Tagged: drivers

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Tractor-trailer jake brake law ‘difficult to enforce’

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Residents along Newport Gap Pike blame tractor-trailers that regularly rumble past their homes for sleepless nights to broken windows to potholes.

A law designed to limit noise from heavy-truck engines passing through Delaware residential areas is difficult to enforce because of a “loophole” written into its recently-adopted text, a state police officer said Monday at a town hall meeting attended by irate residents, who live along Del. 41.

The act, which bans the use of the cacophonous tractor-trailer braking system, known as jake brakes, passed the General Assembly last year. But a truck driver may still use the auxiliary, engine-compression brakes, if there is an emergency, Delaware State Police Lt. Mike Wysock said.

“Here’s what happens when you go to court…all you have to say is ‘your honor (the traffic light) was yellow, I didn’t want to run a red light,’ so it was an emergency and (the ticket) gets dropped,” Wysock said to the crowd of more than 100 residents, who for years have been petitioning the state to more strictly regulate the heavy trucks that pass by their houses.

“Everyone thinks, ‘oh, he jake braked, so we can go and arrest him.’ Well, you can, but as soon as you stop him, he’s got a valid excuse that’s going to get (the ticket) dropped,” Wysock added.

The Monday-night meeting, which occurred at Cedars Methodist Church, was the latest in a series of public gatherings by residents who are fed up with what they describe as loud trucks that speed daily – and nightly – through residential neighborhoods along the Del. 41 and Del. 48 corridors between Wilmington and Hockessin.

The noise and vibrations from the big rigs damage foundations of houses and other structures near the roadway, including Cedar Methodist, which sits a block from Del. 41, said Bill Taylor, an area resident and trustee of the church.

Truckers also rattle the nerves of residents[1] when they use “the terror of all terrors, jake braking in the middle of the night,” he said.

STORY: Capital One to stay in Wilmington[2]

STORY: Delcollo: Truck solution to make people equally unhappy[3]

Kim Williams, the sponsor of the anti-jake braking bill last year, was perplexed that the law was not having its desired effect. Further legislation may be necessary, she said at Monday’s meeting. She also expressed concern that any citation issued by an officer, who is not part of the state police’s dedicated truck enforcement team, does not show up on a truck driver’s federal registration.

”There was a little confusion there…my understanding is that they are issuing tickets and it affects their driving record,” she said.

Frustration with the heavy trucks caused a feud to arise over the last year between residents who live on Del. 41 and Del. 48, with each side insisting the other is more suitable for the trucks that pass between Wilmington and Lancaster.

The neighbors angrily accused the others of menacingly manipulating state transportation department into first placing, and then removing, signs that directed heavy trucks onto Del. 48.[4]

But that neighborhood infighting showed signs of diminishing Monday after many sounded a conciliatory tone despite continued frustration over the trucks that avoid police scrutiny.

“The problem that we have now is going to take cooperation from everyone, 41 and 48,” Taylor said at the meeting.

The truck-traffic dispute last year also caused political ramifications statewide after many observers say former-Senate Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins, was unseated after the November election because of her stance that traffic engineers, not politicians, should decide the issue.

Republican Senator Anthony Delcollo took her spot to represent the district of residents who live along both the Del. 41 and 48 corridors.

Yet at the meeting Monday, scorn appeared to have shifted away from fellow neighbors and legislators. Instead, it zeroed in on Delaware Department of Transportation officials, who were noticeably absent. Williams said she was “embarrassed” that DelDOT had not attended.

Rep. Gerald Brady, D-Hockessin, echoed the sentiment at the meeting, asking rhetorically, “is anyone here from the governor’s office? Who is his cabinet secretary?”

“In her absence, where is the executive branch of government? They make the decisions,” Brady said.

DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, in an email to the meeting organizer Mary Anne Summers, said she could not attend because she is currently out of the country. It is unclear why another representative from DelDOT did not attend. State officials attended numerous previous public gatherings on the issue during the past year.

After the 3-hour meeting came to a close, Delcollo said the state should immediately look into installing signs on Del. 41 that warn truck drivers of nearby traffic lights and should consider adjusting the speed limit.

