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Despite pot legalization in Canada, professional drivers reminded trucking still ‘zero tolerance’ industry

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Now that Canada has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, professional truck drivers plying highways on both sides of the border are reminded that trucking in North America is still a “zero tolerance” industry.

That’s according to Garth Pitzel, who is director of safety and driver development for Canada-based Bison Transport, a safety award winner for many years.

Neither is Bison going to be involved in transporting cannabis or its derivative products, Pitzel said. “We’re not going to get involved in that; we’ll not jeopardize our employees. A fellow [in another company] was banned from the U.S. for life because he was involved in the cannabis business in Canada.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is warning travelers that pot remains an illegal narcotic in the U.S., noted Joanne Ritchie, executive director of the Owner-Operator Business Association of Canada (OBAC).

And, she told The Trucker, although Canada has no federal/provincial labor rules on drug and alcohol testing outside the military because of privacy issues, “most workplaces, including trucking companies, have their own policies around the use of drugs and alcohol, including an obligation to follow U.S. rules when in the U.S.

“Leading up to pot legalization in Canada there was a lot of emphasis on making sure the trucking industry was ready with updated policies in place.”

In Canada, she said, local provinces and territories are responsible for determining how cannabis is distributed and sold within their jurisdictions. They’re also responsible for how roadside inspections are conducted, with drug-impaired driving offenses treated the same as driving alcohol-impaired, meaning zero tolerance for novice drivers, young drivers up to 22 years of age and commercial drivers.

So far in Canada, Ritchie said, the only federally approved device for testing THC, the psychoactive agent in pot, is roadside saliva testing, which shows if cannabis was consumed in the last 12 hours.

“The issue of roadside drug-testing is still under debate,” Ritchie said. “Most police forces are planning to keep it ‘business as usual’ with sobriety field tests at roadside, but it’s less clear which jurisdictions will be using oral screening devices.”

Unlike tests for alcohol intoxication, the saliva tests don’t show the level of cannabis impairment, according to Pitzel.

He said Canada’s national policy says a person is allowed only so much cannabis in their possession and provisional jurisdictions break it down further as to where cannabis can be consumed, which doesn’t include public places.

“The provinces really clamped down; you can’t do it in any public spots so it’s really only [allowed] in your house,” he said.

There are a lot of professional truck drivers on the roads who are at risk of other drivers’ impairment, Pitzel said, “and we want to make sure they [truckers] get home safely as far as training and procedures.”

He added that penalties for driving while drunk have increased but not for driving while impaired by cannabis.

News sources report Canada law enforcement are wrestling with the sale and consumption of cannabis edible products, such as candy or bakery items infused with cannabis. Those kinds of items are attractive to children but can contain amounts of THC which can be harmful to them.

“One complication is that unlike alcohol, there is no clear consensus on what constitutes marijuana impairment,” Ritchie said, “and current testing methods such as urine and blood tests can be misleading since THC can linger in the body for days or weeks. So the test indicates only prior consumption, not current impairment.”

In short, she said, “it’s not a straightforward issue.”

 

 

 

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The Nation

L.A. tops list of metro areas with most aggressive drivers

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Cars and trucks choke the San Diego Freeway in both directions during the afternoon rush hour in Los Angeles near an interchange. Los Angeles has the most aggressive drivers in the United States, according to a study published by GasBuddy. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

BOSTON — Honking, squeaking brakes and bumper-to-bumper traffic are common problems in many of America’s congested cities.

Frustrated drivers can get agitated quickly, and their aggressive driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower gas mileage by as much as 40 percent, costing them as much as $477 per year in additional fuel consumption.

GasBuddy has revealed the major metropolitan areas in the United States with the most aggressive drivers, causing them to pay more for gasoline by making more frequent trips to the pump.

GasBuddy compiled data from its Drives feature in the GasBuddy app, examining the top 30        metropolitan areas by population as defined by the United States Census Bureau from November 2018-February 2019, noting the frequency of an aggressive event while driving, whether it be speeding, hard braking or accelerating.

The top 10 cities with the most aggressive drivers included:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Sacramento, California
  4. Atlanta
  5. San Francisco
  6. San Diego
  7. Orlando, Florida.
  8. Detroit
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. Las Vegas

Los Angeles consistently tops the list of having some of the most expensive gas prices in the nation, currently averaging $3.35 per gallon. Combined with traffic and congestion, the GasBuddy Aggressive Driving study revealed that the way Los Angeles motorists are driving is also contributing to a larger gasoline budget. And it doesn’t stop with Los Angeles: four of the top 10 cities with the most aggressive drivers are in California, including Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.

“Frustration while driving in densely populated cities with high levels of congestion leads motorists to drive more aggressively and with more urgency. Interestingly, these are areas that typically see some of the highest gas prices in their respective states,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “With drivers in Los Angeles, Philadelphia,

Sacramento and Atlanta being 20 percent more aggressive than the average driver in America, it’s particularly important for commuters and rideshare drivers in these areas to work on shedding their lead foot and relax more to keep money from flying out the window each time they hit the road.”

Last year GasBuddy’s Aggressive Driving Study examined the states with the most aggressive drivers. Seven of the top 10 cities with the most aggressive drivers from this year’s study are within the top 10 states with the most aggressive drivers, including California, Georgia, Texas and Florida.

