PMTA News

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  • January 09, 2020 11:00 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

    The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse site was launched yesterday, and you may have experienced some intermittent technical issues in which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently working through. While approximately 12,000 registrations were received, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse site was having various issues.  To address concerns raised by carriers going through the hiring process currently, guidance was posted on the website last night and is provided here for your use. 

     

    If you are an employer currently experiencing technical difficulties accessing the Clearinghouse and are unable to conduct required pre-employment queries, you may hire a driver using solely the procedures set forth in 49 CFR 391.23(e). Once FMCSA has determined and announced that users are able to access the Clearinghouse, pre-employment queries must also be conducted as required by section 382.701(a).


  • December 31, 2019 9:45 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    On Dec. 18, 2019, the PA Turnpike Commission approved a new permit fee structure at cashless tolling points only across our system for overweight/over-dimensional vehicles.  Beginning Jan. 5, these vehicles must apply for a Special Hauling Permit and pay a $37 flat fee along with an additional 24 cent-per-ton-mile fee on all weight in excess of 80,000 pounds. Those cashless tolling locations are:

    • Gateway Toll Plaza Milepost 2, I-76 (near Ohio line);
    • Beaver Valley Express­way (PA Turnpike 376);
    • Findlay Connector (PA Turnpike 576);
    • Greensburg Bypass/AKH (PA Turnpike 66); and
    • Delaware River Bridge Toll Plaza, Milepost 42.6, I-95 (near NJ line);
    • Keyser Avenue and Clarks Summit Toll Plazas, Mileposts 122 and 131, (I-476 near Scranton).

    Changes for Overweight/Over-dimensional customers at cashless tolling locations only include:

    • All customers applying for a Special Hauling Permit for Overweight/Over-dimensional vehicles must pay a new permit fee online using a credit card or ACH when the application is submitted.  There will be no print function for approved permits until payment is made.
    • All customers must print and carry a hard copy of the approved permit.
    • Tolls will be assessed electronically as customers travel the cashless tolling system. There is no need to stop to process permits or pay tolls at cashless tolling locations.
    • Tolls will be charged to your E-ZPass account; if you do not have E-ZPass, an invoice will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle through the PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE system.
    • All customers must apply for a permit within two weeks of the anticipated travel day.

    While the permit fees for overweight and over-dimensional haulers at cashless tolling locations are new, the toll rates have been adjusted so that the overall trip costs are comparable to those of existing Class-9 toll rates.

    The PA Turnpike’s standard permit requirements — weight, width, length, height, etc. — remain in effect for these new Special Hauling Permit procedures at cashless tolling locations.  Visit https://www.paturnpike.com/commercial/permit_info.aspx to learn more. Or call 1-800-331-3414 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday).


  • December 31, 2019 8:56 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    FMCSA proposes to extend the compliance date for the requirement established by the Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) final rule that States request information from the Clearinghouse ("query'') before completing certain commercial driver's license (CDL) transactions.

    The States' compliance with this requirement, currently due to begin on January 6, 2020, would be delayed until January 6, 2023.

    This proposal would, however, allow States the option to voluntarily request Clearinghouse information beginning on January 6, 2020. As explained further in the link below, the proposed delay of the State query requirement would have no impact on highway safety.

    The compliance date of January 6, 2020 would remain in place for all other requirements set forth in the Clearinghouse final rule; including requiring drivers to register and consent to carriers checking their record for failed drug tests or refusals to take drug tests. Employers are required to check the Clearinghouse as part of pre-employment driver investigations and screen each of their currently employed CDL drivers at least once a year.

    View PDF


  • December 17, 2019 9:12 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    In response to the impending Winter Storm Finley, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has placed the following restrictions beginning at midnight.

    Restrictions/Roadway Information: (SEE BELOW)

    • 45 MPH Speed Restriction with Commercial Vehicle (CMV) Right Lane Only:
    • I-81 North of I-80 to the New York border
    • I-380 entire length
    • I-84 entire length


    UPDATE: At 9 a.m. the restrictions on I-81 were lifted but restrictions on I-380 and I-84 remain.

    For the most recent updates, check the PTMA Facebook Page.



  • December 13, 2019 11:28 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    In response to the minor winter weather, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has issued the following restrictions:

    • 45 MPH Speed Restriction with Commercial Vehicle (CMV) Right Lane Only:
    • I-99 NB and SB
    • I-70 NB and SB

    Check the PTMA Facebook Page for updates regarding the restrictions. 


  • December 01, 2019 10:57 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    Harrisburg, PA - With snow anticipated to fall at rates of an inch per hour in northern Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are imposing restrictions on certain trucks and other vehicles and limiting speed limits.

    PennDOT is urging motorists to use caution during the event and generally reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions.

