Kentucky Enacts Second
Emergency in Three Weeks
For the second time in less than a month, Kentucky officials have declared an emergency due to severe weather conditions. In the latest order, issued on July 19, relief from hours of service is granted for any commercial vehicle providing power restoration and debris removal in the affected areas.“Weather conditions have caused widespread electrical outages to a significant portion of the United States interrupting vital services and products and thus affecting the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens,” the order says.
Severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and damaging winds have resulted in considerable damages and economic loss, according to the emergency declaration.
These conditions also necessitate a waiver of stopping at all weigh stations for commercial vehicles assisting with relief efforts.
Governor Andy Beshear I have declared a state of emergency to help communities like Mayfield and others affected by widespread flooding. This action will allow us to better support our fellow Kentuckians during this difficult time. More rain is expected today – please stay alert and safe.
All other safety requirements remain in full effect. Any driver operating under the authority of this order shall have a copy of it in the cab of the vehicle.
A previous order issued on June 30 in Kentucky also waived registration requirements, in addition to hours of service and weigh station stoppages. That emergency was set to expire on July 30 Local utility companies estimated that the storm resulted in 330,000 power outages and damage to 150 miles of power lines.
Stop of The Week;
One of my favorite things to share with you from the road, is finding that old Cafe that has the heart of all the locals and when that is going on you have to pull in and see just what the “hub bub” is all about.
I just happened to roll upon this place down in Southern Georgia the town of Cairo. I never can resist good Catfish even though I went in for Chicken. Well I could see these people knew what they were doing. They do have enough parking to accommodate 3 or 4 trucks. I place my stamp of approval on this one. Nick Manis
A Family Tradition Since 1972 Mr. Chick is a family owned restaurant offering the finest home cooked food, straight from the family recipes of founders Wayne and Rosa Ann Hadden, and their partner and son Jason Lynn. Serving Cairo, Georgia since 1972, Mr. Chick offers authentic southern cooking in a friendly atmosphere your entire family can relax and enjoy. Come in and meet the Mr. Chick family and enjoy some of the mouth watering foods that have become the hometown favorites.
North Carolina Troopers aim to crackdown on distracted driving with help from Artificial Intelligence
JULY 21, 2023•
New technology being deployed in North Carolina is hoping to curb distracted driving habits among commercial vehicle drivers. The North Carolina Highway Patrol recently announced they will be using roadside cameras and artificial intelligence to identify distracted truckers. According to troopers, there have been over 150 fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles in the state since 2022.
Currently installed along Interstate 40 in Hickory, N.C., the automated camera snaps multiple photos of commercial vehicles as they pass. The cameras record photos of the vehicle and license plate, along with a photo looking down into the cab showing what the driver of the truck is doing.
After the pics are collected, artificial intelligence determines if the driver was distracted by holding a cell phone or not wearing a seatbelt. If it is determined that further action is needed, a series of photos is then relayed to troopers parked more than a half mile away. The department says the whole process occurs “in just a matter of seconds.”
Federal and state laws prohibit drivers from holding an electronic device while operating a commercial vehicle – something the agency says they’re looking to strictly enforce in the name of safety.
“They know what the rules are. They know what the regulations say,” First Sergeant Chris Knox on the NC Highway Patrol told WSOC- TV. “And ones that are rolling the dice and not putting their phones down and not looking at the road, they’re really putting themselves and other people in danger by doing that.”
The Highway Patrol says the new enforcement equipment is portable and they intend to move it to other locations around the state.
Currently, the cameras and artificial intelligence are only being used for enforcement with commercial vehicles. According to a report from WSOC- TV’s Dave Faherty, the Highway Patrol said the reason for truckers being singled out is simple.
“They say unlike someone driving a car…state and federal law makes it illegal for commercial truck drivers to even hold a cell phone while driving,” Faherty said in a Facebook post.
“The equipment captures still images but does not discern whether or not the driver is actually texting. Without that information….they can’t really use it on someone driving a car because holding a cell phone in a car is not illegal in NC.”
“Agreement by the Central States at the urging of the Teamsters gives Yellow 30 days to pay its bills with the understanding the company will do so within the next two weeks,” Teamsters union said on Sunday.
Yellow is the third-biggest U.S. trucking company specializing in the less-than-truckload segment that combines shipments from different customers in the same trailer. Its customers include large retailers like Walmart and Home Depot, and Uber Freight, some of which have paused cargo shipments to the company for fear those goods could be lost or stranded if the carrier goes bankrupt.
In 2020, then U.S. President Donald Trump bailed out the company with a $700 million pandemic relief loan. In exchange, the federal government took a 30% stake in Yellow.
The Tennessee-based company has not significantly repaid that loan, Company executives appealed to the Teamsters for help slashing expenses as cash dwindles. It has successfully won such concessions in the past, but this time was years of worker give backs, federal loans, and other bail outs, this deadbeat company has only itself to blame for being in this embarrassing position,
O’Brien said in a statement last week. O’Brien is also leading negotiations covering roughly 340,000 U.S. employees at United Parcel Service.
A federal judge in Kansas on Friday rejected Yellow’s request to block the Teamsters from striking over the delinquent benefit payments. by Reuters