PennDOT has issued 55 mph restrictions on I-81 near the 78-81 split and on I-80 from I-99 to NJ.
Check https://www.511pa.com/weatherRestrictions.aspx for the latest updates.
The proclamation means that there are no Hours of Service requirements for those responding in direct support of disaster operations. PennDOT has not implemented any restrictions or any waivers to weight requirements at this time. Only the CDL rules as defined in Title 67 Chapter 229 and 230 impacting 49 CFR parts 390-396.
You can view the proclamation here.
The declaration may last up to 20 days without legislative action. The Governor can end it at any time but would need legislative action to extend it past 20 days.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hereby declares that the continuing national emergency warrants extension of the expanded modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002. The extension and amendment of the expanded modified Emergency Declaration continues the exemption granted from certain requirements in Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the fifty States and the District of Columbia.
See attached copy of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 for complete details.
The extension and amendment of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19 and is limited to transportation of (1) livestock and livestock feed; (2) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (3) vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19; (4) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; (5) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; (6) gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol; and (7) supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency). Direct assistance does not include non-emergency transportation of qualifying commodities or routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration. To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies.
This extension and amendment of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 is effective at 12:00 A.M. (ET), September 1, 2021 and shall remain in effect until 11:59 P.M. (ET), November 30, 2021, modification or termination by FMCSA, or revocation of the declaration of national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b), whichever is soonest.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly is currently on its summer break, with the Senate reconvening on September 20 and the House on September 27. The spring session leading up to the passage of the 2021-22 budget was a busy one, and PMTA was tracking several bills of interest to the trucking industry. Many of these bills may be considered when the legislature returns in the fall. Below is an overview.
Please note that PMTA is hosting several legislative events in September to give members a chance to meet face-to-face with lawmakers in their area to discuss these and other issues on their mind. Please register and make plans to attend the PMTA Legislative Meet-and-Greet nearest you:
Action to watch out for:
Weight Class Stickers: PMTA has urged repeal of the weight class sticker requirement for several years. It’s expected that PennDOT will publish the final regulation this fall, removing this onerous requirement that no other state in the nation has.
P3 Major Bridge Tolling Initiative: PennDOT is moving forward with tolling of nine interstate bridges across the state through a progressive public-private partnership (P3). SB 382, introduced by Sen. Wayne Langerholc, would halt the project to provide more transparency and public input, as well as require P3s with a user fee to be approved by the legislature. PMTA has strongly supported SB 382, which passed the state Senate 28-19 and is now in the House Transportation Committee.
Transportation Funding: Discussions continue over how to address the infrastructure funding gap. Sen. Langerholc has proposed the Drive Smart Act, which addresses funding in many areas, including the issuance of a federal GARVEE bond. The Governor’s Transportation Revenue Options Commission issued a report that, among other items, recommended moving to a Miles-Based User Fee. PMTA issued a statement on this report. Several legislative funding bills are moving, including HB 948, Rep. Mike Carroll’s bill to charge a road use fee for electric and hybrid vehicles. Sen. Joe Pittman’s SB 242 would speed up the reduction in funding transfers to the State Police from the Motor License Fund, ensuring more money is available for roads and bridges sooner.
Snow and Ice Removal: Sen. Boscola’s bill requiring snow and ice removal from motor vehicles (SB 114), passed the state Senate 47-0. PMTA advocated for providing flexibility for motor carriers and discretion for law enforcement in this bill. The current language requires drivers to “make reasonable efforts” to remove snow and ice within 24 hours. There are exceptions for motor carriers that are enroute to a removal facility and for when removal would cause a safety risk to the driver. If stopped by law enforcement, the driver could face a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $75. If snow or ice falls from a moving vehicle and causes harm to a person, the fine would be not less than $200 or more than $1500. The bill could be considered by the House this fall and would take effect in 60 days.
COVID Liability Protection: SB 273, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Lisa Baker, would provide protection for businesses from lawsuits arising from exposure to COVID-19 absent any finding of negligence. A similar measure passed in 2020 but was vetoed by Governor Wolf. PMTA supports the bill, which is still in the Senate Judiciary Committee. HB 605, sponsored by Rep. Torren Ecker, would require compulsory arbitration for COVID-19 liability actions. This bill has passed the House 107-94 and is also in the Senate Judiciary Committee. PMTA supports these measures.
Registration Plate Stickers: HB 334, sponsored by Rep. Barry Jozwiak, would reinstate the issuance of validating registration stickers on license plates in Pennsylvania. PMTA opposes this measure, which could be considered finally in the House this fall.
