Open road q3 final print

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Volume 7, Issue 3 Quarter 3, 2016







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FEATURES 2016 Legislative Update


By Cathy Gautreaux, Executive Director, LMTA

Insights from Dr. Shawn Wilson, LA DOTD Secretary


By Steve Wheeler

Federal Funds Boost State Transportation Projects


By Timothy Boone

Don't Let Your Metrics Manage You


By Brian L. Fielkow, President, Jetco Delivery, Inc.

Hiring Veterans to Drive Trucks


By Olivia McClure

Untangling the Louisiana Highway Funding Dilemma By Ted Griggs

76th Annual LMTA Convention

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By Steve Wheeler

Is it Time to Repeal the Seatbelt Gag Rule in Louisiana? By Doug Williams, Partner, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P.


Understanding the Impacts of Sleep Apnea on Commercial Drivers By Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute


DEPARTMENTS From the Executive Director: By Cathy Gautreaux


Advertiser Resource Index


Calendar of Events


New LMTA Members


Open Road Q3 2016 â?˜ 3

Heavy, Medium, Light Duty, and Lowboy Towing and Recovery





PROUD MEMBER OF Louisiana Motor Transport Association

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We accept EFS, Comchek, T-Chek, and all major credit cards.

Open Road is owned by the Louisiana Motor Transport Association and published four times a year. For more information, contact the LMTA at 225-928-5682.

PUBLISHER Staci Buhler

letter from the



Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. -- Bern William

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kristin Perpignano




CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ted Griggs, Olivia McClure, Steve Wheeler, Timothy Boone



MEMBER SERVICES Bridget V. Roussell

LMTA OFFICERS Terry Warren CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Aeropres Corporation John Austin PRESIDENT Bengal Transportation Services, LLC Andrew Guinn, Jr. 1ST VICE PRESIDENT PAI Material Handling, LLC

Gary Gobert 2ND VICE PRESIDENT Lake City Trucking Steve Sievert SECRETARY Southern Tire Mart Doug Plate TREASURER Dupré Logistics

Judy Smart VICE PRESIDENT AT LARGE RoadRunner Towing & Recovery, Inc. Kary Bryce ATA VICE PRESIDENT Preferred Materials, Inc.

As this issue was being finalized, we were deep in the throes of the Great Flood of 2016. When we started out months ago working on this issue, never in our wildest dreams could we have anticipated what was about to unfold in south Louisiana. Although this issue of the LMTA OPEN ROAD does not include articles or pictures of the flooding disaster, our next issue will be dedicated to the disaster and the incredible, resilient people of Louisiana. We need you to help us tell the story of the Great Flood of 2016. Please help us capture the spirit of our people with photos and stories that exemplify their courage and selflessness especially among strangers throughout the disaster area. We want to capture the essence of our people and our members working together to help each other in the wake of an incredible force of nature. And, of course, we will highlight the role of the trucking industry in the overall response and recovery efforts in Louisiana. But for now, we will share with you happy reflections of the 76th Annual LMTA Convention that was held at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama. The program included very informative speakers about issues that will impact the trucking industry in the not too distant future, a new and revitalized golf tournament and some very interesting friends from the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. As explained in this issue, the efforts of the Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment will be incredibly important to the trucking industry. I can assure you that LMTA will actively promote the specific needs and desires of the trucking industry for consideration during their deliberations regarding the future of our highway program. All things considered, you need LMTA now more than ever in the coming months and probably for the next few years as we recover as a state from this disaster. As it was after Katrina, our focus now has to be on rebuilding Louisiana, addressing the needs of our people, stabilizing our state budget, etc.… Mother Nature redirected our priorities. You need to be active in LMTA to voice your concerns, your opinions… and more importantly, your “wish list” -- which will shape our agenda for the future. You need LMTA to be the vehicle that defends your interests, promotes your industry and continues to be the voice of trucking in Louisiana. We are here for you…

Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA) is a Louisiana association of trucking companies, private carrier fleets and businesses which serve or supply the trucking industry. LMTA serves these companies as a government affairs representative before legislative, regulatory and executive branches of government on issues that affect the trucking industry. The association also provides public relations services and serves as a forum for industry meetings and membership relations. For information contact LMTA at: Louisiana Motor Transport Association, Inc. 4838 Bennington Avenue • PO Box 80278 Baton Rouge, LA 70898 • Phone: 225-928-5682 • Fax: 225-928-0500

Cathy F. Gautreaux LMTA Executive Director

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By Cathy Gautreaux, Executive Director, LMTA We started the 2016 Legislative Session knowing that we would be faced with two pretty significant trucking issues returning from the previous year: haz-mat reporting and waste tire fees. But, the most significant issue for all Louisianans was the looming budget deficit – still a problem even after the special sessions earlier in the year. Here is a list of the most significant legislation specifically impacting the trucking industry:

Haz-Mat Reporting.

Truck Permit Task Force.

In 2015, LMTA requested legislation after several motor carriers received thousands of dollars in fines for reporting minimal releases of hazardous materials, i.e., 8 ounces of household paint spilled on a dock at a truck terminal. The result was the creation of a task force to examine the hazardous materials reporting law and make recommendations to the Legislature. This year, we successfully passed legislation to implement the recommendation of that task force. Act 632 (HB 625 – Rep. Terry Landry/Sen. Page Cortez) of the 2016 legislature prohibits the Louisiana State Police from issuing a violation or a fine to a motor carrier for careless handling of hazardous materials if reporting the release was not required by state law. (Effective on August 1, 2016.)

