New U.S. Truck Emissions Rules May Be Tougher Than Expected

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The trucking industry is finally hearing some frank discussion about Phase 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Reduction proposal that Canada is expected to adopt in one form or another. At the FTR Conference in Indianapolis Wednesday, a Daimler Trucks North America regulatory expert told attendees the standards are likely to be much more difficult to meet than originally believed. Amy Kopin, regulatory and compliance program manager, said because of the variations that are inherent in some of the testing procedures, and the lack of reasonable compliance margins, truck and engine makers may need to design products to exceed the rule's requirements just to come in under the compliance margins. "There are all kinds of technical provisions and problems with compliance that EPA has built into Phase 2 that make the rule almost twice as stringent as it should be," Kopin said. "They have made incorrect assumptions with many of their baselines, and they have over-estimated the rate of customer uptake on many technologies as well. These all affect the way equipment makers earn their credits, and because of that, we will have to compensate for those shortfalls in other ways."

Heads Up! Brake Safety Week Starts Now

GREENBELT, MD - As Canada is celebrating National Trucking Week Sept 6-12, one of the biggest industry safety events of the year will also be underway throughout North America with another right around the corner. Law enforcement agencies will conduct brake system inspections on large trucks and buses to identify out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) Brake Safety Week. The event is an annual outreach and enforcement campaign, organized by this group representing local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and trucking industry representatives from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Tomorrow, Ontario Changes Rules of The Road

TORONTO - Tougher penalties for certain driving violations plus increased driver and vehicle license fees in Ontario all take effect on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and the Toronto Trucking Association wants all truckers to know about it. The organization has issued a bulletin outlining tougher penalties for distracted driving, new rules protecting bicyclists and measures to ensure the safety of tow truck drivers. The province has also changed rules surrounding children riding school buses. Penalties for distracted driving will include an increased set fine of $490 and three demerit points upon conviction. Novice drivers will receive a minimum 30-day suspension for the first conviction and longer suspensions for subsequent convictions.

FMCSA Grants HOS Exemption to Certain Haz-Mat Loads

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) last week announced its decision to grant motor carriers transporting security-sensitive hazardous materials requiring a security plan an exemption from the county's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that prohibit truckers from driving more than eight consecutive hours since the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of 30 minutes or more.

Concerns at U.S. GHG Hearing, Canada Expected to Adopt

LONG BEACH, CA - Proposed regulations, expected to adopted by Canada, regarding U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks were the focus of a public hearing on Tuesday in California. Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held the event to gather comments about their joint proposal. An earlier hearing was held this month in Chicago. Representatives from government and environmental agencies, manufacturers, fleets and other related organizations were allowed five minutes each to make a public statement on the proposed Phase 2 GHG rules as currently outlined. A panel of top members from EPA and NHTSA listened and posed clarifying questions.