Trucking News – Truckers Battle an Invasive Species + Memorial Day Traffic Predictions
Memorial Day traffic expected to jump 60% – be ready to share the road
More Americans are getting out of the house this Memorial Day holiday weekend and taking to the road.
From May 27 through May 31, more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, up 60% from last year, according to AAA Travel.
Whether you’re a motor carrier, freight broker or shipper, it’s a good time to remind fellow drivers about how to share the road with heavy trucks.
The American Trucking Associations does just that through its Share the Road program, offering advice from an elite team of professional truck drivers to help car drivers and other motorists operate safely around large vehicles. Some top tips:
- Buckle Up: Safety belts save lives.
- Slow Down: Your chance of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
- Do not drive impaired: Everyone has much to celebrate this time of year, and fellow travelers are relying on safe, attentive drivers to respectfully share the road and make good decisions.
- Watch for blind spots: If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents, especially among younger drivers. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Put your cell phone into hands-free mode or put it away altogether.
- Give trucks space: Heavy trucks need more time and distance to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won’t be anxious about arriving late.
Lights out for the lanternfly
Memorial Day is the traditional start of summer but longer days and warmer weather also signal the return of a bug that sends shudders up the spine: the spotted lanternfly, an invasive moth-like insect that threatens the agricultural economies of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and other mid-Atlantic states.
Native to Asia, the spotted lanternfly feeds on trees and fruit-bearing vines, sucking out plant sap and excreting a sugary residue that inhibits photosynthesis. They begin to emerge from their eggs in April, May and June and spread by hitching rides on trucks, railcars and other vehicles.
In Pennsylvania, where the spotted lanternfly was first seen in 2014, it’s estimated that the pest kills off $18 billion of crops each year. The state has a quarantine zone that includes 34 counties and Philadelphia, which has one of the country’s biggest ports for fruit and perishables.
This quarantine requires all businesses and organizations moving within or from the quarantine zone in the course of their work to obtain a permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. A permit shows that vehicle operator is trained to minimize the possibility of transporting the spotted lanternfly to other parts of the country.
Transflo offers a premium feature for the Transflo Mobile+ app that helps truck drivers and fleets prevent the spread of spotted lanternfly and comply with the latest Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture quarantine orders.
Fleets can contact Transflo to have the main menu of their Transflo Mobile+ app upgraded to include a “Spotted Lanternfly” button. This feature provides access to current regulations, photos of the spotted lanternfly, and one-touch reporting to agricultural authorities.
It also directs users to information about the training and certification process that all businesses must undergo to move goods to, from or within a spotted lanternfly quarantine zone.
To learn more about the spotted lanternfly, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at www.agriculture.pa.gov. For information about how to add the Spotted Lanterfly feature to Transflo Mobile+, visit www.transflo.com.