October 27, 2009
As the ongoing debate over health care reform has proven time consuming, The US Congress will likely handle transport legislative initiatives in 2010. Expect consideration to be given to a broad variety of issues including contractor classification.
The classification of workers issue (either independent contractors or employees) is of particular interest to Transportation Law. Federal Express’s Ground Division (formerly RPS) has long been on in fight to keep its independent contractor model. Some courts have ruled those workers as employees. This has forced FedEx to change routing requirements in California and elsewhere.
Robert Digges, deputy general counsel for the American Trucking Association, said the the political atmosphere “is very treacherous” for truckers utilizing independent contractors. 23 states are currently concerned about misclassification of employees as independent contractors with implications to payroll taxes. The unions are also interested in the issue as independent contractors are potentially a rich area for union organizing. There is an upcoming bill, H.R. 3408, which would allow the Internal Revenue Service to rescind independent contractor provision and would allow for reclassification of workers going forward. These rules would be very disruptive to motor carriers, and would be very expensive for independent contractors.
October 23, 2009
Trucking rulemaklers should implement a program to identify commercial drivers at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, says the National Transportation Safety Board. Sleep apnea program should be law: US safety board
Trucking rulemaklers should implement a program to identify commercial drivers at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, says the National Transportation Safety Board. In a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the NTSB also recommended that drivers be required to provide evidence that they’ve been evaluated for OSA and treated if need be. As well, FMCSA should distribute guidance to commercial drivers, employers and physicians on identifying and treating OSA.
For more see: http://www.todaystrucking.com/news.cfm?intDocID=22667
October 20, 2009
Transportation Association of Canada
October 18-21, 2009, Vancouver, British Columbia
Conference Theme: Transportation in a Climate of Change
About The Transportation Association of Canada: The Transportation Association of Canada is a national association with a mission to promote the provision of safe, secure, efficient, effective and environmentally and financially sustainable transportation services in support of Canada’s social and economic goals. The association is a neutral forum for gathering or exchanging ideas, information and knowledge on technical guidelines and best practices. In Canada as a whole, TAC has a primary focus on roadways and their strategic linkages and inter-relationships with other components of the transportation system.
For more information see: http://www.tac-atc.ca/english/about/index.cfm
October 15, 2009
October 10, 2009
Transportation Law includes regulations for operators, vehicles and infrastructure; as well as the contract of carriage, regulations and relation between the carrier and passenger in public transport, shipper and cargo owners. Transportation is related to the Motor Vehicles Law practice, which also includes: Auto Dealer Fraud, Automotive, Bus Accidents, Lemon Law, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Motorcycle Accident, Railroad Accidents, Rollover Accident, Traffic Violations, Transportation, and Trucking Accidents.
October 9, 2009
Ontario Cracks Down on Cell Phone Use While Driving
While The Ontario Legislature law banning the use of handheld devices to talk, text or e-mail while driving. takes effect Oct. 26.
Under the new rule, drivers are prohibited from holding a wireless communication device or electronic entertainment device while driving, unless the vehicle is off the traveled part of the road and not in motion. The new law does not apply to the hands-free mode.
Global positioning system navigation devices, handheld communication and similar prescribed devices, commercially-used logistical transportation tracking systems, collision avoidance systems and instruments, gauges and systems providing information regarding the status of systems of the motor vehicle are exempted from the regulation. Drivers who are caught violating the rule can face fines of up to $500 upon conviction.
See the legislation at: http://www.lois-en-ligne.gouv.on.ca/html/source/statutes/english/2009/elaws_src_s09004_e.htm
October 2, 2009
Ontario unveils e-bike rules
Ontario has officially granted electric bikes the same access to the streets as standard two-wheelers. Plug-in e-bikes can be pedalled like a regular bicycle or travel with the assistance of the electric motor. e-bikes must weigh less than 120 kilograms and may not be modified to travel faster than 32 km/h.
For more see: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/704294