A shipper group has announced the results of a nationwide poll that shows that a majority of Americans are in favor of raising weight limits on trucks on our interstate highways. Considering that the poll was commissioned by an association of more than one hundred shippers and other allied trucking groups, truck accident attorneys and other opponents of any such increase, should probably not give too much credence to those findings.
The poll was commissioned by the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, and the results apparently show that more than 50 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing trucks to carry more weight on interstate highways, as envisioned in the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009. According to the CTP, most Americans are in favor of higher weight limits on trucks that have higher safeguards if it would help create safer roads and more efficient highway transportation.
The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009 or HR 1799, has been opposed by truck accident attorneys, safety advocates and families of victims killed in truck accidents. The bill would authorize states to allow trucks weighing up to 97,000 pounds to operate on interstate highways. Trucks would be required to add a sixth axle with brakes.
Another piece of legislation in direct contrast to HR 1799, the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act of 2009, would extend current limits of 80,000 pounds weight and 53 feet length for the 160,000 miles of the National Highway System.
We don’t need heavier trucks on our highways. What we need is for trucking companies to maintain safe fleets, hire qualified and experienced drivers and train them to follow all truck safety rules. As supporters of the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act of 2009, we believe that we have far too many accidents that occur because of highways with an outdated design or poor maintenance. Allowing heavier trucks on roads like these would make little safety sense.