperwork explaining why he had to brake so hard even though he had hit nothing. As it turns out, he hadn t triggered what s known as a hard brake violation. But his experience reflects the extent to which virtually every movement of a truck driver is under close scrutiny, in one form or another. Since the late 1930s, truckers have been required to keep logs that track their comings and goings, in 15-minute increments, hour by hour, one day at a time. The paper format, however, is going digital, morphing into a kind of electronic surveillance now mandated by the federal government. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requiring commercial truck and bus drivers to use electronic-logging devices beginning in December 2017. The new rule is aimed at streamlining enforcement of hours of service regulations in place for years, a system of Rubik s Cube-like complexity that parses out how much time drivers can drive before needing breaks, how long their breaks need to be, and when they need to be taken, among other things. The regulatory agency estimates that using the devices will result in annual savings of more than $1 billion, by cutting the expense of processing all that paper. It ll also save an estimated 26 lives a year and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving big commercial motor vehicles, according to a statement announcing the rule s adoption in December. The national trucking companies that crisscross the country are generally way ahead of the curve and have already installed the devices, truck industry sources say. Some more regional companies, such as Saunders employer, MCO Transport, already have them, too. Frank Borum, president of the Tidewater Motor Truck Association, estimates that maybe 30 percent of truck companies operating in Hampton Roads have ELDs in place or are in the process of transitioning to them. On any given day, Borum estimates, there are about 2,500 truck moves at the two big container terminals in the port Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth and Norfolk International Terminals. While Saunders and the roughly 40 drivers like him at MCO are full – time employees, driving company-owned trucks, they re the exceptions, generally. Most drivers working the port maybe 85 percent, Borum said are independent owner-operators, essentially freelance truckers who own their rigs and work largely day shifts, shuttling boxes around the region as contractors for trucking companies focused on what s known as the drayage business. The Norfolk office of one of those companies Century Express is in the process of putting ELDs into the 35 trucks that make up its local fleet. Mike Innes, Century Express s Norfolk dispatcher, recently demonstrated how easy it is to install one of the new devices called Dash Link, roughly the size of a fat cellphone by nudging it under the dashboard of trucker D Angelo Jones rig, just left of the clutch. Using Bluetooth technology, the device speaks to the engine, which is enabled to speak with Jones smartphone, with the help of a downloadable app. This tracks second by second, minute by minute, Innes said. It s that accurate. While Jones will still have to deal with drop-down lists on his phone to enter some data, he won t have to spend anywhere near the time he s had to spend filling out paper logs, Innes said. The devices aren t cheap roughly $1,500 apiece. While owner-operators such as Jones ordinarily have to cover their own expenses including payments on their trucks, fuel, insurance, tires and maintenance Century Express is offering to cover the costs, if drivers agree to the installation now, instead of a year from now, when the federal deadline will be a few months away. Jones, 44, was taking a wait-and-see approach after his truck was connected: I just have to test it and see how it works, and then I can go from there. Company officials say the investment will be worth it. Marilynn Ryan, a Century Express manager who s been in the trucking business for nearly 30 years, remembers a time when she used atlases to measure the distances between truckers stops to determine whether the driving times on their paper logs made sense. This is a big change for the industry, she said. The new system will include a large electronic monitor that will track every trucker s whereabouts, speed and movements, instantaneously. The data accumulated just like all the numbers entered on the paper logs will still be processed and archived for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The amount of time required to do that, however, will be cut dramatically by removing most of the paperwork. Adoption of ELDs will also make routine stops and inspections by state troopers and other law-enforcement officials quicker and more efficient. Instead of poring over pages of paper logs, officers will be able to access trucker data electronically, in some cases as easily as downloading it from a trucker s smartphone. Borum said that in the local trucking community, the jury s still out on whether the ELDs will increase or decrease productivity. He cites the hours truckers sometimes spend waiting in line at port terminals when congestion builds. There are some interpretations in paper logs that would allow some of that time to be written off as, you know, not driving, Borum said. So there are some things that have to be considered. Yet David Singletary, an MCO Transport driver now using a second-generation ELD, said drivers in that situation using ELDs can switch them to settings that will conserve actual driving time. I have a