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  • December 18, 2020 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Yesterday, FMCSA posted on their website another extension of the CDL/CLP/Medical Certificates waiver that was set to expire on December 31st. FMCSA has cited that the extension was needed due to the potential backlogs that exist at some State Driver’s License Agencies (SDLA) across the country. In addition, the Agency noted a resurgence of stay-at-home orders and other emergency measures that may cause further economic and logistical disruptions.

    This waiver becomes effective on January 1, 2021 and expires on February 28, 2021. Please read the specific provisions below, as the dates and applicability vary. Please note, SDLAs have the authority to exercise discretion in extending these dates, consistent with the outline below. Carriers and drivers should check with the SDLA to confirm their states expiration periods.

    For CDL/CLP Drivers, the waiver will:

    • Waive until February 28, 2021, the maximum period of CDL validity for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020;
    • Waive until February 28, 2021, the maximum period of CLP validity for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests;
    • Waive until February 28, 2021, the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test;

    Medical Requirements for CDL/CLP and non-CDL drivers:

    • This notice will waive, until February 28, 2021 the requirement that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification and any required medical variance that were issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after September 1, 2020.
    • This notice will also waive the requirement that, in order to maintain the medical certification status of “certified,” CDL or CLP holders provide the SDLA with an original or copy of a subsequently issued medical examiner’s certificate and any required medical variance, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2020.

    For State Driver License Agencies (SDLA):

    • This notice waives, until February 28, 2021 the requirement that the SDLA change the CDL or CLP holder’s medical certification status to “not certified” upon the expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2020. Additionally, the notice waives certain requirements with regards to SDLAs downgrading a drivers CDL or CLP upon expiration of the medical examiner’s certificate or medical variance, provided the SDLAs have proof of a valid medical certification or medical variance that expired on or after September 1, 2020.
    The full waiver notice can be found here. Carriers and drivers should review this waiver to ensure all terms, conditions, and restrictions are met.

  • December 17, 2020 2:29 PM | Anonymous

    DENVER – With winter officially getting underway next Monday, the Colorado Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Motor Carriers Association, are distributing a video to help educate truckers on the challenges and best practices for safely traveling the Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor.

    The Mountain Rules video includes information on potential hazards truckers may face driving the Corridor year-round, including sudden weather changes such as heavy snowstorms, high winds, poor visibility and avalanches – along with rockfall, wildlife, and wildfires.

    “Our mountains can be an immense challenge for all drivers but especially for those who drive semi-trucks. Producing this video as part of The Mountain Rules program is another tool designed to prepare in-state and out-of-state truckers for what they may encounter when driving through the high country,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “The mantra is simple – ‘Slow, Steady, Safe for the Long Haul’ – no matter the time of year you’re traveling I-70.”

    In addition to the natural hazards, the video also details other challenges truckers may encounter, including chain laws, steep grades and overheated brakes.

    “Safety is our first priority and the video reiterates the necessary key practices and what the existing options are when driving the I-70 West corridor, including the availability of runaway truck ramps,” said CSP Colonel Matthew Packard. “Those ramps exist for all commercial carriers. Should your brakes fail, please save lives and use those ramps. You will not be cited by law enforcement for using them in an emergency.”

    CDOT’s Freight Office and CMCA are distributing the video to numerous freight industry stakeholders, including state and national trucking companies and associations, Ports-of-Entry, truck driving schools and other educational institutions. It can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/wQNsvtUzpfk/.

    "The Mountain Rules video provides an excellent framework for safe driving for truck drivers through the forever changing and unpredictable conditions that one may experience in traveling through Colorado's High Country,” said CMCA President Greg Fulton. “The video provides a great overview of the mountain terrain, geo hazards and extreme weather conditions as well as preparing drivers for snow, wind, rain, chaining up/down and navigating the steep hills to avoid overheating brakes.

    We commend CDOT for their work and for partnering with Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Motor Carriers to enhance the safe travel of Commercial Motor Vehicles in Colorado.”

    CDOT, CSP and CMCA would like to thank Colorado truck driver and America’s Road Team Captain Nate McCarty from ABF Freight for narrating The Mountain Rules video.


    The Mountain Rules is a strategic and comprehensive safety-focused campaign between CDOT, CSP and CMCA, designed to inform and educate in-state and intra-state trucking companies and drivers of the challenges of driving in Colorado’s mountains. I-70 is serving as the pilot corridor for implementation of new safety elements and protocols. The Mountain Rules video is a key component of the overall campaign.