HCR 105 (Rep. Kenny Havard) created the Special Permit Task Force to make recommendations related to the issuance of special permits by LA-DOTD for oversize and overweight truck movement on state highways. LMTA is an official member of this Task Force. LMTA has established a special committee to examine the current oversize and overweight permit regulations with the intent of assisting the state in simplifying the regulations, identifying a statewide system of preferred roadways for oversize loads, and submitting legislation to revise the regulations.

Waste Tire Fee Increase. For the second consecutive year, LMTA has been successful in defeating a proposed increase in the fees paid on the purchase of new tires under the state’s Waste Tire Program as administered by the Dept. of Environmental Quality. The trucking industry does not feel that fees should be increased until administrative issues are addressed and recent changes to the program are fully implemented. We fully expect another attempt to raise the waste tire fees next year.

REAL ID. Act 505 (HB 702 – Rep. Jimmy Harris/Sen. Troy Carter) allows Louisiana to issue drivers' licenses and special identification cards in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The legislation allows a person the choice of obtaining a REAL ID compliant drivers license or special identification card.

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CNG Truck Weight Tolerance. ACT 279 (HB 591- Rep. Terry Landry/Sen. Gary Smith) provides for a 2000 lb. weight tolerance for vehicles operated by an engine fueled primarily by compressed or liquefied natural gas. (Effective August 1, 2016.)

LPSC Inspection & Supervision Fee Increase. ACT 433 (HB 431- Rep. Thomas Carmody/Sen. Eric LaFleur) increased the quarterly fee per $1,000 of gross receipts for certain motor carriers and public utilities for the inspection, control, and supervision of their business services and rates by the LPSC. (Effective July 1, 2016.) For the foreseeable future, the Governor and the Louisiana Legislature will be faced with the daunting task of providing services to the public while operating under the limitations of a balanced budget …especially now in the wake of the flood disaster. K

By Steve Wheeler The newly-appointed secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development realizes he has a big job ahead of him. For years, Louisiana and the rest of the nation has neglected and underfunded transportation infrastructure, and now it’s time to pay the piper. “My job is, first and foremost…to make a case for increased revenue in transportation,” said Dr. Shawn Wilson, speaking at the 76th Annual LMTA Convention. Wilson said he’s already logged thousands of miles “traveling the state and talking to anyone and everyone who will listen. We have to make a case to our communities that transportation is important,” he said. “As a state and as a country we’ve been in denial about the costs of infrastructure,” the DOTD secretary said, adding he doesn’t want a patchwork solution, but wants to “make the policy sustainable.” Wilson said he plans to maintain a balanced transportation policy that address maintenance as well as new projects, but finding additional sources of money will be critical to both. Wilson said he will continue to seek funds from federal, state and local sources to move Louisiana forward with a safe and innovative multimodal transportation system. “This governor and I have championed infrastructure,” Wilson said, adding Louisiana has secured $60 million out of $100 million sought in a FASTLANE grant application to the USDOT. The money will be used to help widen Interstate 10 between I-49 and the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Audience members questioned the secretary about chronic bottlenecks on the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge and near the port of New Orleans. “We’re waiting” for solutions, said one audience member. “I hear you,” the secretary replied. Wilson said he understands frustration with traffic bottlenecks, but said DOTD dollars are stretched thin. “We’re not bloated,” he added. “We’re not wasting

dollars.” The department now leases its vehicles and has gotten rid of nearly 500 cars, he said. Of the department’s $1.7 billion budget, only 4.6 percent goes to administration and support services, Wilson said, while 31.4 percent goes to operations and maintenance of roads and bridges, and 38.2 percent goes to road and bridge construction projects. “It’s quite false to say that only 11 percent is going to construction,” he said. The DOTD budget to buy new equipment this year? “Zero,” Wilson said. Wilson said DOTD is responsible for 16,645 miles of roadway that includes 927 miles of interstate highways and more than 12,000 bridges in the state, including 1,421 old timber bridges. About 75 percent of those timber bridges are either posted or closed. “You can have a great road but if you don’t have a good bridge you’re not going to cross it,” Wilson said. Wilson said one of the likely ways to increase DOTD funding is an increase in the state’s fuel tax, but added, “We believe that a gas tax alone is not the best way” to raise all the needed funds. The newly-appointed Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment will be looking at ways to come up with additional funds, Wilson said. LMTA’s Greg Morrison is a member of the task force. K

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By Timothy Boone

n July, Louisiana received an additional $60 million in federal transportation funding that will help speed up work on several crucial highway projects around the state, including relocating an exit that clogs up Baton Rouge traffic, improving an interchange for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and advancing the design plans of the Interstate 20/220 interchange into Barksdale Air Force Base.

returned to the state. The money is used for a variety of things, from maintaining highways and filling potholes, to replacing broken traffic signals and other day-to-day operations.

While the money will specifically be used to replace the pavement and add a lane to a 15-mile stretch on Interstate 10 between the Interstate 49 interchange and the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, it illustrates how the state stretches federal highway dollars to pay for more projects.

Because the federal highway money goes into a pool for projects and maintenance, the state is able to do things like take the $60 million federal FASTLANE grant, which is aimed at freight and highway projects, and use it on the Acadiana highway work. That frees up money the state would have spent and lets it be used for relocating the Washington Street exit on I-10, a major issue in Baton Rouge. Work can also begin on the New Orleans airport and Barksdale projects.