Additional findings include:

  • Frustrating Fridays. Motorists are 1.2 times more likely to encounter aggressive driving on Friday than on Wednesday. The most aggressive day on the road is Friday, with 14 percent more aggressive driving events occurring compared to the average across the United States. The least aggressive day on the road is Wednesday, with 6 percent fewer aggressive driving events occurring compared to the average across the United States.
  • Wearing Out the Brakes (All Week). The most frequent aggressive driving habit on weekdays is hard braking, followed by rapid acceleration and speeding. On weekends, the most frequent aggressive driving habit continues to be hard braking, followed by speeding and rapid acceleration.

San Diego’s Need for Speed. While cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia take the top spots in regards to hard braking and rapid acceleration, San Diego, Orlando and Detroit take the top three spots for cities with the most speeding incidents.

GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with the company’s Perfect Pit Stop. As a source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews.

For more information, visit www.gasbuddy.com.

 

 

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The Nation

FMCSA issues regional exemptions to HOS because of flooding

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The map shows the states that are part of the emergency declaration that allows certain exemptions from the Hours of Service regulations as a result of recent flooding.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week has issued regional exemptions to the Hours of Service as a result of the recent flooding.

The declarations are for Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The FMCSA said the declaration is designed to help with recovery efforts following a severe weather and flooding event that claimed multiple lives, caused power outages, and did major damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

The emergency declaration applies to truck drivers who are providing “direct support of relief efforts” to the flood damaged areas. The FMCSA guidelines say that “direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.”

The exemption runs until April 18 or until the emergency is declared ended.

In addition, the FMCSA said that it will not be enforcing the Temporary Operating Authority Registration fee for truckers who are providing direct assistance to disaster victims.

 

 

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WIT names finalists for 2019 ‘Distinguished Woman in Logistics’ Award

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Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.   (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association Thursday named the finalists for the 5th annual Distinguished Woman in Logistics award.

The award promotes the achievements of women employed in the North American transportation industry.

Finalists include Lindsey Graves, Sunset Transportation; Michelle Halkerston, Hassett Express; Judy McReynolds, ArcBest; Sarah Ruffcorn, Trinity Logistics; and Erin Van Zeeland, Schneider. The winner will be revealed Friday, April 12, during the TIA 2019 “Capital Ideas” Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida.

WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie said the award highlights the crucial roles of leading women in the dynamic and influential field of commercial transportation and logistics, which encompasses both logistics service providers as well as motor carriers.

Finalists for the 2019 DWLA award have demonstrated superior leadership within their company as well as with other professional, educational or philanthropic organizations, she said.

LINDSAY GRAVES

Lindsey Graves is a second-generation owner and chief operating officer at Sunset Transportation, a St. Louis third party logistics company.  In her 12 years with Sunset, she has grown through hands-on experience in every department; she now oversees operational and personnel growth, strategy, marketing and implementation at Sunset’s corporate headquarters in south St. Louis and five national branch offices. Graves was a Class of 2018, 40 Under 40 Recipient for the St. Louis Business Journal.

MICHELLE HALKERSTON

Michelle Halkerston is president, CEO and owner of Hassett Express, a full-service transportation and logistics provider specializing in time-definite services. She joined Hassett Air Express in 2001 as vice president of strategic planning, was named president in September 2003, and purchased the company in October 2013. She is involved in all facets of the business and has steered the Hassett team through significant changes in customer needs and dynamics to achieve the most successful year in company history.  As a privately-held Certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Hassett’s success is based on commitment to its employees, customers and community and on building partnerships that provide value to both organizations.

JUDY McREYNOLDS

Judy R. McReynolds is chairman, president and chief executive officer of ArcBest in Fort Smith, Arkansas. From its roots in less-than-truckload delivery, under her leadership ArcBest has transformed into a full-scale provider of end-to-end supply chain services, surpassing $3 billion in revenue last year.  In 2016, McReynolds was elected as chairman of the board of ArcBest. She has 28 years of logistics and transportation industry experience, including 21 years at ArcBest. She also serves on numerous outside boards. She is the current chair of the American Transportation Research Institute board, and a member of the American Trucking Associations board of directors and executive committee.

SARAH RUFFCORN

Sarah Ruffcorn is the chief operations officer of Trinity Logistics, a 2018 “Top 50 Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation” company. In this role, she leads Trinity’s Regional Service Center brokerage offices throughout the country, the less-than-truckload division, the advanced services division which includes warehousing, expedite, drayage, international, and intermodal services, as well as the managed services division, which includes shipper TMS and fully managed solutions services. She also serves on the Trinity Logistics board of directors, is co-chair of TIA’s Women in Logistics Committee, and is a member of the TIA Technology Committee. She was awarded the 2015 Delaware Business Times “Best 40 Under 40” award for being one of the region’s “best & brightest young professionals.”

ERIN VANZEELAND

Erin Van Zeeland is group senior vice president and general manager of logistics services at Schneider, a provider of transportation, logistics and intermodal services.  Schneider is a $5B (2018 annual revenue) company founded in 1935 and its foundation of operational excellence is built on service, trust and reliability. In her position, she is responsible for all aspects of the company’s logistics service offering including transportation management (brokerage), supply chain management, warehousing and port dray. Within her functional responsibilities, she ensures that over 27,000 third-party carriers and service providers are effectively utilized to meet supply chain needs, service and profitability objectives across any mode of transportation and logistics services.

Finalists were selected from an immense group of high-performing women representing third-party logistics, supply chain management, and related functional disciplines.

Members of the judging panel included Dr. Stephanie S. Ivey, director of Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, Southeast Transportation Workforce Center, and associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis; Nancy O’Liddy, chief of staff, TIA; Brent Hutto, chief relationship officer, Truckstop.com; and Ellen Voie, president and CEO, WIT.

Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.

 

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