“There are some things that would require minimal investment with infrastructure, (and) we could get to them very quickly,” he said.

Contact Karl Baker at kbaker@delawareonline.com or (302) 324-2329. Follow him on Twitter @kbaker6.[5]

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References

  1. ^ rattle the nerves of residents (www.delawareonline.com)
  2. ^ Capital One to stay in Wilmington (www.delawareonline.com)
  3. ^ Delcollo: Truck solution to make people equally unhappy (www.delawareonline.com)
  4. ^ into first placing, and then removing, signs that directed heavy trucks onto Del. 48. (www.delawareonline.com)
  5. ^ kbaker@delawareonline.com (www.delawareonline.com)
  6. ^ iPhone app (itunes.apple.com)
  7. ^ Android app for phone and tablet (play.google.com)
  8. ^ iPad app (itunes.apple.com)
  9. ^ “like” us on Facebook! (www.facebook.com)
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Faversham: Lorry broken down in Quay Lane has been stuck there for TWO hours

A lorry has been stuck in a busy town centre road for more than two hours.

Drivers are reporting long delays in Faversham after the HGV broke down between Court Street and Quay Lane. 

Bus diversions are in place.

The lorry is stuck as Court Street meets Quay Lane - a key route through the town.

The lorry is stuck as Court Street meets Quay Lane – a key route through the town.

The lorry, which has been stuck for two hours, has caused gridlock in the town centre.

The lorry, which has been stuck for two hours, has caused gridlock in the town centre.

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Mandatory electronic logging devices and legalized marijuana

As of Dec. 18, anyone who operates commercial buses or trucks south of the border will be required to have a compliant electronic logging device (ELD) installed on their vehicle, and ensure their drivers and staff are trained on its use.

The rule applies to Canadian and Mexican-domiciled drivers and carriers as well as those based in the US. There are a few exemptions in place, such as vehicles manufactured prior to the model year 2000, those who use paper logs for no more than eight days out of 30, and those involved in driveaway-towaway operations.

But for the most part, if you are currently required to keep a paper log, you will be required to have an ELD installed in less than nine months. (If you have existing e-log technology that doesn’t meet the new standard installed prior to Dec. 18, you will have until Dec. 16 2019 to have it upgraded to meet the standards or replaced).

Are you and your company ready for this mandate? Do you have the information you need to ensure you are fully compliant with the rule prior to the drop-dead date?

If you are waiting for the last minute in hopes that the Trump administration will eliminate this rule with another stroke of the pen, that is a flawed strategy at best. All indications are that the ELD mandate will go forward, so if you are entering the US, you should already be looking into devices and starting to plan your roll-out.

It takes time to ensure you are sourcing a compliant device, from scheduling the installations, and training all your drivers and operations staff on how to use them. The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is not certifying devices, by the way, it is simply allowing manufacturers to self-certify that they comply with the technical standard.

So, just because a device appears on the FMCSA’s website as being certified, does not necessarily mean it is so. If, down the road, the device is found to be non-compliant, the manufacturer of the device will have a very short time frame to bring it into compliance. If they can’t, you will be held responsible to have it replaced.

In light of this, ensure you do your homework and do some fact checking prior to purchasing a device. You can go to the FMCSA’s website for more information.

On March 27, the news media reported the federal Liberal government will announce legislation in April of this year, with the intention of having marijuana legalized by July 1, 2018. The legislation is expected to broadly follow the recommendations of a federally appointed task force that released a report in December, 2016.

Are you ready to deal with how this will affect your workplace? Do you have policies in place already to protect your workers and your workplace? Are they sufficient?

We will be covering policies and procedures related to the legalization of marijuana as part of our annual conference in Niagara Falls, Ont. in June. For more information on the event, or to contact the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada office with any questions, you can e-mail info@pmtc.ca, trucks@pmtc.ca, or call 905-827-0587.

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Mike Millian is president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, the only national association that represents the views and interests of the private fleet industry. He can be reached at trucks@pmtc.ca.