    Based on the current forecast, restrictions will begin at 12:01 AM Monday and will remain in place until conditions warrant their removal. The restrictions reflect Level 1 and Level 2 of the commonwealth's draft travel restriction framework (PDF), and will ban all double trailers (regardless of whether they are equipped with chains), empty trailers, non-commercial vehicles pulling trailers, recreational vehicles and motorcycles on these interstates:

    • Interstate 81 north of the junction with Interstate 80 to the New York border.
    • Interstates 84 and 380 in northeast and north-central Pennsylvania.
    • Interstate 476, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, north of the Pocono/White Haven exit for Interstate 80.

    The commonwealth is also considering Level 1 and Level 2 restrictions on Interstate 80 from Interstate 81 to the New Jersey border and Interstate 476, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, north of the Lehigh Valley exit. These additional restrictions will be implemented based on snowfall rate as well as road and travel conditions, and will be communicated via variable message boards and the 511PA traveler information website (www.511pa.com) and smartphone apps.

    Speed limits will be restricted to 45 mph on these interstates for all vehicles while the vehicle restrictions are in place, and commercial vehicles not affected by the bans must move to the right lane. Additional speed restrictions on other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions.

    In response to the anticipated storm, PennDOT has applied anti icing materials to many roads across the state and is activating its statewide command center and regional command centers in areas most affected by the storm.

    To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to "Know Before You Go" by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visitingwww.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 950 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the "Check My Route" tool./p>

    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.

    Drivers should also prepare their vehicles by having a trusted mechanic check the cooling system, battery, hoses, drive belts, tires, and wiper blades, as well as all fluid levels, lights, wiper blades and tires often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow.

    A vehicle emergency kit should be prepared or restocked containing items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication and pet supplies.

    The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) works with county emergency management personnel to monitor unmet local needs during inclement weather affecting travel, utilities, and shelter. PEMA encourages Pennsylvanians to access Ready.pa.govfor free downloadable emergency kit checklists for the home and car.

    Motorists should be aware that all vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.

    When winter weather occurs, PennDOT urges drivers to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:

    • Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.
    • Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.
    • When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.
    • Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a "plow train." The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.
    • Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can't see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.
    • Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle's wipers are on due to inclement weather.
    • In addition to driving safely around plows, motorists are urged to drive according to conditions. If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 440 crashes resulting in 221 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.

    PennDOT has created a Winter Safety media center, including social-media-sized graphics highlighting winter driving preparations and operations atwww.penndot.gov in the "Media Center" under the "About Us" footer.

    For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT's winter operations including a video, visit PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at PennDOT.gov/safety.

    Follow the conversation by using #PAWinter on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and visit the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.

  • November 04, 2019 12:19 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    Thank you all for attending the 2019 Fall Safety Day Conference, below are some of our best shots from last week's event.


  • November 01, 2019 10:57 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    The Maryland Motor Truck Association is working with the Maryland State Police to encourage drivers to use extreme caution when traveling on I-68 near Haystack Mountain approaching Cumberland, MD.  In the last month, there have been 4 significant crashes involving tractor trailers.  Through August 2019 there have also been 19 truck fires on the interstate.  The truck speed limit is 45 mph approaching Cumberland and drops to 40 mph when entering the city.  Numerous signs advise drivers of the steep 6% downhill grade.   State Police have inspected over 47,000 trucks at the nearby Finzel weigh station this year and are aggressively monitoring truck speeds to curb the spike in truck incidents.  We urge our members to share this important safety message with as many drivers as possible. 


  • October 29, 2019 9:02 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has published a new job opportunities website to help 18-20-year-olds who possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) find and apply for jobs with interstate trucking companies.   

    “Our country has a shortage of truck drivers. This resource will help military service members translate their training into good-paying jobs safely operating commercial vehicles across the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. 

    The website features motor carriers throughout the country who are seeking to hire 18-20-year-old drivers as part of FMCSA’s Under 21 Military Driver Pilot Program, which was announced in June 2019.  Interested service members, reservists, National Guard, active duty, or military veterans who possess the equivalent of a CDL can use the job listing resource to learn more about job opportunities that are available with participating motor carriers.

    The online job opportunities listing page can be found here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/under21militaryjobs

    FMCSA’s pilot program will allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate large trucks in interstate commerce.  During the pilot program, which is slated to run for up to three years, the safety records of these drivers will be compared to the records of a control group of drivers to help determine whether age is a critical safety factor.

    “We are excited to offer this resource to help military servicemembers find jobs in the trucking industry. With our country’s economy growing at record pace, we know motor carriers around the country are looking to hire skilled drivers. We encourage servicemembers, National Guard, and reservists to visit this online directory and look for a trucking job today,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Jim Mullen.

    FMCSA’s Under 21 Pilot Program is being launched at a time of sustained job growth for the U.S. economy.  The September U.S. Department of Labor jobs report indicated that the national unemployment rate has fallen to a 50 year low of 3.5 percent. 

    To learn more about the Under 21 Pilot Program and how to apply, visit: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/under21pilot/under-21-pilot-program.

    For complete information on USDOT’s programs to help veterans transition into civilian careers, visit: https://www.transportation.gov/veteranstransportationcareers.


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