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A body was discovered in a truck Sunday night after authorities got a call about a suspicious vehicle along Interstate 17 and New River Road.
The call was received at around 7:30 p.m.
"The person calling actually saw the vehicle here for an extended amount of time and that's what raised the suspicion," Arizona Department of Public Safety Capt. Daniel Golden said. "So outstanding job on that citizen."
Officers located the semi-trailer truck on the northbound I-17 on-ramp. They learned the vehicle had been parked there for two days, DPS spokesman Bart Graves said.
A trooper climbed in the cab and found the body of a 48-year-old man in the sleeper berth, DPS said. The victim’s name won’t be released until next-of-kin are notified.
Officers are awaiting results of an autopsy. They said they don't expect foul play. DPS plans to examine the cargo later Monday.
The area is known to be a popular stop for truckers to pull over and take a break while driving.
LINDEN – A deaf New York man who has a commercial driver's license is suing a truck driver training school here, accusing the school of discrimination for refusing to admit him in classes.
Kenneth Frilando, 46, of Rockaway Beach, N.Y., who communicates with sign language, says the Smith & Solomon School of Tractor Trailer Driving in Linden refused to accept him in the school.
According to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Newark, Frilando has a valid Class A Commercial Driver's License and obtained a safety waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, indicating he was capable of safely operating a commercial vehicle.
Frilando has also filed a similar suit against a New York training school for truck drivers.
In his suit against Smith and Solomon, Frilando claims his brother, Joseph Frilando, contacted the driving school and stated that Kenneth Frilando wanted to take courses. Joseph Frilando asked about accommodations for his brother because he is deaf, the suit states.
On March 30, Dale Wessondorf, director of safety and program training for the school, responded that the company was seeking guidance from the federal Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission, but added that Smith & Solomon had not received guidance for accommodating deaf people.
Joseph Frilando provided proof of his brother's federal safety waiver, as requested by Smith & Solomon, court papers state.
On April 6, however, Wessendorf, sent a final email rejecting Frilando request for training, according to the lawsuit.
"After considerable discussion at both the State and Federal level and having received little or no guidance on how to effectively train and safely protect the motoring public, the student and our personnel, we have determined that Smith & Solomon is not capable or qualified at this time to render the services requested," Wessendor is quoted as saying the lawsuit.
He concluded by saying, "Thank you very much for your interest in Smith & Solomon."
Frilando claims Smith & Solomon's denial violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. He is seeking monetary damages and an order requiring the Smith & Solomon to develop and implement a program that would prohibit discrimination against people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
A message left with Smith & Solomon on Tuesday was not immediately returned.
Frilando also filed a federal suit against Duchess School of Driving Inc., in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., claiming that school also refused to allow him in any classes. According to the lawsuit, the school said it had never taught a deaf student and suggested he look for a school with experience with that community.
A woman reached at Duchess School of Driving Inc. on Tuesday said she was not familiar with the lawsuit and could not comment.
Louisiana State Police said Rahn Taylor, 37, of Metairie, died in a crash Wednesday, July 22, 2015, on I-12 in St. Tammany Parish. The 18-wheeler he was driving sustained a tire failure which caused the truck to swerve off the road and strike a line of trees, according to police. (St. Tammany Parish Fire District #3)
A 37-year-old Metairie truck driver was killed Wednesday (July 22) afternoon in a crash on Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish, according to Louisiana State Police.
Trooper Dustin Dwight said Rahn Taylor was wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred around 1 p.m.
Taylor was driving a 2007 International 18-wheeler eastbound in the left lane of I-12 between Lacombe and Slidell that ran off the right side of the road and struck several trees, Dwight said. The 18-wheeler sustained a tire failure on the right front steer axle, he said, and caused the truck to swerve to the right.
Taylor's 18-wheeler crashed into the left side of a 2007 Mack Truck that was in the right lane of the interstate, Dwight said. The driver of that truck, a 55-year-old New Orleans man, was not injured.
Dwight said troopers do not believe alcohol was a factor in the wreck.
The American Trucking Associations says turnover for long-haul drivers reached the lowest point in four years
More American truck drivers stuck by their employers in the first quarter of this year, with annualized turnover rates reaching their lowest in four years, according to the American Trucking Associations.
The turnover rate was down to 84% for operators of truckload fleets with more than $30 million in revenue in the first quarter and 83% among those with smaller fleets. Both measures were 12 percentage points less than the turnover rate in the previous quarter. Operators of less-than-truckload fleets, which have less turnover than long-haul companies, also saw turnover fall slightly for the quarter.
In recent years, driver turnover has remained upward of 90% in the long-haul, truckload sector, according to Bob Costello, chief economist at the trade group. The high turnover is a seemingly entrenched feature of long-haul trucking, where small changes in pay and working conditions can lead drivers to jump to different companies with few complications with relative ease.
