Last month, Wisconsin Representative Reid Ribble introduced a bill that
would allow larger, heavier trucks on U.S. roadways. The bill, called
the Safe, Flexible, and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act, argues that this
would both increase highway productivity and decrease the amount of trucks
on the road. This bill is in response to a study conducted by the Department
of Transportation earlier this year entitled “Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study,” a federal requirement under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.
According to the bill, states would be allowed to decide whether to allow
trucks carrying 91,000 pounds of cargo (currently trucks can only carry
a maximum of 80,000 pounds) on roadways. While larger, heavier trucks
may sound like they would present an increased danger to drivers, proponents
cite the findings of the study, which state that they would be just as
safe as current commercial trucks if a sixth axle was added to help both
support the weight of the trailer and improve braking capacity. This configuration
would still be compliant under U.S. DOT’s
existing federal bridge formula, and would result in trucks having the same, if not better, stopping distances
and pavement wear.
Ribble contends that this change to the trucking industry would help alleviate
overcrowding on our highways, which were built at a time when the population
was almost half of what it is now. Since truck travel has expanded more
than 20 times faster than the capacity of roadways, supporters of the
bill argue that the highway capacity crunch must be confronted now if
the U.S. trucking industry hopes to remain competitive.
“The Safe Trucking Act safely improves the productivity of truck
shipments so we can decrease the truckloads necessary to meet demand and
make our entire transportation network more efficient.”
– John Runyan, Executive Director, CTP
Those who oppose the bill are concerned that heavier trucks will pose a
serious threat to infrastructure like roads, bridges, and tunnels. There
is also concern over higher risks of truck rollover, unsafe highway merging,
and stopping distances, which many are still concerned would be an issue.
Truck Accident Lawyers in Milwaukee, WI
The Wisconsin truck accident attorneys at Cannon & Dunphy S.C. are
proud to continue a 100-year family history of providing unparalleled
legal assistance to those who have been wrongly injured. We have recovered
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To see if you may be eligible to make a claim, please reach out to our
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