Special Edition V.49 (July 2020)
MMTA Events and Awards Update - Click HERE

2020 MMTA Safety Director of the Year - NOMINATIONS NOW ONLINE
September 9, 2020 Truck PAC Golf Tournament - ONLINE REGISTRATIONS HERE
ATRI Releases Two-Page Summary of “Nuclear Verdicts” Study
American Transportation Research Institute

The American Transportation Research Institute recently released comprehensive research that confirms that large verdicts against trucking fleets are increasing dramatically, both in number and in size of awards. ATRI’s research is partially based on a newly created trucking litigation database that provides detailed information on 600 cases between 2006 and 2019. In the first five years of the data, there were 26 cases over $1 million, and in the last five years of the data, there were nearly 300 cases. The number of verdicts over $10 million nearly doubled in that time.

In response to arguments that nuclear verdicts reflect real-world cost increases, the research documents that from 2010 to 2018, the size of verdict awards grew 51.7 percent annually at the same time that standard inflation grew 1.7 percent annually and healthcare costs grew 2.9 percent annually.

The research also surveyed and interviewed dozens of defense and plaintiff attorneys as well as insurance and motor carrier experts, and generated a qualitative analysis for why the litigation landscape has changed, recommendations for modifying pre-trial preparations, litigation strategies and mediation approaches, and how large verdict awards impact both safety and insurance.

At 80+ pages, ATRI’s report is a data-rich analysis with important findings that motor carriers, their defense attorneys and their insurers can implement to mitigate the frequency and size of large verdicts.

FMCSA to Hold Virtual Trucking Safety Summit

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a public meeting, “The FMCSA 2020 Trucking Safety Summit”, which will be held virtually on August 5, 2020, to solicit information on improving safe operation of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles on our Nation’s roadways. The virtual meeting will provide invited stakeholders -- including motor carriers, drivers, safety technology developers and users, Federal and State partners, and safety advocacy groups – as well as members of the public an opportunity to share their ideas on improving trucking safety. The event will be held online using the platform GoToWebinar.

DATES: The virtual meeting will be held Wednesday, August 5, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EDT, with the first session to begin at 9:00AM. In order to access each session, a separate registration is required. Links for session registration can be found here.

PUBLIC COMMENT: The virtual meeting will include a brief public comment period in the mid to late afternoon. All persons wishing to speak must register for the Open Form Session in advance. All comments will be captured and addressed using the Question Module within the GoToWebinar application. Please keep public comments short and succinct. If all interested participants have had an opportunity to comment, the public comment period may conclude early. Persons wishing to propose questions for panelists may do so by using the Question Module during that particular session. Those wishing to submit longer written comments, data or analysis on trucking safety may do so here: FMCSA-2020-0076.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FMCSA-PIO@dot.gov, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

This event will be held virtually using the online platform, GoToWebinar. In-person access is not available. Access to sessions will require separate registrations. Please register here .
FBI Bulletin Raises Concerns About ELD's and Cybersecurity
Land Line

Industry and academic research into a selection of self-certified electronic logging devices found those in the sample did little to nothing to follow cybersecurity best practices and were vulnerable to compromise.

That’s the takeaway from a cybersecurity bulletin issued by the FBI’s Cyber Division earlier this week. The sample included ELDs that could be purchased off the shelf at superstores and ELDs supplied by well-known companies.

The agency warns that cyber criminals could exploit vulnerabilities in ELDs, which became required equipment in most commercial trucking operations in December 2017. Last December was the deadline for companies using an AOBRD to switch to e-logs.

As Congress eyes its next COVID-19 package, it should suspend the 12% federal excise tax on heavy-duty trucks.

In 1917, Congress imposed a federal excise tax on heavy trucks to help fund America’s military machine as we entered World War I. More than a century later, the Great War is long over, but that tax still remains on the books—having grown from 3% back then to 12% today. It currently adds some $22,000 to the price of a new tractor-trailer.

Now we’re engaged in a different kind of conflict: the battle against COVID-19 and the invisible coronavirus. And by suspending this antiquated tax, Congress can deliver a powerful boost to our recovering economy as it struggles to climb out of this health-turned-economic crisis. A group of House lawmakers are urging Speaker Pelosi to do just that.

Please Note: the MMTA has reached out to the Maine Congressional delegation to support the temporary suspension of the FET. In the House, Congresswoman Pingree and Congressman Golden have both signed a July 20th letter to House leadership advocating for this effort – and we have thanked them for their support. MMTA has also signed on to a letter to the President outlining our position and we have shared this with Senator Collins and Senator King so they would have our industry’s perspective as they work on the next relief bill.
Truck Stops/Travel Plazas Require Masks
A message from ATA President and CEO, Chris Spear

Dear ATA Members:

Since the onset of COVID-19, our professional truck drivers have been on the frontlines of this fight. We have rightfully earned the recognition of a grateful nation, from every-day Americans on up to the President of the United States. It’s time once again for our industry to lead and show our country how to get the job done.

This pandemic is a crisis not of our making, but overcoming it requires each of us doing our individual part. At this point, masking is the simplest and most effective way to defeat this virus. ATA truck stop/travel plaza members, along with all NATSO members, will begin to require that all customers wear masks in all of their stores. ATA strongly encourages all fleets to adhere to mask requirements in private truck stops and public rest areas.

Another national shutdown would be catastrophic for our economy and industry, and it’s imperative we avoid that outcome. As we bridge from crisis to recovery, it’s key that we help keep America on the right track.

So let’s mask up—and keep on trucking
We will keep MMTA members posted as new information comes in. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email Tim, Randy or Brian if you have questions.