Shawn Wilson, secretary for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, said out of the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gasoline tax, 16 cents is

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The money is also added to the 4 cents per gallon gasoline tax and put in the Transportation Trust Fund. There, it is used to match federal funds for interstate and state highway construction. The government requires the state to put up 10 percent of the cost for federal highway work and a 20 percent match for a state project, Wilson said. “The state gets $645 million for these matches, right under $700 million,” he said. “For road and bridge maintenance, it’s $528 million.”

The state also got an estimated $500 million increase in funds through the FAST Act, the federal transportation bill passed in 2015, said U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, a Baton Rouge Republican who sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Graves said Louisiana will have a chance to compete for more federal transportation funds this year. Federal transportation officials are considering how to allocate $500 million in grants to the states. “These are the solutions we need, but it takes several years to get these projects in place under ideal conditions,” he said. Wilson said the additional $500 million Louisiana will see under the transportation bill will be spread out over the 5 year life of the bill. That means about $25 million to $30 million more a year for construction projects, with the rest going for maintenance and safety. “We can’t build a project today” with that money, he said. Graves said because the traffic problems that Louisiana faces evolved over decades, due to a lack of planning and a lack of investment, it’s going to take a while to find a solution. “We’ve got to really extract politics from deciding which projects are going to be be built and go to a metrics-based system that truly funds priority projects,” he said. This means using measurements such as how much a construction project will reduce the amount of time drivers sit in traffic. “We have two and four lane roads around this state that don’t have cars on them,” Graves said. In contrast, some of the state highways around Baton Rouge are frequently jammed up with cars and trucks. Because he wants to see the state use metrics to guide investments, Graves said he didn’t want to play

“armchair quarterback” and list which projects he would like to see get federal funds. But he said some South Louisiana construction projects that need to be considered include upgrading La. 30 from downtown Baton Rouge to Gonzales, improving U.S. 190 which runs parallel to Interstate 12 and building another bridge across the Mississippi River in metro Baton Rouge. “These would likely fare well under a metrics based system,” he said. “We’ve got to get started on those projects now.” Wilson said highway funding faces “a pretty grim picture”. The federal and state gas taxes haven’t gone up in more than 20 years, while the cost of road construction has skyrocketed. And because the gas tax is consumption based, the trend toward more fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative forms of transit means there’s less money to go toward those projects. “It’s tough times finding a revenue source adjusted for inflation,” he said. "There has been some talk about a user fee, in which drivers pay a tax on how much they travel, but there hasn’t been a sustained push toward that model." Graves, who said he’s a fan of Wilson, said the state needs to spend transportation money better. Because of the ongoing budget problems, the state has tapped the Transportation Trust Fund to pay for things like the Louisiana State Police. State law allows for up to 20 percent of the trust fund to be spent on ports, parish roads, state flood control projects and the state police for "traffic control purposes." “We need to get our house in order in terms of where we’re really spending money where it should be spent,” Graves said. “We need to demand efficiency and truth in budgeting here.” K


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Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 9

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you have actionable metrics that consistently promote the right behaviors: 1. As you develop or refine your key operating metrics, consider the side effects up front. For example, if you design a metric to increase production, will that metric inadvertently incentivize team members to cut corners and compromise quality? If so, your metric is not necessarily wrong. It is important that you build safeguards into the metric that protect against the potentially unwanted side effect.

By Brian L. Fielkow President, Jetco Delivery, Inc. I had the privilege to present “Leading People Safely” last month at the LMTA annual meeting in Alabama. For me, the most rewarding part of making the presentation is the ability to interact with attendees, allowing us to share common experiences and determine which themes resonate the loudest. At LMTA, it was easy to define that theme: we are drowning in a sea of spreadsheets. It’s data overload. That said, we can’t allow our metrics to manage us. Instead, we must define the most important metrics. In my view, critical metrics are those which allow us to build a culture of prevention—metrics which are predictive. In order to create a vibrant safety culture, we must shift our focus to the unsafe decisions, conditions and behaviors that ultimately cause accidents, rather than simply the accidents themselves. If we’re looking at only the accident, we’re too late. That said, we must focus on the leading indicators: those factors we consider to predict future outcomes. Only examining lagging indicators means we’re looking in the rear-view mirror and cleaning up the mess. Our metrics must help us stay in front of the issues and prepare for them before they arise. Our challenge as business leaders is to weave the right metrics into to our corporate DNA. When determining the right metrics, it is important to focus on behavior; it’s the only way you will truly raise the bar on safety. So many times I see the emphasis placed on claims management and regulatory compliance. While these are important, they’re not keeping us safe. But how do we get in front of the issues? It is through field behavior observations, near miss and accident communication, and preventative maintenance. When developing the right metrics, we cannot ignore the fact that the best intentioned gauges of measure may have unforeseen consequences. Let’s guard against this risk when developing our metrics and not after we are dealing with customer dissatisfaction, accidents or adverse publicity. Consider these ideas to ensure that


Share your metrics at the earliest possible stage with the employees who are most directly affected. Allow them to comment and to understand the “why” behind the metric. Your front lines can actually help you improve the metric and find the hidden risks. When people understand the “why” they tend to be more aligned and supportive.

3. Be sure your metrics are aligned with your company values. For instance, many of us espouse teamwork as a value. Do our promotion and bonus plans only focus on an employee’s individual contribution, or do they also focus on his or her role as a team player? It becomes terribly confusing when we espouse one set of values but reward another that is seemingly in conflict. 4. What worked yesterday may not work as well today. Don’t be afraid to evaluate your metrics to be sure that they are still relevant. Consider the “30 minutes or it's free” guarantee that was a cornerstone of Domino’s early commitment to its customers. After a series of accidents, Dominos knew when it was time to abandon that delivery guarantee and replace it with other customer centric metrics. 5. Be sure your metrics capture leading indicators. Examples include: capturing near misses with no fear of repercussion; the use of technology (such as cameras) to monitor and coach employee behavior; and treating all accidents with the same intensity, regardless of severity. After all, severity is simply a function of luck.

