Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration, along with the National Weather Service (NWS), is reminding drivers of the threat that snow squalls can pose during the winter months and advised them to observe warnings related to these dangerous weather hazards during Snow Squall Awareness Week, November 14 – 18.
"We all have a role to play in staying safe on roadways this winter," said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. "When you get a snow squall warning, the safest thing to do is pause your travel to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, which will help first responders too."
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a snow squall is a brief but intense period of heavy snow (up to 2 inches in 30 minutes), strong winds (30+ mph), and whiteout conditions (visibility less than ¼ mile). Snow squalls often occur on days with otherwise partly cloudy skies. Coming on so suddenly, snow squalls can catch drivers off guard and lead to major transportation impacts, including deadly multi-vehicle accidents.
"One of the things that makes snow squalls so dangerous is their tendency to produce icy roadways, or what we call a flash freeze," said NWS Meteorologist John Banghoff. "Because they come on so suddenly, snow squalls can catch drivers off guard and lead to major transportation incidents, including deadly multi-vehicle accidents."
"The National Weather Service issues Snow Squall Warnings to alert for the sudden onset of life-threatening conditions encountered by highway travelers during snow squalls," said NWS State College Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jonathan Guseman. "If you are driving on an interstate when a Snow Squall Warning is issued, the best thing to do is gradually reduce your speed and exit the roadway at the next opportunity."
"PennDOT is prepared for the season and actively monitors conditions and forecasts, but we cannot prevent snow squalls or know exactly where they'll hit," PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser said. "If you must travel in inclement weather, please allow plenty of space around other vehicles and our snow-plow operators so they can perform their jobs effectively and safely."
"If you are caught in a sudden snow squall, it's important to remain calm and not panic," said Mark Compton, PA Turnpike Chief Executive Officer. "Don't slam on your brakes, stay in your lane and slow down to leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Also, turn on your head lights and hazard lights so others can see you. If you are on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your cell phone if you are in need of assistance."
"Snow squalls have led to major pileup crashes with multiple injuries and deaths," said Major Robert Krol, Director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol. "If you are involved in a pileup crash, do not stand outside your vehicle if it is on or near the roadway. Instead, seek a safe place well off the roadway behind a guide rail, a concrete barrier or a large tree and if there is no safe place, stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened."
To help address traffic safety, Keiser explained that as part of a signage pilot project, the department will deploy variable speed limit, or VSL, signs – which quickly reduce speed limits when visibility or roadway conditions call for lower speeds – at 63 total locations:
While the VSLs are in place through April, permanent speed limit signs will be covered, and the normal posted speed limit will be displayed on the VSL unless visibility or winter weather conditions call for slower speeds. When speed limits are reduced, a yellow light at the top and bottom of the VSL will be flashing to ensure motorists are aware of the change.
Earlier this year, the program was active in 12 locations along I-80 in Clearfield County. Preliminary results show this low-cost innovative solution effectively slowed traffic when needed and reduced or eliminated crashes. Locations were chosen based on crash and weather data, such as frequent wintry conditions and where crashes caused by whiteout conditions led to roadway closures of more than three hours.
While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
More information about how to prepare for any type of emergency, including free downloadable checklists of items to keep in your home, car, and at work, and specific information for people with access and functional needs or pets, is available on the Ready PA webpage.
On December 17, 2022 Bernie Wanyo, with UPS and the PA Road Team will be taking the trip to Maine to bring wreaths back to Fort Indiantown Gap this year.
Other PMTA members that are participating are asked to share your photos with PMTA by emailing Kelly Hawthorne.
If you would like to donate or volunteer, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org
On October 26, the last day both chambers were in session before the November election, the Pennsylvania House and Senate both passed Rep. Donna Oberlander’s HB 2398, which provides additional opportunities for the operation of highly automated vehicles (HAVs) in the state with or without a human driver. The bill, which was supported by PMTA, allows PennDOT to publish guidelines related to the operation of HAVs and includes various policy and technical amendments.
After it is signed by Governor Wolf, HB 2398 will provide for the evaluation and commercial deployment of HAVs at Levels 3, 4, and 5, which is already permitted in 39 other states. A recent Pittsburgh-based study predicted that the HAV sector would contribute 5,000 jobs and $10 billion of impact for the southwestern PA economy if the region captures only 1% of the global market for growth in the industry.
HB 2398 amends section 3317 of the Vehicle Code (Platooning) to allow the lead vehicle to operate with a driver and one nonlead vehicle with an automated driving system (ADS) engaged, with or without a driver. It also removes the approval by PennDOT of the plan for general platooning operations and instead requires the person operating the platoon to file and review a plan with PennDOT, in consultation with the State Police and the PA Turnpike Commission as appropriate.
The bill, which is now before the Governor for signature, will ensure that Pennsylvania is positioned on the cutting edge in the promising field of highly automated vehicles. In the trucking sector, the legislation will allow the industry, including PMTA member Pittsburgh-based Locomation, to take advantage of significant efficiencies that help move critical supplies and commodities safely and responsibly.
Importantly, HB 2398 was amended in the Senate to include language supported by PMTA to increase the penalties for catalytic converter theft, an increasing problem in the industry.
Grading of the offense related to the theft of catalytic converters is as follows:
Following the Governor’s signature, HB 2398 takes effect as follows:
San Diego, California – On Sunday, the American Trucking Associations honored Rebecca Oyler, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, with the ATA Trucking Association Executives Council President’s Leadership Award.
“When Rebecca started at PMTC last year, the state was already moving forward with an initiative to fund the reconstruction of 9 major bridges via an aggressive tolling scheme,”ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “Talk about trial-by-fire. She took a leading role in opposing these tolls, both in the media and in the courts – and this past summer a Pennsylvania court sided with the PMTA-led coalition and ruled that PennDOT failed to follow proper procedure in pursuing the bridge tolling initiative effectively killed the proposal.”
