If a new bill that has been introduced in Congress is approved, states like Georgia would be allowed to increase truck weight limits on our interstates to boost trucking productivity and efficiency. As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I strongly oppose this legislation. Any move like this would increase the risks of serious truck accidents and catastrophic injuries and death when passenger vehicles are involved in accidents with much heavier trucks.
The bill, called the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act has been reintroduced by Republican lawmakers from Maine and Ohio.It would allow states to adjust the weight limits on commercial trucks on interstates within their borders. The increase in weight limits could be as much as 97,000 pounds from the current 80,000 pounds.The current weight limits have stayed the same since 1982, and trucking safety groups and Atlanta truck accident attorneys oppose any increase in the weight limits on our interstates.
Most of the arguments in favor of increased weight limits on commercial trucks have to do with profits for the trucking industry.The industry believes it could save billions of dollars every year, if trucking companies were allowed to use up every inch of free space in their trailers.Trucking companies talk about reduced fuel consumption, and even bring up lower accident risks from fewer trucks needed to transport the same amount of cargo.
By all indications, the bill has tremendous support from the trucking industry, including the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, which is a coalition of more than 180 shippers and transportation associations.The bill has been introduced before, but could find more traction in a depressed economy and with support from a strong lobbying force. Trucking safety groups and Atlanta truck accident lawyers need to push back against any attempt to crowd our already congested highways with bulkier, heavier trucks.