You can’t manage it if you can’t measure it. This old axiom will always ring true. Consider, however, that some of your measures may have unintended adverse consequences. It is our role as business leaders to carefully evaluate our metrics from a 360 degree perspective to root out any unwanted side effects and always ensure we are getting ahead of the problem before it arises. Our metrics drive our employees’ behavior, and in our industry, behavior-based safety. However, you must ensure you have the right metrics in place. When they are, they will help promote the right behaviors, and the opposite is true as well. K

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By Olivia McClure

s the American trucking industry continues to deal with a workforce shortage, some employers are looking to hire military veterans as drivers — an approach that could also help veterans, who often struggle to find fulfilling work when they return home. Nationwide, trucking companies are short about 38,000 drivers, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported in 2014.

“It allows military personnel whose military occupational category is truck driver to opt out of the CDL skills test when they try to obtain their civilian CDL,” Garney said.

“In certain segments of the industry, we’re definitely projecting huge truck driver shortages as truck drivers begin to age out,” said P. Sean Garney, director of safety policy for ATA.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is working to allow both veterans and soldiers on active duty to obtain a commercial drivers license outside their state of domicile because military personnel are often stationed far away from home.

Veterans are one potential source of new drivers. Additionally, they have the ability to fill other roles in the industry, Garney said. The ATA member companies have committed to hiring 100,000 veterans by the end of the year and is encouraging companies to consider veterans for apprenticeships and other jobs. The ATA is also supporting a number of regulatory changes that would make it easier for veterans to become truck drivers, such as extending the period of time that the congressionally mandated skills test can be waived for veterans from 90 days to a year, Garney said. In the meantime, all states have been granted an exemption allowing a longer timeframe.

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ATA supports an effort to allow active reserve military personnel younger than 21 to obtain a CDL that’s valid in two states, though that is likely a “long way down the road,” Garney said. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has a Trucking Track Mentoring Program, which helps veterans find jobs in the trucking industry that suit their skill sets. “In the past few years, the number of military personnel selecting trucking as the industry to start their career has increased, resulting in some companies building their workforce to greater than 30% veterans,” according to the Trucking Track website.

Programs that help veterans market their military skills to civilian employers are valuable, said Alex Juan, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. She recently polled Louisiana veterans and found many were discouraged because their experience from the military didn’t transfer to jobs stateside. Military personnel work with very specialized vehicles and equipment that aren’t used in the civilian world, she said. And some veterans have trouble adjusting from military life. “Why don’t people move faster?” is a common frustration, Juan said. They may also miss the camaraderie of the armed forces and the honor of wearing the uniform. “As you leave, the biggest thing is you miss it … and trying to find your new normal,” she said. When veterans can’t find fulfilling jobs — many have to take entrylevel work just to get by — it’s even more frustrating. “They’re used to feeling a sense of pride in their work,” Juan said.

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There are many efforts underway in Louisiana to help veterans connect with employers and job opportunities. The VA is working more closely with the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Louisiana Economic Development to plug veterans and their knowledge into appropriate jobs, Juan said. People with a military background are a natural constituency to recruit to trucking, Garney said. “Often they don’t have higher education, which is not a requirement for truck driving,” he said. “Also, they are generally dedicated. They understand the chain of command.” K

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Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 13

Untangling the Louisiana H By Ted Griggs


Governor's Task Force to R

newly appointed task force has until the end of the year to solve a conundrum that has stymied lawmakers for decades: find a way to pay for a $13 billion backlog of road and bridge work as well as $10.5 billion worth of mega projects in the Statewide Transportation Plan. LA DOTD Secretary and task force co-chair Dr. Shawn Wilson said the members plan to take advantage of work that’s already been done to identify the feasibility

and demand for the projects, the stakeholders affected, and the history of funding mechanisms for that work. The task force will also look at the best practice of other states, such as gasoline taxes and public-private partnerships. “We’re going to spend the next six months really integrating all of those aspects. That conversation is going to take us around the state working with the metropolitan planning organizations, working with the economic development organizations to really understand the value of what these projects mean to these communities and to those businesses in those communities,” he said. The task force members also hope to get a handle on what voters around the state are willing to do to invest in and build Louisiana’s infrastructure, Wilson said. At the end of the day, the task force wants to give the governor and the Legislature options that can be acted on quickly. Although most task force members say it’s far too early to say whether a funding path has emerged, increasing the state’s gasoline tax is frequently mentioned. The tax, now 20 cents per gallon, hasn’t been adjusted to reflect the impact of inflation, increased traffic and higher construction costs. Greg Morrison, former chair of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association Board of Directors and Vice President of Quality Transport Inc., said he’s not ready to endorse indexing the fuel tax. “But we have to have some type of mechanism in place so that we don’t go as many years as we’ve gone without addressing infrastructure and transportation needs,” Morrison said. "Louisiana can’t go another 25 years using the same old Band-Aid approach," he said. "The state needs a sustainable transportation and infrastructure funding source, one that can adapt to the changes that will inevitably come in transportation."