Prior to joining PMTA, Oyler was legislative director for the National Federation of Independent Business, and had worked across a number of policy development, legislative advocacy, and project management roles in state government over roughly two decades.
TAEC is comprised of staff executives of state trucking associations and conferences affiliated with ATA. TAEC serves to promote the trucking industry; contribute to the improvement of the associations and organizations established to serve the industry; and advance the professional stature and capabilities of the managers and executives of such associations and conferences.
The President's TAEC Leadership Award was created in 2002 by ATA to honor a state trucking association leader and to create an enduring legacy for that leader and for the industry. The award comes with a $10,000 grant for trucking education or research cause chosen by Oyler.
Past winners of the award are: Paul Enos of Nevada, Sheila Foertsch of Wyoming, Chris Maxwell of Rhode Island, Shannon Newton of Arkansas, Shawn Yadon of California, Brenda Neville of Iowa, John Esparza of Texas, Kendra Hems of New York, Mike Riley of Connecticut, Rick Todd of South Carolina, George Burruss of Missouri, Karen Rasmussen of Arizona, Jim Runk of Pennsylvania, Tom Howells of Wisconsin, John Hausladen of Minnesota, Dale Hanington of Maine, Larry Davis of Ohio, Dale Bennett of Virginia, Cathy Gautreaux of Louisiana and Dave Huneryager of Tennessee.
In addition to Oyler, ATA honored a pair of state executives for their continued service to the industry: Rick Clasby, executive director of the Utah Trucking Association, for 10 years of service and Traci Nelson, president of the West Virginia Trucking Association, for five years of service.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward
San Diego, California – Today, the American Trucking Associations recognized Calvin Ewell, president of H.R. Ewell Inc., with the 2022 Dameo Award at the Chairman’s Membership Committee during the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition.
“Calvin is a tremendous leader in our industry and we are proud to recognize his efforts on behalf of trucking,” said ATA Chief Commercial Officer Mario Grande. “Between his work with ATA and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, he is a great example of what participating in the Federation means.”
Since 2014, the Dameo Award, has been awarded to ATA state vice presidents who have gone above and beyond in advancing the goals of the trucking industry and ATA. The award is named for Rocque Dameo, longtime New Jersey ATA state vice president, who passed away the year the award was created. The award carries with it a $5,000 donation to the winner's state association.
This year’s donation will be presented to PMTA President and CEO Rebecca Oyler.
"Calvin is a fantastic and extraordinarily supportive member of our association and the ATA,” Oyler said. “His longstanding and dedicated contributions of time and energy in support of the industry and our associations are immeasurable. We are thankful to have him as member of our association and believe he is more than deserving of this recognition."
Previous winners of the Dameo Award include:
Wreaths Across America - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Carriers and Professional Drivers Needed to Help Move the Mission in 2022
Join the Honor Fleet Today and Haul a Load of Veterans’ Wreaths
COLUMBIA FALLS, Me., -- Oct. 4, 2022 — Lanes are currently open across the country to support the delivery of sponsored veterans’ wreaths to participating Wreaths Across America (WAA) locations this December! Professional drivers and carriers are needed to join the Honor Fleet and help the national nonprofit fulfill its mission to Remember, Honor, Teach, with the delivery of live, balsam veterans’ wreaths to their destination – one of more than 3,500 participating locations across the country – where volunteers will place these wreaths on the headstones of American heroes.
To learn more about helping to move the mission and to register to participate, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/lanes.
This year, WAA transportation partners will assist in delivering more than two and a half million veterans’ wreaths to be placed on graves of our fallen heroes all over the country on National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, December 17, 2022. Transportation partners who join us as volunteers will become a part of WAA’s Honor Fleet, get the opportunity to give back in recognition of the sacrifice our veterans make.
“With the help of our volunteer transportation partners in 2021 more than 525 truckloads of veterans’ wreaths were delivered across the country by hundreds of volunteer professional truck drivers,” said Don Queeney, WAA Director of Transportation. “We are immensely grateful for the support of our Honor Fleet carriers who are taking the opportunity to give back in recognition of the sacrifice our veterans make, and because of their support we are able to fulfill our mission.”
Interested fleets should contact [email protected] or call Don Queeney direct at 757-761-5710. https://trucking.wreathsacrossamerica.org/
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About Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
For more information or to sponsor a wreath please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
(207) 230-4599[email protected]
WAA Media Resource Page
Thursday, October 27, 2022 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
The Chief's Room, Acrisure Stadium
CAMP HILL, PA – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, has just released the update to its Crash Predictor Model, which statistically quantifies the likelihood of future crash involvement based on specific truck driving behaviors (e.g. prior crashes, violations and convictions).
ATRI’s research draws on data from over 580,000 U.S. truck drivers over a two-year time frame. The analysis identified more than 25 different violations and convictions that increased the likelihood of future crashes, five of which increased future crash likelihood by over 100 percent. Simply having a previous crash increased a truck driver’s probability of having a future crash by 113 percent, 28.4 percent higher than previous ATRI Crash Predictor reports.
Recognizing that traffic enforcement, particularly those activities that target the crash predictor behaviors, is an effective tool for mitigating crashes, ATRI’s research quantifies the “top tier” states which emphasizes those states that have proven track records of maximizing their enforcement resources while minimizing their share of the nation’s truck crashes. Pennsylvania was ranked seventh overall in ATRI’s report.
Other key findings from ATRI’s Crash Predictor Model Update are:
A copy of this report is available from ATRI at www.truckingresearch.org.
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