Mr. Costello said he was “surprised” by the decrease. “I didn’t expect it to go up a lot, but I didn’t expect it to fall to its lowest level for large carriers in four years,” he said.
The retirements of older drivers and departure from the industry of younger drivers account for about one-third of the turnover, but most of it is churn—drivers leaving one company for another. With an industry-wide driver shortage, it’s fairly common for drivers to switch employers. “I call it the free agency of trucking,” Mr. Costello said.
Mr. Costello and other analysts attribute the trend to softer freight in the first quarter of 2015, which could have made drivers wary of leaving, or recent pay increases at some companies, which may have enticed them to stay.
Noel Perry, an economist at FTR, a transportation research firm, said the marketplace was much hotter last year, and demand for truck drivers is high. Companies did a lot of recruiting, offering signing bonuses for drivers who agreed to stay on for a certain time period.
“Now it’s no longer a crisis stage,” Mr. Perry said. “There just isn’t as much of an expansion this year as last year.”
Turnover rates were near their highest in 2005 and 2006, hitting 130%, during a period of strong economic growth that allowed drivers to move easily from one company to another. The rate dipped to its lowest levels in 2009, at about 50%, when jobs simply weren’t available, according to the ATA.
Mr. Costello said it was particularly striking that this year’s trend showed up at both small and large companies. “That tells me that something probably happened that quarter,” he said, but he hesitated to attribute it to port congestion delays on the West Coast. If anything, port delays might have upward pressure on rates, he said.
“Before I really make any profound judgments on this, I want to see what happens in the second quarter,” he said.
DENVER — Authorities closed I-70 in both directions for about two hours on Thursday afternoon after a semi-truck caught fire.
The accident happened between 32nd and 6th Avenues around 1:30 p.m. The interstate was reopened after accident clean up.
West Metro Fire reported that due to the steep grade of I-70, the truck’s hot brakes may have started the fire.
The photos captured by SkyFOX show that the contents of the truck appears to be different types of produce.
Authorities warn drivers to expect delays in the area.
The condition of the semi driver was not released.
The following video was shot by a FOX31 Denver viewer, Sheri Merrick, which shows a close-up of crews working on the semi fire.
Highway legislation that’s before the Senate could greatly increase the number of teenagers behind the wheel of big rigs.
Drivers as young as 18 years old could be allowed to drive 80,000-pound trucks between states if Congress goes along with a proposal backed by the U.S. trucking industry that safety advocates say would be a disaster.
The plan, part of highway legislation that’s before the Senate, would greatly increase the number of teenagers behind the wheel of big rigs.
“We should be considering how to limit teen truck drivers rather than expanding them into such a dangerous program,” said Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
“Like many industries, we have a looming issue with baby boomer retirements.”
Many states permit 18-year-olds to drive the big trucks, but federal law prohibits them from operating across borders. In those states, younger truck drivers are four- to six-times as likely as 21-year-olds to be involved in fatal crashes, Gillan said.
The trucking industry says there is a shortage of drivers and sees the measure as a way to expand the pool of eligible operators. By 2017, there could be more than 250,000 unfilled trucker jobs, according to a forecast by FTR, an industry research firm.
Reducing the driving age would give companies like Knight Transportation Inc., Swift Transportation Co., YRC Worldwide Inc., FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. more applicants, lowering recruiting costs, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Lee Klaskow said.
Shippers could get lower rates as contract costs have gone up 3 percent to 5 percent this year, he said. That rise “is driven by truckers looking to pass on the cost of attracting and retaining drivers,” Klaskow said.
Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts say they are trying to get the provision removed from the six-year highway bill when it is debated by the full Senate. The Commerce Committee approved it July 15.
The Senate began preliminary debate on the bill Thursday, although it wasn’t clear when votes on amendments will take place. Unless Congress acts, authority for highway construction expires at the end of the month.
The idea of lowering the minimum age for truck drivers has been kicking around for years. In 2002, the Bush administration looked at graduated licensing that would create classifications for younger truckers with certain restrictions.
At the time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that there was “unequivocal scientific evidence of a markedly elevated crash risk among people younger than 21 who drive large trucks” and no basis for believing that graduated licensing would reduce that danger. The Arlington, Virginia-based research group remains opposed to the policy shift as written into the Senate bill, spokesman Russ Rader said.
The legislation would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create a six-year pilot program allowing 18-year-olds to drive commercial vehicles, including buses, across state lines.
Since 48 states already allow younger commercial drivers to drive within state boundaries it makes sense to allow the practice nationally, American Trucking Associations spokesman Sean McNally said. The legislation is narrowly tailored to permit states to enter agreements with each other under the program supervised by the FMCSA, he said.
