Earlier this week, we began a discussion about groups within the trucking industry voicing opposition to proposals that would increase federal size and weight limits for commercial trucks. One group in particular, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, recently filed formal comments with the Federal Highway Administration arguing that “supersized” trucks would create a number of problems with both infrastructure and safety.
In our last post, we shared the OOIDA’s concerns that larger and heavier trucks would either force truck drivers to re-route away from certain bridges and roads or force cities and counties to pay to upgrade infrastructure to accommodate these vehicles. The OOIDA also points out that larger vehicles are more difficult to maneuver safely, and increased size and weight limits would likely lead to a higher rate of truck accidents.
In its comments to the Federal Highway Administration on behalf of its 150,000 members, the OOIDA said: “Any seasoned driver will tell you that extra weight means extra responsibility and a reduced margin for errors.” A heavier vehicle takes more time and distance to slow to a stop, and even simple maneuvers like turning become more difficult as size and weight increase.
Before any changes in size or weight limits are ultimately enacted, groups like the OOIDA want regulators to hear from those in the industry who will be most affected: the truckers themselves. Trucking companies might make more money if allowed to use larger vehicles and ship more products at a time, but truck drivers and the other motorists who share the roads with them should have their voices heard as well, because this decision could impact their safety most of all.
Source: Land Line, “Supersized trucks? The professionals on the road say no,” David Tanner, June 6, 2013