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a Highway Funding Dilemma

o Recommend Options "Think about how many people had cell phones 25 years ago," he said. "Now consider how many people have landlines or the last time you saw a pay phone." "In 25 years, 30 percent of cars could easily be electric. The state’s transportation funding model must be able to adapt. The state may need a long-term planning committee that meets once a year or so to consider the impacts of technology." A previous effort to link the gas tax to the consumer price index failed. Supporters said the impact would be minimal, $2.40 per year for the average driver. But truckers, who can put 300 gallons of fuel into their tanks, would face a much bigger burden. Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson said it will take a little time to identify the funding needed while finding a way to balance the project backlog and the need for continued investment. "The task force will need to look at the state’s existing investment structure and determine whether that represents the best path forward or if other options might be better," Robinson said. However, she is confident the task force can identify funding sources and make some recommendations on them. Ann Trappey, President and CEO of engineering firm Forte & Tablada, said every area in the state recognizes there isn’t nearly enough funding for transportation, particularly roads and bridges. But the money spent on transportation and infrastructure is an investment in the state, she said. Trappey hopes the task force can convince the Legislature that investment has to be made, and made boldly enough to truly make a difference for Louisiana.

“The reality is every area of the state needs something,” Trappey said. For example, Lake Charles needs a new Interstate 10 bridge to replace the “old and terrible” structure now being used. Baton Rouge has enormous problems with traffic congestion. The task force will need to answer questions about the level of funding and how that will be generated, she said. “I believe that the majority of the Legislature gets it. The question is whether two-thirds (will vote for it),” Trappey said. Ken Naquin, CEO of Louisiana Associated General Contractors, said everything is on the table for funding, from fuel taxes and registration fees to sales taxes on auto parts and permit fees. Naquin said transportation’s current funding level jeopardizes both economic development and residents’ quality of life. “I think the people are tired of sitting in traffic. I think the people are tired of riding on bad roads. People are tired of taking detours because bridges are closed because they’re nonfunctional,” Naquin said. “I think the people of Louisiana are tired of it. They’ve had enough.” Last year, the group pushed for a 10-cent increase on the gas tax. The Legislature rejected that effort. The LMTA opposed the idea. Naquin said the average driver pays $108 in fuel taxes, less than many people spend going out to eat on a weekend. Tom Yura, Chairman of the Louisiana Chemical Association, said figuring out how to solve the funding

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problems involves taking a good look at how Louisiana got in this position and how to prevent the same issues from reoccurring. “How do we catch up and how do we use data to help prioritize what goes first? Just like our business, you don’t have unlimited capital,” Yura said. Louisiana will have to look at some new and fresh approaches, focusing on data-driven solutions rather than politically oriented answers, to arrive at the appropriate funding mechanisms to address urgent needs in a reasonable amount of time, he said. Wyly Gilfoil, Executive Director for the Lake Providence Port Commission, said the time is right to boost funding. “Folks definitely see the need. The fortunate aspect is we have some low fuel prices right now,” Gilfoil said. Louisiana motorists are paying about 50 cents a gallon less this year than last for gasoline.

Ronnie Harris, Executive Director of the Louisiana Municipal Association, said his goals on the task force include understanding the needs analysis for projects; hearing the perspectives of each member; and making sure his members’ needs aren’t forgotten. In the past, many parishes have had limited transportation funding for parish roads that lie outside incorporated areas, he said. The infrastructure needs where people are concentrated must also be represented. Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of the Division of Administration, said he has never seen people more aware of the challenges facing the state’s infrastructure. Louisiana’s budget problems generated a lot of “cocktail party chatter” this year, Dardenne said. People wanted to know why the Edwards administration wasn’t increasing the gasoline tax. The answer was that the state has to first stabilize its budget before tackling infrastructure, Dardenne said. The problem is that infrastructure funding discussions will take place at the same time as the heavy lifting on tax reform. A delicate balance will have to be struck to accommodate both those goals, he said. Still, Dardenne expects for the first time to see “a very serious” public discussion about public-private partnerships and toll roads as potential alternatives to raising the gasoline tax. The general awareness of how critical the needs are – the interstate in Baton Rouge, Interstate 49 South throughout Acadiana, and a new exit ramp for the airport in New Orleans, a potential economic “game changer” -- has also created a base of support for increased infrastructure funding. “I don’t know if I can say there’s broad support, but there’s more support than there ever has been,” Dardenne said. K

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Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D.

Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Co-Chair of the task force, Baton Rouge

Ken Naquin

CEO of the Louisiana Association of General Contractors, Baton Rouge

Tom Yura

Chairman of the Louisiana Chemical Association and Senior Vice President and General Manager BASF, Baton Rouge

Jared Brossett

New Orleans City Councilman Transportation & Airport Chair, New Orleans

Ronnie Harris

Executive Director of the Louisiana Municipal Association, Baton Rouge

Greg Morrison

Gov. John Bel Edwards Transportation Transition Committee Chair; Vice President, Quality Transport Inc., Bossier City

Wyly Gilfoil

Executive Director, Lake Providence Port Commission, Lake Providence

Roland Dartez

Executive Director of the Police Jury Association, Baton Rouge

Gen. John Basilica

Former DOTD Undersecretary, 33-year veteran of the Louisiana National Guard, Baton Rouge

John Alario

President of the Louisiana Senate, Westwego

Robert Travis Scott

President of Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council and Statewide Transportation Plan Committee Member, Baton Rouge

Rep. Kenny Havard

Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Jackson

Kim Robinson

Secretary of the Department of Revenue, former partner in the Tax & Estates Practice Group at Jones Walker law firm, Baton Rouge

Jay Dardenne

Commissioner of the Division of Administration, Baton Rouge

Reldon Owens

Board member of Blueprint Louisiana and Director of External Relations, Diamond B Construction Company, Alexandria

Sen. Page Cortez

Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Lafayette

Ann Trappey

Chairman of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber board and President and CEO of Forte & Tablada, consulting engineers and land surveyors, Baton Rouge

Taylor Barras

Speaker of the House of Representatives, New Iberia

Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 17

July 21-23 • Perdido Beach Resort • Orange Beach, Alabama

18 ❘ Open Road Q3 2016

cal knowledge from a wide range of speakers, played in the LMTA Golf Tournament and still managed to soak up some sun on the beautiful beaches of Orange Beach. And during the off-hours, what happened at the FloraBama stayed at the Flora-Bama.