    Hot Brake Tips

  • December 11, 2020 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    On Dec. 1, 2020, FMCSA extended the emergency declaration exempting commercial motor vehicle drivers who are transporting supplies directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic from Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 390-399. The exemption specifically applies to drivers transporting livestock, livestock feed, vaccines and related medical supplies and equipment, supplies and equipment for community safety and sanitation, and paper products and supplies for restocking of grocery stores and distribution centers. The emergency declaration expires on Feb. 28, 2021.

  • December 11, 2020 10:38 AM | Anonymous
    FMCSA MCMIS data snapshot as of 11/27/2020 indicates there are some major issues requiring attention in the trucking industry related to safety.  The top seven violations discovered during compliance reviews and audits are as follows:
    1.        Allowing driver to drive with suspended/revoked CDL
    2.        Failing to implement an alcohol and/or drug testing program
    3.        Failing to randomly test for drugs and/or alcohol
    4.        Allowing driver with more than one CDL to driver a CMV
    5.        Operating an out-of-service vehicle
    6.        No proof of financial responsibility – freight carrier\
    7.       Using a driver who has tested positive for a drug

    In these litigious times it is imperative to develop and maintain a strong safety culture in any business.  When you consider the opportunities that exist with your fleets it becomes crystal clear.  At PMTA we can assist you with your compliance issues.  Please take advantage of what we have to offer.

  • December 10, 2020 9:39 AM | Anonymous

    HARRISBURG For the second year in row, Pennsylvania has been named the home of the nation’s worst “Judicial Hellholes,” according to the newly released annual report by the American Tort Reform Foundation.  While the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas – long known for its plaintiff-friendly rulings - has made regular appearances on the list in the past, this year the Court is tied with the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court to nab the No. 1 spot in the yearly ranking.

    “This report underscores one of the Commonwealth’s most pressing and anti-business challenges – it’s unbalanced and unpredictable legal climate,” said PA Chamber President Gene Barr.  “The current state of our civil justice system has a negative impact on taxpayers and the overall economy through reduced investment, increased costs and job loss.  Pennsylvania has long been a prime environment for opportunistic trial lawyers – and that situation has now been made worse by Governor Wolf’s veto of targeted COVID-19 liability protections.  Already, we’ve seen significant dollars being spent on an advertising campaign to target employers with state and CDC health guidance in place with COVID-related lawsuits.  Unfortunately, their actions are to the determent of small businesses, nonprofits, daycare centers, schools and universities and the medical community – who are already struggling to keep their doors open in the pandemic era.”   

    Deep Root analysis of KANTAR ad occurrence data shows that the law firm of Morgan & Morgan has heavily targeted the Philadelphia media market, spending nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in seeking COVID-related cases.  Additionally, law firms in the region have been promoting the creation of “vaccine practices” to go after companies who have been working tirelessly to produce the COVID-19 vaccines that are needed to get through this dark and trying time.

    “The development of COVID-19 vaccines have been heralded as critical to our ability to return to a sense of normalcy,” Barr added.  “Across the Commonwealth, the business community has done what has been asked of them to help combat this virus – whether that be changing operations to produce PPE, moving to completely online formats, temporarily shuttering their doors and adhering to state and CDC health guidelines.  Yet, Pennsylvania’s legal environment still leaves these employers open to unwarranted lawsuits – which will hinder the state’s economic recovery and sends a red flag to any potential investment.  We hope that Pennsylvania’s embarrassing status as a ‘judicial hellhole’ to employers – the same hard-working people who are critical in the effort to bring our state out of this crisis – gives federal lawmakers the impetus to do what the governor would not – and swiftly enact the targeted and temporary safe harbor protections the business community needs.”

    # # #

    The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state’s largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of Business™.

  • December 03, 2020 10:26 PM | Anonymous

    PennDOT has finalized its tiered program to react to winter weather conditions on the roadways. 

  • December 02, 2020 9:12 AM | Anonymous

    Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for commercial driver licenses and commercial learner’s permits will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

    The following products’ expiration dates will be extended:

    • The expiration date for a commercial learner’s permit scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020, through December 31, 2020, is extended through December 31, 2020.
    • The expiration date for commercial driver licenses scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020, through December 31, 2020, is extended through December 31, 2020.

    Expiration extension deadlines on non-commercial driver license, photo identification cards, learner’s permits and camera cards ended on August 31.

    For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit www.dmv.pa.gov.  

    Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at www.dmv.pa.gov. Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver's license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and schedule a driver’s exam. There are no additional fees for using online services.

    PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will communicate any changes with the public.

    Additional COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.

  • December 01, 2020 12:37 PM | Anonymous

    On November 25, 2020, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 2296 into law. This new law will require ALL drivers of ANY commercial motor vehicles holding a PA Driver’s License, to report the conviction to their employer within 15 days of the conviction.