Electronic Weigh Station Bypass:A hearing was recently held in the House Transportation Committee about Rep. Mindy Fee’s HB 1410, which would allow a weigh station preclearance systems and devices to be used in Pennsylvania, including Drivewyze and PrePass. The bill could be considered by the full House this fall, and a similar bill, Sen. Judy Ward’s SB 827 is currently in the Senate Transportation Committee.
For-hire motor carriers are encouraged to provide operational cost data to ATRI by Friday, September 3, 2021. Participating motor carriers will receive an advance copy of the full report.
Click here to register.
On August 17, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF). In addition, OMB authorized the use of the old form through August 29, 2021. You can view the revised CCF here.
As of August 30, 2021, DOT-regulated employers and their service agents [collectors, laboratories, Medical Review Officers] must use the ‘revised CCF’.
To learn more about what this means for DOT drug testing, visit the web page at https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/Notice_Revised_CCF_August_2021.
As many companies are starting to see pricing for 2022 truck orders, PMTA has heard from several members about steep and unexpected cost increases. After making some inquiries, PMTA has learned about new California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements going into effect in Pennsylvania next year that are leading to increases in the price of new trucks purchased in the state.
In a regulation promulgated nearly 20 years ago, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) adopted CARB’s emissions standards by reference for diesel-powered vehicles weighing over 14,000 lbs. As a result, any time CARB revises its rules, Pennsylvania’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Emissions Control Program automatically updates to adopt the California rules.
As a result, no action is needed on the part of Pennsylvania to adopt CARB requirements going into effect for heavy-duty trucks in the future. This is true for important requirements going into effect in just a few months.
Warranty Provisions for Heavy-Duty Trucks - 2022
For the year 2022, CARB requires the warranty period for emissions controls systems in trucks to be extended significantly. Currently, the warranty period for class 4 through 8 trucks is five years, 100,000 miles or 3,000 operation hours, whichever comes first. Next year, the five-year limit will remain, but the hour limit is eliminated, and the mileage is extended to:
The extension of these warranty restrictions is resulting in significant increases in the cost of trucks next year. The warranty requirements for Class 8 trucks will further increase to 600,000 miles in 2031.
PMTA’s understanding is that CARB compliance certification will be necessary for any trucks titled or registered in PA. PMTA is seeking additional clarification and information from DEP and other state resources, and we will provide updates as we have them.
ZEV Requirements for Light-Duty Trucks and Passenger Vehicles - 2026
For passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks under 8,500 lbs, DEP is in the process of drafting regulations to implement CARB’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) requirements for these vehicles. The PA Clean Vehicles Program rulemaking, which would require a minimum percentage of vehicles sold in Pennsylvania to be ZEV vehicles, is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022.
Omnibus Low-NOx Rule for Heavy-Duty Trucks - 2024
Members should be aware that, absent changes, Pennsylvania will also adopt CARB’s Omnibus Low-NOx Rule, which dramatically reduces NOx emissions by overhauling emissions standards, testing procedures, and other emissions-related requirements for heavy-duty engines starting in 2024. There is ongoing concern about the technical feasibility of these requirements, in addition to their cost.
Please note that, even though Pennsylvania was one of 15 states to sign onto CARB’s Advanced Clean Truck Regulation in 2020, this step would not be automatic, but would require DEP to promulgate new regulations through a public process. The Advanced Clean Truck Regulation would require that by 2045, every truck sold in Pennsylvania be zero-emission.
PMTA continues to monitor these regulatory changes and will keep members informed.
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking motorists’ input on traffic safety and driving behaviors through its annual online Highway Safety Survey found at www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.
“Safety is our top priority and we value continued public engagement in making our roadways safer,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “The results from this annual survey help us gauge participants’ attitudes on highway safety, and potentially allow us to adjust our safety activities so we can further reduce crashes and fatalities.”
The survey is available on PennDOT’s website through August 23 and should take about five minutes to complete. All responses, including the “comments” fields, are anonymous.
Nearly 8,000 people responded to last year’s survey, answering questions about safety habits such as seat belt use, impaired driving, speeding, and distracted driving. Notably, nearly 91 percent of respondents said they always wear a seat belt and approximately 88 percent said they never drive while impaired. When asked how often they choose to exceed the posted speed limit, nearly 84 percent of respondents said they speed at least some of the time.
“Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to react to changing traffic or road conditions,” said Gramian. “It puts you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk. Slow down, be safe.”
For more information on our highway safety efforts, visit www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.
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