Federal environmental regulators announced a call for public input to assist with the development of new guidance for emissions standards targeting commercial vehicles. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler explained the Cleaner Trucks Initiative aims to reduce oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, emissions and streamline regulations. Read more


A federal judge has handed down a temporary restraining order blocking the January 1 implementation of California’s AB5 against motor carriers. AB5 is the law restricting the ability of independent operators — including truck drivers — to operate in the state. Read more


According to a document published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing from 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50% of the average number of driver positions. This change was effective on January 1, 2020. Read more


The Iowa Department of Transportation is now accepting grant applications for the Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust funding programs. The grants are being offered as a part of a 2016 agreement reached between the EPA and Volkswagen due to a complaint that alleged that Volkswagen had altered emissions tests on their vehicles. Read more


All Iowa Department of Transportation locations will be closed Monday, January 20, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. All Iowa DOT driver’s license service centers, normally open Tuesday through Saturday, will also be closed Saturday, January 18. Normal business hours will resume at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 21. Read more


Driving in the winter can be harrowing, especially in snowstorms and icy conditions. By getting your car ready for winter and driving safely, you can face almost any weather Mother Nature decides to send your way. The National Safety Council has created a list of tips to winterize your car as well as an emergency supply checklist to ensure your safety this winter. Read more


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced it is suspending enforcement for at least two years of its greenhouse gas (GHG) trailer standards, which had been set to go into effect January 1. The state’s standards are largely similar to the delayed federal GHG emission standards for trailers, which could be met by equipping trailers with features that reduce aerodynamic drag, low-rolling-resistance tires, tire pressure monitoring system, and weight reduction measures. Read more


The DOT is launching an award for transportation industry representatives to incentivize increased awareness and prevention of human trafficking. Individuals, non-governmental organizations, transportation associations, research institutions and state government agencies may compete for the award. The winner is awarded $50,000 cash. Submissions from contenders will be accepted from January 1, 2020, through January 31, 2020. Read more


With just weeks remaining until the U.S. DOT’s CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule takes effect, registration numbers for the online system fleets and drivers must use are likely not where they need to be for a smooth transition, which could create headaches and delays for fleets in the hiring process while the Clearinghouse system gets ironed out in the first part of 2020. Read more


Instead of being required to access the new database on January 6, 2020, state agencies will have until January 6, 2023, to comply with the rule to give states more time to ensure IT systems can securely tap into the system, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The 2020 deadline remains in effect for drivers and carriers. Read more

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