U.S. Congress Rejects Longer And Heavier Trucks On Highway

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On February 1, 2012, a U.S. Congressional Committee rejected a proposal to increase the weight limit of trucks operating on the nation’s highways. The proposed plan in the house committee had sought to raise the weight ceiling for truck-weight limits from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds. Advocates of the plan including trade associations which argued that increasing the weight limit would increase the amount of goods transported and lessen the number of trucks on the highways. Opponents, including railroads and travel and safety groups, argued that increasing the weight load would create further risks for car motorists and increase the wear and tear and need for repair on the nation’s highways and bridges. The decision of the committee was critical to the bottom line of companies that rely on big trucks to transport their goods.

The plan was sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla, who is the committee chair for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., opposed the plan. “It’s a menace on the highways — one we don’t need,” Lautenberg said. John Runyan, the executive director of the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, a group which supports the higher weight limits, said the bill “gives states the ability to open all, or portions of, their interstate networks to more productive, single-trailer trucks equipped with six axles rather than the typical five.” It is clear that various interest groups are lined up on different sides of the fence on the proposal and I would think that the plan will be resurrected after the study.

As an experienced truck accident attorney, I think it can be safely said that longer and heavier trucks would certainly decrease motorist safety on the highway. The number of truck accidents increases as more and more trucks increase their operation on the highways and roads in Georgia. The statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Program (NHTSA) and the United States Department of Transportation show that in 2007 roughly 413,000 large trucks were involved in traffic collisions throughout the country and approximately 101,000 persons were injured in those truck accidents. Longer trucks could cause even further improper lane or difficult lane changes for motorists and the truck drivers. Heavier trucks would cause further damage to life and property with the increased forced associated with the weight.

Georgia, as well as the federal government, has special laws that apply to trucks operating on the roads in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Frequently, these laws limit the number of hours that a truck driver can drive without resting, the weight of the load in the trailer and most other aspects of truck driving. Often, the violation of these laws by a truck driver and the trucking company is the reason for the cause of the truck accident. The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford frequently works with trucking experts to establish the cause and fault of the collision.

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If you are injured in a tractor trailer collision or truck accident in Georgia, Mr. Ford can help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries, lost earnings or wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting trucking accident cases throughout Georgia. Please contact us today for a free consultation.