The federal electronic logging device mandate was one of the biggest topics among trucking professionals in 2017, but the story of a trucker’s tragic shooting on I-88 in Illinois was the most-read story on Truckers News this past year.
The following 10 stories were among the most read on Truckers News in 2017:
Florida truck driver Eduardo Munoz was shot and killed while driving down I-88 in Illinois. Someone shot at him from another vehicle headed in the same direction, striking him. He was able to maneuver his tractor safely off the road but was later declared dead at Elmhurst Hospital. A man was arrested in connection with the shooting.
Hurricane Irma forced over 5.6 million people to evacuate as the storm barreled toward the United States. The Department of Transportation issued a Regional Emergency Declaration for seven states, suspending hours-of-service regulations for drivers and carriers in those states providing “direct assistance” to the affected areas, even if the states were not directly impacted by the emergency.
Prolonged sitting is a necessary evil for truck drivers, but it contribute to serious health concerns. In this two-part series, we looked at how sitting for an extended period of time can cause specific health problems, then we offered solutions on how truckers can negate some of those problems.
The Federal Motor Carrier Association shut down Keep On Trucking, a Georgia-based carrier, in November after it was involved in a fatal crash. The crash occurred in August on I-95 in Virginia. A truck being operated by the company’s co-owner failed to reduce its speed as it entered a construction zone. The truck struck the rear of a Jeep and forced it into the rear of a truck in front of it. The crash killed one person and injured another.
Owner-operators and their supporters gathered across the country in opposition of the e-log mandate during what they called an “ELD Media Blitz.” Forty events were hosted nationwide and Truckers News was able to provide live coverage from three of them in Hollywood, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; and Syracuse, New York.
Ken Parent, the president of Pilot Flying J, joined others from the company’s management team at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas in August for a town hall-style meeting. Parent asked attending truckers to share what they liked and disliked about the truck stop chain, which operates over 750 stores in 43 states and six Canadian provinces.
Texas congressman Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) pushed back against the ELD mandate by writing a letter directly to President Donald Trump asking him to write an executive order delaying the mandate. In his letter, Babin said he consulted the Congressional Research Service to determine if such a delay would be within the purview of the executive branch. The service said it would be. Babin would later give Trump a second letter at a bill-signing ceremony.
Two truckers were involved in a dispute over a place in the fuel line at a Kentucky truck stop in November when one of them brought out a gun. One trucker shot at the other trucker several times, wounding him, before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide.
In October, truckers protesting government regulations, including the e-log mandate, came together in Washington, D.C. and on Highway 99 between Sacramento and Fresno, California. In Washington, D.C., about 30 trucks staged protests at various locations in the city and met with FMCSA staff. Truckers staged a long, slow-moving convoy on Highway 99 to draw attention to their cause. Some truckers were reportedly ticketed for driving 25 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Aaron G. Hynes, a 27-year-old Idaho man, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for illegally obtaining some 2,100 DOT registration numbers he planned to sell. He was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and $32,439 in restitution. The DOT said Hyne’s fake applications cost the FMCSA $51,389. More than half of that amount was for the time and resources FMSCA spent to identify and deactivate the fraudulently obtained DOT numbers.