Don t Tread on Me sticker on my work truck here, he said, adding that he s somewhat Tea Party. Unfortunately, you ve had so many people through the years that have just absolutely abused the highways in terms of driving while fatigued, that we ve gotten this far. While the ELDs may seem to some truckers like a Big Brother intrusion on the industry , he s decided they re better for everybody in the long run: I like electronic logs. They prevent your employer or anybody from being able to essentially strong-arm you into continuing to work when you legally can t. Of the nation s 3.5 million professional truck drivers, maybe 400,000 are involved in port-drayage work like many of the drivers in Hampton Roads, said Curtis Whalen, executive director of the Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference at the Arlington-based American Trucking Associations. The associations point of view and that of the intermodal sector with which he works involving cargo containers that can move interchangeably by ship, truck or rail is that ELDs represent a technology that can simplify safety-related issues. It takes the paperwork side of it out of the process, he said. You get a defined way to keep track of this that doesn t have vagaries here and there where you put this down or you don t. It also gives truckers a way to address congestion issues and lost time waiting in line at port terminals. We re data-starved, he said. How long is the waiting line? How long has that truck really been in line? We argue about that all the time in damn near every port, so this would provide us with unassailable data. Last week was National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, time set aside yearly by truck advocates to recognize the drivers who deliver 70.1 percent of the country s total freight tonnage. After covering their expenses, truckers hauling containers around Hampton Roads typically net an average of $55,000 to $60,000 a year, said Ed O Callaghan, who oversees the Norfolk office of Century Express. It s a lot of hours to make $55,000 a year, said Ryan, who helps track them. There s a general lack of respect for any person driving a truck in the American culture. Big trucks have been vilified.

Truckers are facing a new kind of scrutiny 0

Truckers are facing a new kind of scrutiny

Big-rig driver John Randy Saunders recently had a scare caused by a turtle. As on most days, he was behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, headed from Norfolk International Terminals, where he had just dropped off a container full of paper, to the Pinners Point Container Yard in Portsmouth to pick up an empty box. Coming off the bridge on Hampton Boulevard, he noticed something in front of him. It was a teeny little box turtle, Saunders said. I can t run nothing over. He was in the center lane, which is the same lane I was in. After checking out the right lane, he braked and went around the turtle. Then began to worry. He was going 37 mph. If he had braked hard enough to drop his speed by 27 mph in three seconds, an electronic-logging device, or ELD, in his truck would have recorded the whole thing: his exact speed, digital snapshots of his actions in the moments before he braked, and latitude and longitude, among other things. Saunders would have been required to go back to his company s office and fill out paperwork explaining why he had to brake so hard even though he had hit nothing. As it turns out, he hadn t triggered what s known as a hard brake violation. But his experience reflects the extent to which virtually every movement of a truck driver is under close scrutiny, in one form or another. Since the late 1930s, truckers have been required to keep logs that track their comings and goings, in 15-minute increments, hour by hour, one day at a time. The paper format, however, is going digital, morphing into a kind of electronic surveillance now mandated by the federal government. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requiring commercial truck and bus drivers to use electronic-logging devices beginning in December 2017. The new rule is aimed at streamlining enforcement of hours of service regulations in place for years, a system of Rubik s Cube-like complexity that parses out how much time drivers can drive before needing breaks, how long their breaks need to be, and when they need to be taken, among other things. The regulatory agency estimates that using the devices will result in annual savings of more than $1 billion, by cutting the expense of processing all that paper. It ll also save an estimated 26 lives a year and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving big commercial motor vehicles, according to a statement announcing the rule s adoption in December. The national trucking companies that crisscross the country are generally way ahead of the curve and have already installed the devices, truck industry sources say. Some more regional companies, such as Saunders employer, MCO Transport, already have them, too. Frank Borum, president of the Tidewater Motor Truck Association, estimates that maybe 30 percent of truck companies operating in Hampton Roads have ELDs in place or are in the process of transitioning to them. On any given day, Borum estimates, there are about 2,500 truck moves at the two big container terminals in the port Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth and Norfolk International Terminals. While Saunders and the roughly 40 drivers like him at MCO are full – time employees, driving company-owned trucks, they re the