Friday, December 30, 2016

Can drinking too much coffee get you a DUI?

“Buzzed driving is drunk driving.” You’ve probably seen that PSA throughout the holiday season. For one man in Solano County, Calif., that almost included a caffeine buzz.

Recently, a story has been going viral claiming a man was pulled over by a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officer after nearly hitting the officer and weaving in and out of traffic. After sobriety field tests, the officer found the man “highly agitated, ‘amped up’ and with pupils that were dilated,” according to a Solano County District Attorney press release. The man was arrested for driving under the influence.

Blood tests revealed the man was on a stimulant: caffeine.

In fact, that was the only stimulant the blood test found. Additionally, the man had a blood alcohol content of 0.00. Surely, he was off the hook.

Except he wasn’t.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

You think you’ve seen it all: Tire chain edition

It’s that time of year: tire chain season. ... Each state has its own laws pertaining to what is and is not acceptable regarding tire chains and when/where you can use them. It can be daunting keeping up with these laws, but some things are universally understood across state lines.

For example: Zip-ties are not an acceptable form of tire chains. Sounds dumb, right? Well, it happened:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Traffic deaths are lower as people get higher

Ever since states started legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes people have been arguing about the effects on traffic fatalities. Will there be a positive correlation with marijuana use and traffic deaths, negative correlation or no correlation at all?

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health conducted a study to answer that question. The results?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A plea from a ‘speed-limited’ Canadian trucker to U.S. regulators

We spilled a lot of ink the past few weeks writing about NHTSA and FMCSA’s joint proposal to mandate speed limiters on heavy vehicles. Maybe you read some of it and maybe you were among the 6,500-plus who took the time to file comments on the proposal. 

Many of the comments submitted offered thoughtful and well-reasoned arguments against the proposal, which would cap the speed of all vehicles with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more at either 60, 65 or 68 mph.

A few days after the comment period closed, I got a phone call from an Ontario trucker named Craig Gable. As you may know, Ontario has a speed limiter mandate in place that restricts trucks to about 65 mph within the province. It is universally unpopular with drivers I’ve spoken to who are from the region or have to travel through it regularly. And Craig was no exception. However, his reasons for hating the mandate were new to me and worth passing on, potentially as an omen of things to come if the agencies decide to move forward with the rulemaking process.

We’ll let Craig, who hauls dry van in Canada and in the U.S., take it from here in his own words: