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June 23, 2014

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4 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE Editor's Letter ©2014 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our Web site, EXECUTIVE EDITOR Chris Brooks 973.776.7818 MANAGING EDITOR Barbara Wyker 973.776.7817 SENIOR EDITORS Joseph Bonney, Finance and Economics 973.776.7809 William B. Cassidy, Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202.499.2285 Bill Mongelluzzo, Trans-Pacific 562.428.5999 Mark Szakonyi, Rail/Intermodal, Regulation, Policy 202.499.2295 Greg Knowler, Asia +852 3975.2647 SENIOR EDITOR, DIGITAL Harry G. Butler, 609.433.7215, EDITOR-AT-LARGE Peter T. Leach, Trans-Atlantic 212.755.0940 RESEARCH EDITOR Marsha Salisbury 973.776.7828 ECONOMIST Mario O. Moreno 973.776.7850 SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Alessandra Gregory Barrett 973.776.7808 SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR, ASIA Annie Zhu +86 (21) 60396986 SENIOR DESIGNER Sue Abt, 973.776.7825, DESIGNER Bryan Boyd, 973.776.7827, WEB PRODUCER David Pulis, 973.776.7807, ASSOCIATE WEB EDITOR Grace M. Lavigne, 973.776.8506, ASSOCIATE WEB EDITOR Corianne Egan, 862.368.4054, PUBLISHER Tony Stein Georgia and Asia sales, 678.456.8530 SALES Cindy Cronin, Senior Account Manager Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Gulf, Canada sales, 954.551.8305 Zachary Gorman, Account Executive Northeast sales, Classifieds/Reprints/Copyrights 973.776.7820 Ria Van den Bogaert, Account Executive Europe, Middle East and Africa sales, +32 2 569 8905 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: Domestic (Toll-Free): 877.675.4761 International: 847.763.4932 E-mail: 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105 973.776.8660 • 800.952.3839 CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Gavin Carter CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, Rhiannon James EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER, Peter Tirschwell CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, Ian Blackman VP, PUBLICATIONS, Amy Middlebrook VP, HUMAN RESOURCES, Cindy Mevorah GENERAL MANAGER, Julia Murphy DIRECTOR, PRODUCTION, Carmen Verenna SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER, Jesse Case Mark Szakonyi The Journal of Commerce (USPS 279 – 060), ISSN 1530-7557, June 23, 2014, Volume 15, Issue No. 13. The Journal of Commerce is published bi-weekly except the last week in December (printed 26 times per year) by JOC Group Inc. 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105. Subscription price: $344 a year. Periodicals postage paid at Newark, N.J., and additional mailing offices. © All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The Journal of Commerce, Subscription Services Department, P.O. Box 1059, Skokie, IL 60076-8059. THE TIMING HARDLY could have been worse. Two days after the U.S. truck- ing industry scored a rare Senate victory against last year's revision to truck driver hours of service rules, a tractor-trailer slammed into a limou- sine van on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing comic James McNair and badly injuring his fellow comedian and TV star Tracy Morgan. As if on cue, the congressional backlash started mere hours after national media attention made the accident one of the biggest stories over the June 7 weekend. To some unfamiliar with the intricacies of the new HOS rules and the trucking business, particularly those in the general news media, the connection was clear: New HOS rules would have prevented the crash. I won't weigh in on whether the restart rules need to be repealed. But as a journalist, I grow uneasy when I see peers making judgment calls on tricky issues they aren't familiar with and when legislators rush to respond after a high-profile accident. I'd rather take a second look at what we know and wait until we fill in the gaps before rushing to conclusions. What we do know is that the truck driver, Kevin Roper, had a clean driving record and was haul- ing loads for a company that has one of the best safety records in trucking, Wal-Mart. We don't know whether Roper was in violation of HOS rules. Wal- Mart says it believes he was not. New Jersey police said Roper failed to notice slowing traffic at about 1 a.m., swerved to avoid a crash and then hit Morgan's limousine. Roper was awake 24 hours before the crash, a violation of New Jersey law, prosecutors say. Roper later denied that allegation and pleaded not guilty to one charge of death by auto and four charges of assault by auto. He has not spoken to the press. Either way, a truck driver who doesn't rest before getting behind the wheel isn't something federal regula- tors can crack down on — yet. And investigators haven't determined whether fatigue was the cause or played a role in the crash. Despite the lack of facts, many in the general media have gotten the specifics of HOS wrong or insinuated a parallel between the Senate debate and the New Jersey accident, with some early reports insinuating Roper had been driving 24 hours — not just awake 24 hours. That doesn't mean there isn't a connection, nor are some media outlets wrong to challenge the truck- ing industry's stance that the restart "forces" drivers onto the road during morning rush hour. More troubling is the knee-jerk reaction of many in Congress that speaks to their inability to under - stand HOS and desire for political points. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., wants federal regulators to get elec- tronic logging devices into trucks within months, rather than under a two-year timeline. Not to be left out, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., called for the Department of Transportation to review truck weight and driver fatigue requirements. In light of the confusion, misin- formation and high emotions on both sides, Congress would be wise to take a step back and consider the facts before leaping to conclusions about the New Jersey accident and issuing new truck safety mandates. JOC JUNE 23.2014 Congress's Wrong Turn on Trucking Many in the general media have gotten the specifics of HOS wrong.

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