exceptions, generally. Most drivers working the port maybe 85 percent, Borum said are independent owner-operators, essentially freelance truckers who own their rigs and work largely day shifts, shuttling boxes around the region as contractors for trucking companies focused on what s known as the drayage business. The Norfolk office of one of those companies Century Express is in the process of putting ELDs into the 35 trucks that make up its local fleet. Mike Innes, Century Express s Norfolk dispatcher, recently demonstrated how easy it is to install one of the new devices called Dash Link, roughly the size of a fat cellphone by nudging it under the dashboard of trucker D Angelo Jones rig, just left of the clutch. Using Bluetooth technology, the device speaks to the engine, which is enabled to speak with Jones smartphone, with the help of a downloadable app. This tracks second by second, minute by minute, Innes said. It s that accurate. While Jones will still have to deal with drop-down lists on his phone to enter some data, he won t have to spend anywhere near the time he s had to spend filling out paper logs, Innes said. The devices aren t cheap roughly $1,500 apiece. While owner-operators such as Jones ordinarily have to cover their own expenses including payments on their trucks, fuel, insurance, tires and maintenance Century Express is offering to cover the costs, if drivers agree to the installation now, instead of a year from now, when the federal deadline will be a few months away. Jones, 44, was taking a wait-and-see approach after his truck was connected: I just have to test it and see how it works, and then I can go from there. Company officials say the investment will be worth it. Marilynn Ryan, a Century Express manager who s been in the trucking business for nearly 30 years, remembers a time when she used atlases to measure the distances between truckers stops to determine whether the driving times on their paper logs made sense. This is a big change for the industry, she said. The new system will include a large electronic monitor that will track every trucker s whereabouts, speed and movements, instantaneously. The data accumulated just like all the numbers entered on the paper logs will still be processed and archived for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The amount of time required to do that, however, will be cut dramatically by removing most of the paperwork. Adoption of ELDs will also make routine stops and inspections by state troopers and other law-enforcement officials quicker and more efficient. Instead of poring over pages of paper logs, officers will be able to access trucker data electronically, in some cases as easily as downloading it from a trucker s smartphone. Borum said that in the local trucking community, the jury s still out on whether the ELDs will increase or decrease productivity. He cites the hours truckers sometimes spend waiting in line at port terminals when congestion builds. There are some interpretations in paper logs that would allow some of that time to be written off as, you know, not driving, Borum said. So there are some things that have to be considered. Yet David Singletary, an MCO Transport driver now using a second-generation ELD, said drivers in that situation using ELDs can switch them to settings that will conserve actual driving time. I have a Don t Tread on Me sticker on my work truck here, he said, adding that he s somewhat Tea Party. Unfortunately, you ve had so many people through the years that have just absolutely abused the highways in terms of driving while fatigued, that we ve gotten this far. While the ELDs may seem to some truckers like a Big Brother intrusion on the industry , he s decided they re better for everybody in the long run: I like electronic logs. They prevent your employer or anybody from being able to essentially strong-arm you into continuing to work when you legally can t. Of the nation s 3.5 million professional truck drivers, maybe 400,000 are involved in port-drayage work like many of the drivers in Hampton Roads, said Curtis Whalen, executive director of the Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference at the Arlington-based American Truckers Associations. The associations point of view and that of the intermodal sector with which he works involving cargo containers that can move interchangeably by ship, truck or rail is that ELDs represent a technology that can simplify safety-related issues. It takes the paperwork side of it out of the process, he said. You get a defined way to keep track of this that doesn t have vagaries here and there where you put this down or you don t. It also gives truckers a way to address congestion issues and lost time waiting in line at port terminals. We re data-starved, he said. How long is the waiting line? How long has that truck really been in line? We argue about that all the time in damn near every port, so this would provide us with unassailable data. Last week was National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, time set aside yearly by truck advocates to recognize the drivers who deliver 70.1 percent of the country s total freight tonnage. After covering their expenses, truckers hauling containers around Hampton Roads typically net an average of $55,000 to $60,000 a year, said Ed O Callaghan, who oversees the Norfolk office of Century Express. It s a lot of hours to make $55,000 a year, said Ryan, who helps track them. There s a general lack of respect for any person driving a truck in the American culture. Big trucks have been vilified.