issue 10-51

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DOT Proposes Hand-Held Cell Phone Ban for Commercial Truck Drivers

As part of its campaign to put an end to the practice of distracted driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a new safety regulation on December 17 that would specifically prohibit interstate commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

DOT Unveils New Buy America Webpage

On December 15, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled a new Buy America webpage, designed to help American businesses reap the full benefits of the Obama Administration’s investments in transportation infrastructure. 

Buy America provisions ensure that transportation infrastructure projects are built with American-made products. Through Buy America, DOT supports an entire supply chain of American companies and their employees, maximizing the economic benefit of infrastructure investments.

New York Extends Hours-of-Service Waiver for Propane and Fuel Oil Transport

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has extended the current hours-of-service waiver for intrastate transportation of propane and fuel oil to homes and businesses for heating purposes from December 8, 2010 through January 3, 2011. The New York State Motor Truck Association, New York Propane Gas Association and Empire State Petroleum Association had requested the waiver because extensive snow amounts in many portions of New York caused a spike in demand for heating fuels and, in the case of propane, a shortage of product availability, resulting in slower loading at

OSHA Appoints New Head of the Construction Directorate

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels has appointed Jim Maddux as the new director of the agency’s Directorate of Construction, effective Monday, December 20. Maddux most recently served in OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance as the Director of the Office of Physical Hazards and Acting Director of the Office of Engineering Safety.

Incoming House Transportation Chair Favors Private Sector Involvement

After Florida Republican John Mica becomes chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when the new Congress convenes in January, he plans to prioritize the passage of a multiyear bill to serve as the nation’s blueprint for transportation spending. He has supported more private sector involvement in public transportation projects as a way to raise more transportation

Mica replaces Chairman James Oberstar (D., Minn.), who lost a re-election bid in November.

EIA Releases Energy Outlook 2001

The Annual Energy Outlook 2011 reference case released on December 16 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) presents updated projections for U.S. energy markets through 2035.

Construction Jobs Rise in 20 States Between October and November

Construction employment expanded in 20 states between October and November, while the list of states with year-over-year construction job gains grew to 13 states plus the District of Columbia, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) reported in an analysis of state employment data released December 17 by the U.S. Department of Labor Department.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 0.1 Percent in November

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) announced on December 17 that its advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index edged 0.1 percent lower in November after increasing a revised 0.9 percent in October. In September and October, tonnage increased a total of 2.8 percent. The latest reduction put the SA index at 109.7 (2000=100) in November from 109.9 in October.

Ocean Carriers Defy Tradition and Keep Capacity in Place this December

Ocean carriers in eastbound Pacific lanes typically suspend services and lower freight rates in December for the winter slack season, but shipping lines have been keeping capacity constant and even announcing peak-season surcharges effective January 1, according to the cover story in the December 13 issue of The Journal of Commerce.

“It’s the latest sign of a shipping market that has seemingly come unmoored from familiar seasonal patterns, one where railroads were waiting for the steep slide in boxcar and intermodal volume that usually comes as temperatures fall, where air freight r

SC&R Foundation Encourages 2011-2012 Scholarship and Grant Applications

As the New Year approaches, many high school seniors and their parents are in the process of figuring out their top college choices – and how to pay for them. The SC&R Foundation may be able to help through its 2011-2012 scholarship and grant program. Applications are now available online.

Scholarships up to $3,000 will be awarded to students attending four-year colleges and universities.