Commercial drivers are already subject to more stringent licensing than those who drive passenger cars, McNally said. The program would give people just out of high school, a demographic with a high unemployment rate, an opportunity in an industry that needs drivers.
“Like many industries, we have a looming issue with baby boomer retirements,” McNally said. “This could be a way to address that.”
Graduated licensing has worked well for passenger-car drivers, and it’s a common-sense way for truckers to get more responsibility as they get more experience, according to the ATA. States would be free to put restrictions on the younger truckers, such as limiting the types of cargo carried, or keeping to specific routes or times of day, the group said in a letter to senators July 21.
“Right now a young adult could drive a truck from El Paso, Texas to Dallas –- a distance of more than 600 miles –- but couldn’t cross the street to deliver that same load from Texarkana, Texas to Texarkana, Arkansas,” Bill Graves, the Arlington, Virginia-based trade group’s president and chief executive officer, said in the letter.
Those arguments don’t convince Gillan of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a Washington-based group. If 48 states permit 18-year-olds to drive for intrastate commerce, maybe that’s the problem the Senate should be looking at, she said, because the statistics show those drivers to be more dangerous.
“Look at the figures,” Gillan said. “Now we’re saying let’s take a really bad idea and expand it? Who else other than the trucking industry could get by with that logic?”
California Highway Patrol press release:
On the afternoon of Wednesday, July 22, a logging truck and loaded trailer traveling on State Route 36, west of Grizzly Creek State Park, overturned resulting in minor traffic slowdowns.
At approximately 3:25 p.m., 57 year old Ben Allen Bray of Arcata was driving a 2007 Kenworth semi-truck while pulling a log dolly fully loaded of logs westbound on State Route 36, one mile west of Grizzly Creek State Park. Bray attempted to negotiate a left curve in the roadway at an unsafe speed for the curve, causing the semi-truck and trailer to overturn onto its right side. The semi-truck and trailer came to rest within the westbound lane of State Route 36 and partially on the west shoulder. One-way controlled traffic was maintained with the assistance of Caltrans while the collision scene was being processed. Bray was uninjured in this traffic collision.
Following the collision, approximately 50 gallons of diesel spilled from the semi-truck’s fuel tanks onto the shoulder. Caltrans and Humboldt County Environmental Health (hazardous materials specialists) responded to the scene and coordinated cleanup efforts with Pacific Earthscapes, who is responsible for the cleanup.
The California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area is investigating this traffic collision.
GREENBELT, MD – Just released figures from a previously unannounced one-day truck safety crackdown show inspectors in Canada found a fewer percentage of problems than in the U.S.
According to results released Wednesday by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), which certifies truck inspectors, more than 6,300 trucks and buses were checked on May 6 in 32 Canadian provinces and U.S. states, along with Puerto Rico, as part of its Operation Airbrake.
Overall, nine percent of the more than 6,000 vehicles inspected were placed out of service (OOS) for out of adjustment brakes, an improvement from last year’s rate of 9.5 percent.
However, in Canada this rate was just four percent compared to 11.3 percent for the U.S.
Also, overall 7.7 percent of trucks were placed out of service for brake component violations, such as cracked or missing components, air leaks, damaged brake hose or tubing, drums, rotors, for example. This compares to 8.5 percent in 2014.
But once again, Canada did better, with an OOS rate of seven percent compared to eight percent for the U.S.
This year 14.2 percent of all inspected trucks during the event were placed out of service for brake violations of any kind compared to 15.2 percent last year.
Canada also did better in this category, with a 10.3 percent OOS rate, while the U.S. rate was much higher at 15.9 percent.
The one area where Canada did not do as well as the U.S. was out of adjustment brakes found by inspectors. The U.S. bested Canada with a rate of 4.7 percent compared to 5.2 percent.
The overall rate was 4.9 percent. The U.S. also did better in the separate categories of manual and automatic brake adjusters.
During the May inspection blitz, Canada accounted for about a third of the total number of inspections while the rest were in the U.S.
The one-day crackdown also revealed Ontario had the fewest percent of Canadian trucks ordered OOS for brake adjustment problems, 2.8 percent, while the greatest were in Quebec, 9.7 percent. These figures compare to double-digit rates found in 12 of the 22 U.S. states and U.S. territory that participated.
In all, more than 50,000 individual wheel ends were checked throughout North America during this event. Notably, brakes equipped with manual adjusters were 2.5 times more likely to be out of adjustment than those equipped with self-adjusting brake adjusters, according to CVSA.
It said brake-related violations comprised the largest percentage (representing 46.2 percent) of all out-of-service violations cited during Operation Airbrake’s companion International Roadcheck campaign in 2014, which is focused on both vehicles and drivers.
CVSA's next Operation Airbrake event is Brake Safety Week, which is a week-long brake safety campaign aimed at improving commercial vehicle brake safety, on Sept. 6-12.