    This Bill had the support of PMTA as all of us that employ drivers know the surprises we received when we ran our drivers MVR or PSP reports annually only to find out then that our employees received speeding tickets or other violations during the preceding year. So please notify your drivers that they are required by State Law to notify you of any conviction they receive whether it’s in the personal vehicle or a commercial truck they are operating. Failure to notify you of any convictions can carry up to a $300.00 fine for the driver depending on severity.

    Below is the current federal standard.

    49 CFR §391.27   Record of violations.

    a. Except as provided in subpart G of this part, each motor carrier shall, at least once every 12 months, require each driver it employs to prepare and furnish it with a list of all violations of motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances (other than violations involving only parking) of which the driver has been convicted or on account of which he/she has forfeited bond or collateral during the preceding 12 months.

    Pennsylvania is permitted to establish criteria that is more stringent than the Federal Regulations. 

    “I anticipate the Federal Regulations will be amended in a similar fashion at some point," PMTA Safety Director John Rigney said. "In my professional opinion, most companies that support a safety culture require drivers to notify their managers within 24 hours of the receipt of a traffic citation. In these days of 'nuclear verdicts' it is paramount that motor carriers protect themselves by eliminating the detonators."

  • November 24, 2020 9:05 AM | Anonymous

    PMTA emailed its members a few weeks ago to inform them that the Public Private Partnership (P3) Board had made the decision to toll bridges on the interstate system and freeways. This is a decision that PMTA very strongly disagrees with. Our industry already pays more than its fair share to operate on Pennsylvania roadways and additional tolls would only add that that increasing cost.

    On Friday evening, Senator Michele Brooks and Senator Scott E. Hutchinson issued a memo to the rest of the state senate stating that they would be introducing a Concurrent Resolution to rescind the approval of the transportation projects adopted at the Nov. 12 P3 Board meeting.

    Title 74, Section 9104 (c) provides the General Assembly with the option to overturn a P3 Board decision if a Concurrent Resolution passes both chambers within 20 calendar days or nine legislative days, whichever is longer. If both the Senate and the House adopt the Concurrent Resolution within the timeline by majority vote, the transportation project shall be deemed disapproved. This concurrent resolution will need to be addressed early in the new session that beings on Jan. 5, 2021.

    Now is the time for you to make your voice heard. Contact your representatives to let them know that you support the Concurrent Resolution to Rescind the P3 Board’s Approval to Toll Bridges. You can find out who your representatives are and how to reach them here.

    PTMA will do its part but our voices are stronger when we speak together. 

  • November 17, 2020 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    HARRISBURG, PA – With the holiday season just around the corner, while travel is not recommended in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) remind Pennsylvanians who must travel of the importance of safe driving and consistent seat belt use ahead of the long Thanksgiving weekend and the start of the holiday season.

    "We can all do our part to prevent crashes and fatalities by designating a sober driver and always wearing a seat belt," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "This holiday season may look a little different, but no matter how far or near you travel, traffic safety is always important."

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. 

    Operation Safe Holiday kicked off on November 16, with the "Click It or Ticket" Thanksgiving enforcement mobilization running through November 29, 2020. State police and local law enforcement will be on the lookout to ensure drivers and front-seat passengers are buckled up, and children are secured in properly installed child safety seats.

    In Pennsylvania, children under age 4 must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children under two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the manufacturer. Booster seats are required for children ages four to eight to keep them protected in the event of a crash.  

    Operation Safe Holiday continues with the holiday season impaired driving campaign that begins on November 25, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and runs through New Year's Day. Law enforcement will conduct impaired driving enforcement details, with zero tolerance toward drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. According to PennDOT data, there were 1,175 crashes resulting in 31 deaths during the same period in 2019.

    "DUI is a serious crime that puts Pennsylvanians at risk every day, but it is also 100 percent preventable," said Major Bruce Williams, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol. "PSP and its local law enforcement partners have zero tolerance toward driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol."

    Drivers are also reminded to obey Pennsylvania's Move Over Law, which requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop, or disabled vehicle. The goal of the Move Over Law is to protect law enforcement, emergency medical providers, and other first responders when responding to crashes.

    "It takes a team effort to keep traffic flowing safely," said Major Williams. "First responders – including police, emergency medical technicians, road crews, and tow truck drivers – are at risk when responding to crash scenes, and we can all do our part to keep them safe by obeying the Move Over Law and giving them space to work."

    Motorists can check conditions on major roadways 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.

    The holiday seat belt and impaired driving enforcements are funded through PennDOT's statewide annual distribution from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For more information on PennDOT's highway safety efforts visit, www.PennDOT.gov/safety.

    The public can join the discussion on social media using the hashtags #PASafeHoliday and #BeSafePA

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