Industry information, family fun

By Steve Wheeler More than 160 Louisiana Motor Transport Association members and guests received the latest industry updates and installed a new slate of officers at the 76th Annual LMTA summer convention held July 21-23 in Orange Beach, Ala. 2015 LMTA President Terry Warren, the association’s first female president, handed over the president’s gavel to 2016 President John Austin with Bengal Transportation Services. Warren, distribution manager with Aeropres Corporation, thanked the membership and board of directors for their hard work during her term. Austin thanked his mentors in LMTA and encouraged members to remain involved at all levels of the association for the good of the industry. “We’ll need a lot more people involved,” he said. Convention attendees got legislative briefings from state and national industry leaders, gained practi-

The convention kicked off with a “Zippity Zoo Da” family night reception and dinner where kids and grownups got up close and personal with some furry and feathery friends from the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. “I think it was fantastic,” said Raejean Tubre, wife of Bengal Transportation Services Owner Shane Tubre. “I loved the family atmosphere. I like how they’ve intentionally involved everyone, spouses, families and kids. We all feel welcome here.” Karl Mears with Razorback Rentals said he appreciates his LMTA membership more after attending the summer convention. “It (LMTA) gives everybody an equal voice,” said Mears, whose company operates nine trucks. “I came for the speakers. I like to stay ahead on technology.” “It’s informative, and information is power,” agreed Tim Ordoyne with Kenworth of Louisiana. “We have to know what’s going on,” he said. “We’ve gotta stay in the game.” Ordoyne, chairman of the convention golf tournament, said the LMTA annual convention also allows members

Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 19

to cultivate relationships in a more relaxed atmosphere. “We learn information that can move us all forward,” he said. “It’s a different setting. It’s more relaxed. You can talk to people when you’re not under the gun.” Greg Morrison with Quality Transport Inc. said he gets great information from the speakers. “I think our leadership does a good job selecting speakers with valuable information,” Morrison said, adding he appreciates the local and national legislative updates on issues affecting the trucking industry.

Information Please Dr. Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, was one of five guest speakers at the convention. Wilson provided an overview of DOTD operations before conducting a lively question & answer session with audience members. “We recognize the value that you all bring to our state,” Wilson told LMTA audience members. “When we have issues affecting your industry…I will be calling Cathy Gautreaux,” he promised. Dave Manning, second vice president of the American Trucking Associations Inc., gave members a list of ATA industry priorities for the coming year and thanked the LMTA for its significant involvement in national issues, particularly the annual Call on Washington. “The LMTA has been a great supporter of ATA,” Manning said. “Louisiana definitely has a well-run state association” promoting the trucking industry, he added. “We believe the image of our industry is important. Public perception affects public policy,” Manning said. Rebecca Brewster, president of the American Transportation Research Institute, outlined ATRI research on critical industry issues like truck parking, hours of service rules, safety performance, sleep apnea and the costs of nationwide traffic bottlenecks. (The bottleneck at the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge made ATRI’s Top 100 Bottleneck list, coming in at No. 19). Brewster encouraged members to support the industry’s research agenda, adding, “We’re always looking for people to participate.” Jim Angel, vice president of video intelligence for PeopleNet, showed members how they can benefit from onboard telematics and video, especially after an accident. Video can prevent false accusations (and lawsuits) because drivers can immediately produce evidence of how the crash occurred. “There’s something magic

20 ❘ Open Road Q3 2016

about video,” Angel said. “There’s almost an immediate ROI.” Telematics can provide information on acceleration percentage, brake use, clutch, cruise control, fuel mpg, sudden starts and stops, speeding, hours of service, out of route miles and near misses, Angel said, allowing companies to better train their drivers. “Bad habits can cost a tremendous amount of dollars,” he said. “It (video & telematics) actually can help make your drivers better.” Brian Fielkow, president of Jetco Delivery and author of the book, Driving to Perfection, outlined the importance and benefits of maintaining a “culture of safety” and offered 10 principles that are “low cost and high value” to any trucking company. At the board of directors meeting, LMTA Executive Director Cathy Gautreaux provided updates on legislative matters from the recent regular and special sessions, outlining numerous wins for the industry. Transportation funding will be a primary focus of the next legislative session, and Gov. John Bel Edwards has formed a Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment as well as a Special Permit Task Force. The LMTA will actively participate in both. K

Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 21

2016 Convention Sponsors PLATINUM SPONSORS

Hyatt French Quarter

Cobbs, Allen & Hall of Louisiana, Inc.

L & B Transport, LLC

Kenworth, Kenworth of LA & PACCAR PARTS

Renaissance Baton Rouge

RoadRunner Towing & Recovery

Royal Sonesta Hotel

RoadRunner Towing & Recovery SevenOaks Capitol Associates, LLC


Sleepsafe Drivers

Bruckner Truck Sales, Inc.

Southern Information Services

Shreveport Truck Center

Triple G Express, Inc.

Vertical Alliance Group, Inc.

Waste Management of LA, Inc.

