Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. James
Loftis investigated the collision that tore
apart the Hooks family. As head of the
accident investigation unit, he’s noticed
an increasing number of crashes
involving older commercial drivers.
“The industry is looking for truck
drivers because there is a shortage. So
they’re not going to self-regulate. The
only way that that could be done is on
the federal level,” Loftis said.
Rose McMurray was senior
executive at the National Highway
Transportation Safety Administration
in the 1990s. That’s when the agency,
recognizing reaction time and stamina
become compromised with age,
considered implementing regular skills
tests for older commercial drivers.
“It clearly can result in a lot of political
backlash… so state governments
have grappled with this, the federal
government has grappled with this...
because the age discrimination laws
really intervene,” McMurray said.
The initiative was shelved because
of the labor shortage and a lack of
age restrictions. Trucking schools
are now actively recruiting seniors,
promising good benefits and money to
We hired a 70-year-old former
Texas state trooper and sent him with
a hidden camera to Roadmaster, a
school recruiting retirees.
“Is there an age limit or anything
on this?” he asked the recruiter.
“There is not,” the recruiter said.
“Trucking is just -- it’s a different kind
of industry and environment. They
like women any age, men of any age.
As long as you are physically able to
get behind that wheel and drive that
truck. We had two ladies, they were
probably in their 80s.”
The company defended its policy.
Dusty Cushard is the director of
their Pennsylvania school. He said
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA), the agency
regulating the trucking industry, does
not prohibit training older drivers, and
it’s against federal law to discriminate
based on age.
“I follow the FMCSA guidelines…
There’s no age on it. They pass the
physical and everything, and they
want to drive,” Cushard said.
FMCSA deputy administrator
Daphne Jefferson acknowledged the
increase in older commercial drivers.
Her agency is now studying the trend.
“We are not quite at the point yet
where we are ready to say one way or
another if there needs to be a change
in driver rules for, say, drivers over
65,” Jefferson said.
But Washington’s deliberations
come too late for the Hooks family.
“We have all had to learn how
to deal with it and deal with the
recurring memories and the pain of
not having them,” Ronnie Hooks said.
The driver of the truck that killed
the Hooks family was charged with
The aviation industry is also facing
a shortage of pilots, but it has a
mandatory retirement age of 65.
An association representing
independent truck drivers said, while
there are more commercial drivers
over 70, “the greater majority of truck-related crashes are not caused by
truckers, but are instead caused by
(This article was produced by CBS News)
Novi signs gas deal
Novi, Mich.-based Aria Energy
recently announced it purchased a
50-percent interest in Mavrix LLC
from BP and will work with the global
oil and gas company to market and
distribute renewable natural gas
(RNG) to U.S. customers. Financial
details were not disclosed.
Under terms of the acquisition,
Aria has assumed full responsibility
for operations, maintenance and
administration of the Mavrix
operating facilities in Canton, Mich.,
and North Shelby, Tenn., and will
continue development, engineering
and construction of new facilities
in Oklahoma City and Atlanta, Ga.
According to Aria, BP will provide
marketing and distribution services to
get the RNG into the marketplace.
The partnership comes after BP
acquired Mavrix LLC in a March
2017 deal to purchase the upstream
portion of Clean Energy Fuels Corp.’s
As Aria officials explained,
landfill gas (LFG) is produced
naturally as waste decomposes
and consists of roughly 50 percent
methane. Landfills above a certain
size are required to install a
collection system to transport the
gas to a collection facility.
After collection, the Mavrix
facilities convert the LFG to RNG,
which is used as a low-carbon fuel for
natural gas vehicle fleets, including
(Older drivers continued from page 20)