YRC Takes Hit on Stock Price

After a string of recent profitable quarters, merger mania appears to have caught up with YRC Worldwide. YRC lowered its first quarter profits by 35 percent and saw its stock price drop. Cost overruns were cited at the Yellow Transportation subsidiary. They report that Roadway Express was on track and not the problem. There was no mention of the USF subsidiaries of YRC. The company said it would offer its profit projections for 2006 when it announces actual first quarter results in late April.

New I.D. Card Coming Soon

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security are making plans for issuing transportation worker identity cards. The requirement may be in place as early as 2007, depending on Congressional action. The program will be modeled along the lines of how the Transportation Security Administration handles hazmat endorsements.

Safety Expert Challenges New Crash Study

A recent study issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration determined driver error or other failure by passenger vehicle was the “critical reason” in 56 percent of two-vehicle crashes, with trucks responsible for 44 percent. However, Jerry Donaldson, senior research director for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, disputes the findings. “The study violates everything that is known as peer accepted principles of good research design and data collection,” according to Donaldson. Donaldson contends appropriate research would have required using a control group and objectively gathered data. The FMCSA study relied predominantly on interviews retroactively examining individual crashes. Donaldson asserts this creates a “hindsight bias.” He added, “for the $20 million (the study cost), the public has gotten a virtually scientifically worthless piece of work.” Challenges to the current regulations covering hours of service are based on separate, previous safety research on trucker fatigue.

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