GOLD SPONSORS Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP


Electronic Funds Source, LLC

Ater Warehouse, Ferriday

Bengal Transportation Services, LLC

Gulf Coast Business Credit Gulf South Insurance Agency, LLC Peterbilt of Louisiana Preferred Materials, Inc.

United Vision Logistics

Frisard’s Trucking Company, Gramercy Gulf Coast Business Credit, Baton Rouge Hay Brothers, Lake Charles HUB International, Shreveport

Dedicated Transportation, LLC

J.W. Nelson Transports, Lake Charles

Great Dane Trailers

James T. Gentry, Greenwood

Old River Truck Sales

Kenworth of Louisiana, Port Allen

Quality Transport, Inc.

Peterbilt of Louisiana

Retif Oil & Fuel, LLC

Quality Transport, Baton Rouge

Service Transport Company

Retif Oil & Fuel, Harvey

USI Southwest

SevenOaks Capital Associates, Baton Rouge


Shreveport Truck Center, Shreveport

C & S Wholesale Grocers

Stanco, Inc., Abita Springs

Doris Hay & Judy Smart

Tri State Refrigeration, Baton Rouge

Frisard’s Trucking Company, Inc.

Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Houston

Gulf Coast Business Credit Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

22 ❘ Open Road Q3 2016

RoadRunner Towing & Recovery, Inc.


Triumph Business Capitol

Shreveport Truck Center

GOLD SPONSORS Regions Insurance, Inc.

Carrier Transicold South, St. Rose Consolidated Truck Sales,

Compass Compliance Management

Help, Inc.

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, Baton Rouge

Birmingham Freightliner, Birmingham, AL

Comdata Network, Brentwood, TN

Aeropres Corporation


SILVER SPONSORS Compass Compliance Management Crescent Trucks FedEx Corporation Grammer Industries Gulf Coast Business Credit J.J. Keller & Associates PAI Material Handling, LLC Peoplenet Communications Southern Tire Mart TAB Bank

Travel Centers of America



BRONZE SPONSORS Aeropres Corporation Bengal Transportation Services BMO Harris Bank Bruckner Truck Sales, Inc. Cash Magic Truck Stops Creel Brothers, Inc. Cummins, Inc. Dedicated Transportation, LLC Dupre` Logistics, LLC Electronic Funds Source, LLC Ergon Trucking, Inc. Frisard’s Trucking Company Hercules Transport, Inc. Lake City Trucking Pilot Flying J Port of New Orleans Quality Transport, Inc. Service Transport, Inc. SevenOaks Capital Associates, LLC Travel Centers of America/Petro Triple G Express Triumph Business Capitol United Vision Logistics Walmart Stores, Inc.

Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 23

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By Doug Williams, Partner Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P.

Louisiana has a mandatory seatbelt usage law under which drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles, vans, etc. are required to wear a safety belt when the vehicle is in forward motion (Louisiana Revised Statute 32:295.1). However, Louisiana, like the vast majority of states, has a “Seatbelt Gag Rule” which prohibits defendants from introducing evidence of an injured person’s failure to wear a seatbelt. The applicable language states: In any action to recover damages . . . failure to wear a safety belt . . . shall not be considered evidence of comparative fault. Failure to wear a safety belt . . . shall not be admitted to mitigate damages. (Louisiana Revised Statute 32:295.1(E)).

reduces the risk of injury. The seatbelt gag rule is also contrary to the Louisiana Civil Code (evidencing public policy) which provides for apportionment of negligence (among all responsible parties including plaintiffs), when negligent conduct contributes to damages. That public policy is set forth in Louisiana’s comparative fault law which states: In any action for damages where a person suffers injury, death or loss, the degree or percentage of fault of all persons causing or contributing to the injury, death, or loss shall be determined . . . If a person suffers injury, death or loss as the result partly of his own negligence . . . the amount of damages recoverable shall be reduced in proportion to the degree or percentage of negligence . . . (Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 2323).

Louisiana’s mandatory seatbelt law was first passed in 1985. Like similar laws in most states, that statute appears to have been passed in response to U.S. DOT rules promulgated in 1984 regarding seatbelts and airbags. The addition of the seatbelt gag rule into Louisiana’s law appears to have been a political move designed to pressure the U.S. DOT to pass mandatory airbag rules. Also, at the time, there was not general public acceptance of seatbelts, and usage was below 15%. However, today, there is public acceptance of the use of seatbelts, and seatbelt usage by drivers is approaching 90%.

There is irrefutable evidence confirming that the use of seatbelts significantly reduces the risk of serious injury and death in automobile accidents. In the face of that research, no one can seriously argue that it is reasonable not to wear a seatbelt. Louisiana’s refusal to allow the admission of evidence of failure of an injured person to wear a seatbelt is contrary to our public policy of reducing the risk of injury and holding people accountable for injuries caused by unreasonable behavior (such as the failing to wear a seatbelt).

Louisiana’s law appears to be contrary to general public policy to encourage behavior (by both defendants and plaintiffs) which

Louisiana’s seatbelt gag rule also appears to be inconsistent with the way the failure to use other safety equipment is handled. For example,

motorcycle riders in Louisiana are required to wear a safety helmet (Louisiana Revised Statute 32:190 a). If an injured person has failed to wear his/her helmet, a defendant is entitled to raise that failure as an issue of comparative fault and/ or mitigation of damages. If a worker fails to use safety equipment mandated by regulations, defendants in a lawsuit can raise that failure as an issue of comparative fault and/or mitigation of damages. There is no logical reason why the failure to wear a seatbelt should not also be available to address issues of comparative fault and causation of damages. There is no public policy which is advanced by refusing to allow the introduction of evidence of an injured person’s failure to wear his/her seatbelt. In the last several years, other states, through legislation or judicial action, have begun to allow the admission of evidence regarding the injured party’s failure to wear a seatbelt (see Oklahoma Statute, Title 47 § 12-420). In Louisiana, the issue will have to be addressed legislatively. In light of the public acceptance of seatbelts, and the overwhelming research supporting the efficacy of seatbelts, it appears to be time for Louisiana Revised Statute 32:295.1(E) to be repealed so that all behavior which contributes to injury in an automobile accident (including failure to wear a seatbelt) can be considered by the trier of fact. K

Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 25

By Rebecca M. Brewster President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute In March of this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The proposed rule was jointly published by FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Administration to seek information on the “prevalence of moderate-tosevere obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation, and on its potential consequences for the safety of rail and highway transportation.” As a result of the ANPRM, the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recommended as a top research priority a study entitled, “Understanding the Impacts of Sleep Apnea on Commercial Drivers.” As a first task in this research, ATRI surveyed commercial drivers on their perspectives, personal experiences, and knowledge of sleep apnea. The survey, which was pre-tested with professional truck drivers, also solicited information on sleep apnea assessments and treatments that drivers may have received, as well as the perceived effectiveness of those treatments. All commercial drivers, even if they have no personal experience with sleep apnea diagnoses, were encouraged to participate in this confidential survey. Bob Stanton, a professional driver diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2002 and Co-Coordinator of Truckers for a Cause, a patient support group for drivers with sleep apnea said of ATRI’s survey when it was launched, “this is the first large-scale data collection effort that seeks to find out what professional drivers know about sleep apnea and for those who have been through a sleep test,

26 ❘ Open Road Q3 2016

to better understand what the impacts, especially costs, of testing and treatment are on drivers.” ATRI initially surveyed drivers at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky and then posted the survey online for drivers to respond. The timeline for ATRI’s data collection was abbreviated in order to allow time for any interested individuals to utilize the findings of ATRI’s report in their respective comments to the ANPRM docket, which was originally scheduled to close for comments on June 8, 2016. FMCSA did subsequently extend the comment period to July 8, 2016, citing requests from organizations to have additional time to review ATRI’s study, which was released May 26th. ATRI’s report, Commercial Driver Perspectives on Obstructive Sleep Apnea, analyzed data from over 800 commercial drivers, and was the first study of its kind to quantify cost and other impacts drivers are experiencing as they are referred by their medical examiners for sleep studies.


Among drivers who had been referred to a sleep study, 53 percent paid some or all of the test costs, with an average of $1,220 in out-of-pocket expenses, representing just over 1.5 weeks of average driver pay at $793 per week.

Health insurance assistance with sleep study costs impacted driver out-of-pocket costs significantly – 61 percent of drivers with no health care coverage of their sleep study incurred out-of-pocket costs exceeding $1,000 compared to 32 percent of drivers whose health insurance did cover some portion of the sleep study with costs exceeding $1,000.

Among drivers reporting time away from work associated with sleep apnea screening, 41 percent indicated days off ranging from 1 – 30 days.

Use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine was the treatment regimen followed by the majority of drivers diagnosed with sleep apnea. This includes drivers in the ATRI sample diagnosed with mild sleep apnea, a condition that does not require treatment for medical certification.

Driver-perceived treatment efficacy varied by OSA severity, with drivers experiencing more positive effects of CPAP treatment the more severe their OSA diagnosis. Drivers diagnosed with severe OSA and being treated with CPAP reported increased amounts of sleep (71%), feeling better when they wake up (71%), and lower blood pressure (75%).

Conversely, among the 91 percent of drivers being treated with CPAP despite a diagnosis of mild sleep apnea, less than half experienced improved sleep as a result of CPAP treatment, with only 32 percent reporting increased amounts of sleep and 44 percent reported feeling better when they woke up. Among both drivers who have had sleep studies and those who have not, there is concern about the use of neck circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI) as measures to refer drivers to sleep studies. Additionally, among drivers who have been tested, 64 percent believe that the DOT guidelines for referring drivers are

too broad and that medical examiners do not follow the guidelines for referrals to sleep studies.

More recently, FMCSA convened a meeting of its Medical Review Board (MRB) on August 22-23 for the purpose of reviewing the comments submitted to the ANPRM docket and to make recommendations to FMCSA on the proposed sleep apnea rule. ATRI was invited to present the findings of the driver survey to the MRB members as part of that meeting.


Rationale for OSA rulemaking – prior to issuing a rule, drivers are looking for FMCSA to clarify the relationship between OSA and crash risk.

Driver acceptance of sleep study referral criteria - drivers do not believe neck circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI) should be used as sole metrics for referral to sleep study.

Driver sleep study costs are significant – and as such, flexibility in the rule for home sleep studies will reduce cost impacts and reduce time off work for study.

Preventing conflicts of interest – drivers are concerned about the potential relationships between Certified Medical Examiners, sleep clinics and treatment providers.

A copy of ATRI’s sleep apnea report is available online at K

Open Road Q3 2016 ❘ 27

Q3 2016 Sep 11-17

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Sep 20-22

LMTA Call on Washington

Oct 1-6

ATA MC&E Las Vegas, NV

Oct 20

Joint Louisiana & Mississippi SMC Courtesy Vehicle Inspection Kentwood Scales

Nov 2-3

LMTA Fall Transportation Conference Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

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30 ❘ Open Road Q3 2016