Hey everyone! It’s Thursday and time for the Daily Trucker, your daily transportation news update! I’m Carlin Stafford.
And I’m Isela Rios. We have a lot of news to cover today, including:
- Gulf Deep Freeze Results
- Proposed Bill to Protect Protest Hitting Drivers
- And Stranded Drivers Lose Money
So, let’s get rolling!
Carlin: During the artic blast that hammered much of the central US last week, a group of jeep drivers in west Texas made it their mission to help as many stuck vehicles as they could, including truck drivers. Samuel Gilmore was one truck driver who received a helping hand from this group of jeep-driving Good Samaritans, and he says he is incredibly thankful for their help. But the good seminarians say they do it because they can and it’s the right thing to do – not for a reward or recognition.
Isela: Staying on the snowmageddon topic, that deep freeze in the Gulf state region and beyond, killed dozens of people, left millions without power and jeopardized drinking water systems also forced as many as 11 refineries offline, according to travel app Gasbuddy. The resulting capacity cuts could drive gas prices up by about 10 to 20 cents per gallon, said Patrick DeHaan, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
Carlin: When massive demonstrations against racial injustice erupted across the nation last summer, protesters would swarm onto major roads to temporarily paralyze traffic to draw attention to their cause.
This method sometimes resulted in drivers plowing through crowds, causing serious injuries and in some cases, deaths.
Now, Republican politicians across the country are moving to stop the road-blocking maneuver, proposing increased penalties for demonstrators who run onto highways and legal immunity for drivers who hit them. One such bill has been proposed in Oklahoma by Representative Kevin McDugle, it would give those who drive into crowd’s criminal and civil immunity… The bills are among dozens introduced in legislatures across the US aimed at cracking down on violent demonstrations.
Isela: As this week’s storms moved east across the nation, Texas truckers reported backups stretching for miles, and stranded drivers on Interstate 20 due to icy conditions.
Some were lucky enough to find refuge at a truck stop for several days. Many truckers called the conditions impossible to drive on. Many truck stops were full.
But the biggest issue is the potential lost revenue because other loads can’t be picked up until the first load is delivered.
“That’s my money sitting there chilling and I won’t get to make anything else until it is off the truck, and you have prepare for that, obviously, but it still hurts because there is nothing I can do about it,” said driver Jessa Armstrong.
Carlin: The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it is making 889 million dollars available through its latest round of Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grants.
The agency announced Feb. 17 it is seeking applicants for the fiscal 2021 round of the discretionary grant program that funds transportation projects of national and regional significance.
Isela: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has again extended its emergency declaration offering regulatory relief to truckers involved in coronavirus-related assistance efforts.
The declaration, which has been extended to May 31, applies to commercial motor vehicle drivers providing direct assistance in support of emergency efforts related to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This extension of the expanded modified emergency declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies and provides necessary relief from the [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations] for motor carriers and drivers,” FMCSA’s notice states.
That does it for today’s update!
Tune in tomorrow for more trucking news you need!
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