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Press Archive

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Transportation Funding Bill

Charleston, W.Va. (June 25, 2015) – Today, the West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA) applauds United States Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for her vigorous efforts to improve highway safety and for her tireless advocacy on behalf of the state’s trucking industry.

The WVTA also recognizes the actions of the United States Senate Appropriations Committee for taking vital steps necessary to improve highway safety and infrastructure, not only in West Virginia, but the entire country, by passing the FY2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations bill.

Grand Champion – Tim Bailey, Con-way FreightGrand Champion – Tim Bailey Con-way FreightCharleston, WV (June 23, 2015) – Today, the West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA) announced the results from the 60th Annual Truck Driving Championship competition. The competition was held Saturday at the Charleston Civic Center.  Forty-four West Virginia-based professional drivers, from eight companies, displayed their driving skills and knowledge of the trucking industry during the daylong event. 

The Truck Driving Championship (TDC) is designed to promote safety in the trucking industry. During this event, drivers are given a written examination, pre-trip inspection test and finally the most visible - the field test. 

“The TDC is a great way to showcase the talented and hardworking truck drivers in our state. They are true professionals who are dedicated to the highest level of safety and set the bar for others in our industry,” said Jan Vineyard, president of the WVTA. “Trucking keeps our state moving by not only hauling the goods and groceries that we all use every day, but also by being a significant employer of our residents and contributor to our state’s economy, so it’s a pleasure to recognize the “best of the best” in the industry.

In addition to the driving competition, the association recognized drivers for their 2014 safety accomplishments during an awards banquet Saturday evening.    

Vineyard said Eugene Collins of Cowen, WV, who drives for Burns Motor Freight, was honored with the WV Professional Driver of the Year Award.  Collins has driven for 44 years and accumulated 2.2 million safe miles.  He has also earned the American Trucking Associations One and Two Million Mile awards.

Keith R. Miller, of Leivasy, WV, who drives for Burns Motor Freight, was honored with the State Police Safety Award.  He has driven for 36 years and accumulated 3.3 million miles with no accidents.  He has won ATA One, Two and Three Million Mile Awards. He is a past recipient of the WV State Police Safety Award.

James R. Bailes, a driver with Burns Motor Freight, and a Marlinton, WV resident, earned the West Virginia Public Service Commission Driver of the Year Award.  He has driven for 29 years and 2 million accident-free miles.  He also has earned the American Trucking Association One and Two Million Mile awards. 

Grand Champion – Tim Bailey, Con-way Freight
First Place Straight Class – James Priddy, FedEx Freight
First Place Three-Axle Class – Tim Bailey, Con-Way Freight 
First Place Four-Axle Class – Kevin Asbury, FedEx Freight 
First Place Five-Axle – Ken Barnett, FedEx Freight
First Place Tank Class – Nick Backes, Pitt Ohio 
First Place Flat Class – Corkee Clary, FedEx Freight 
First Place Sleeper Class – Wesley Bentley, Walmart Transportation 
First Place Twins Class – Thomas Edens, FedEx Freight 
1st Place Step Van Class – Kenneth Tresselt, FedEx Express
Rookie of the Year - David Allen, FedEx Freight
Pre-Trip Inspection - Ryan Stacks, Pilot Thomas Logistics
Team Award - Con-way Freight

The first place drivers from each division will compete at the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championship – also known as the Super Bowl of Safety – taking place in St. Louis, MO, August 11 – 15, 2015.

Each year, federal, state and local motor carrier enforcement authorities conduct a three-day nationwide roadside inspection and enforcement blitz to check for compliance with federal motor carrier safety regulations (FMCSR). Both interstate and intrastate petroleum marketers engaged in the transportation of fuel in a commercial motor vehicle are subject to the FMCSR. This year’s enforcement blitz will take place June 2-4 on interstate, secondary and local roadways nationwide. In preparation for the blitz, petroleum transporters should make sure that they are currently in full compliance with federal and state CMV and CDL driver regulations.

Charleston, W.Va. (May 22, 2015) - With roughly 33 million Americans hitting the road this Memorial Day, drivers from American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Share the Road program urged motorists to exercise caution and good judgment as summer travel begins to ramp up.

“In addition to being a very solemn and important holiday, Memorial Day is also the unofficial kickoff of summer and the summer driving season,” said Russ Simpson, a Share the Road professional driver with Holland Inc. “With more traffic on the roads than usual, it is more important than ever for drivers to be defensive and attentive behind the wheel.”

Jan Vineyard, president of the West Virginia Trucking Association, the state affiliate of the ATA noted: “Traveling during the summer and on holiday weekends often means motorists are driving on roads that are less familiar to them.  It’s important to pay attention, put your phone down, not get behind the wheel if you’ve had too much summer fun and as always, buckle up.” 

Other tips and tactics that Share the Road drivers urged motorists to heed are:

  • Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.
  • Slow Down: With the extra highway congestion due to holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles and reduce your speed.
  • Don’t drive impaired: The holidays are often a time for merriment, but if you’ve had too much to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.
  • Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
  • Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can't see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can't see you.
  • Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave your home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road. 
  • Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving.
  • Plan ahead: Before you get on a highway, know your exit by name and number, and watch the signs as you near the off-ramp. Drivers making unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents.
  • Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won't be anxious about arriving late and to accommodate delays. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.

Share the Road is a highway safety outreach program of the American Trucking Associations that educates all drivers about sharing the roads safely with large trucks. An elite team of professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles deliver life-saving messages to millions of motorists annually.

The long awaited report from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways was released earlier today, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. The 58-page report containing recommendations on infrastructure improvement and funding was approved by members of the commission and will now go to the Governor and the Joint Legislative Committee on Tax Reform for further review. 

“I’ve been extremely honored to be a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways,” said Jan Vineyard, chair of the commission’s Legislative & Public Outreach committee who represented the West Virginia Business & Industry Council on the commission. “The commission spent extensive time studying the issues surrounding our crumbling infrastructure and the funding shortfalls with which we are faced with. The release of this report is an important first step to understanding the critical need for infrastructure improvement, facing our funding challenges and addressing the next steps needed to improve our state’s roadways and bridges.”

Three Main Points of the Blue Ribbon Commission Report:

  • The commission determined the need for action to improve, repair and replace roads and bridges in West Virginia is crucial and extensive. Our state’s deteriorating infrastructure is in need of critical improvements which create an immense funding challenge. 

  • The current revenue streams and mechanisms that provide funding to our state’s road and infrastructure are inadequate and obsolete. The need for new and innovative sources of revenue, innovative financing methods, and cost efficiencies to fund our state’s infrastructure is immediate and action must occur now. We can’t kick the proverbial can down the road any longer. The Legislature’s joint committee on tax reform presents a great opportunity to address these needs and to take immediate action.

  • The citizens of West Virginia understand the problems associated with our roads and current funding shortfalls. They are willing to step up to and do their part to create the revenue to improve our infrastructure. The people of our state know that better infrastructure leads to better economic opportunities. Highways and bridges are important to West Virginians and simply doing nothing to improve them is no longer acceptable.

Brief Commission Report Summary 

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways was formed after Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed an executive order in August of 2012. The thirty-one member commission; comprised of legislators, state agency officials, business leaders, members of academia and other community stakeholders, spent most of 2013 studying information and listening to the testimony of many West Virginians.

WVTA Members Receive a 2.7% discount
West Virginia Trucking Association members receive a 2.7% discount

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