AUSTIN (KXAN) — As police were investigating a fatal crash on Loop 360 early Friday morning, someone in an SUV broke through barricades and tried to drive through the crash scene. APD used one of its vehicles to bring the SUV to a stop just short of a tow truck facing what would be oncoming traffic, were the road open.
Mike Pohl, owner of Chote’s Wrecker Service, estimates about 75% of the time he’s out on a scene, whether that be on the side of the road helping a motorist or at a more serious crash where the road is completely shut down, someone neglects to move over, slow down or yield to responders.
He says at this point, he doesn’t turn his back to traffic.
“There’s people that have families, people are waiting at home for these drivers to come home whether it’s a police officer, tow truck driver,” he said. “They’re doing a dangerous job, so they’re having to focus on what they’re doing on that job while they’re out on the road, so they can’t completely always be paying attention for a car that might come running into them.”
KXAN crews watched APD talk to the person in the SUV and then let them drive away. APD said the driver of the SUV has not been charged at this time, but that could change at a later date.
Slow down, move over
Under Texas law, if you are driving past an emergency vehicle or tow truck on the road you must either move over a lane or slow down to 20 miles an hour below the posted speed limit or less.
If you’re in a residential area where the speed limit is less than 25 miles an hour, you need to slow down to 5 miles an hour.
Not following those rules is a misdemeanor offense in the state of Texas and can carry a $500 fine. That charge can be worse if you injure or kill someone.
A transportation funding commission set up by Gov. Tom Wolf to find ways to end Pennsylvania’s reliance on its gas tax will issue a $15.6 billion package of recommendations, which lean heavily on shifting to a vehicle-miles-traveled fee that numerous states are exploring.
The Transportation Revenue Options Commission reviewed its final recommendations at a Wednesday meeting, with the final report to be handed over Friday.
It faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Legislature, and is expected to kick off a debate that could last years.
It comes as Pennsylvania and other states increasingly complain about stagnant gas tax collections that aren’t keeping pace with the rising cost of construction while motorists are driving more fuel-efficient or electric cars.
Wolf’s Department of Transportation, meanwhile, said the state’s current-year highway and bridge budget for construction and maintenance is $8.8 billion, less than half of the $18.1 billion that is needed to keep Pennsylvania’s highways and bridges in good condition and ease major traffic bottlenecks.
Pennsylvania’s gas tax is 58.7 cents per gallon, second-highest in the country behind California, according to the Tax Foundation.
The commission’s recommendations are projected to raise an additional $3.5 billion in each of the first two years, $6.6 billion in each of the third and fourth years and then $11.5 billion annually in the fifth year and beyond when an 8.1 cents-per-mile vehicle-miles-traveled fee is introduced.
It is designed to eliminate $4.1 billion in gas taxes.
Other significant revenue-raising elements are corridor tolling on interstates, a parcel-delivery surcharge and higher fees and taxes on vehicle purchases and registration.
The parcel-delivery surcharge — under consideration in Denver and New York City — reflects a shift to a delivery-based economy, powered by trucks that are putting more stress on highways and local roads.
States are up against a deadline of sorts, with Ford and General Motors making major investments in electric vehicles and planning to substantially shift their fleets to all-electric vehicles by 2030 or 2035.
COIMBRA, Portugal (BRAIN) — SRAM officially opened a new TIME pedal factory here on Friday, with an inauguration celebration presided over by the mayor. The city said the factory will produce 200,000 pairs of pedals per year and create 25 new jobs by next November.
According to a release from the city, the new facility has an area of 6,500 square feet that can be quickly expanded to 12,000 square feet. Currently the factory has created six new jobs but plans call for adding another 18-20 workers by next November. The factory also will eventually make hubs and wheels, the city said.
“The acquisition of TIME will allow SRAM to continue and diversify its product line, this time in the production of pedals, contributing to the development of the cycling industry in Portugal,” said Isabel Gomes, the director of SRAM in Portugal.
Gil Nadais, the Secretary-General of Portugal’s National Association of Two-Wheel Industries, Hardware, Furniture and Related Products, ABIMOTA, said, “Over the last few years, the Portuguese two-wheel and smooth mobility sector, with a strong contribution from our Portugal Bike Value project, has struggled to provide the country and Europe with ever greater production capacity, reducing dependence on foreign markets and developing shorter distribution chains. With this unit, we take an important step towards achieving these goals.”
SRAM bought the TIME shoe and pedal business from the Rossignol Group in February. Rossignol sold the TIME frame and bike business to Cardinal Cycling Group.
var showComments = function ()