Bill to Allow Heavier Trucks on the Highway
There is a new bill, Senate Bill 747 (S. 747) that was introduced in the Senate which seeks to increase the weight limit of commercial trucks on the road. Those that come from the trucking industry are very amenable and supportive of the bill. However, there are still some serious concerns that are being raised in relation to the said bill.
The name of the bill is Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2011. This bill seeks to end the federal moratorium in modifying the current weight and size of commercial trucks. At present, the truck sizes are capped at 5-axles at 80,000 lbs. The bill would be increasing this maximum weight up to 97,000 lbs, which is quite a huge leap of 17,000 lbs from its old weight limit.
Some of the benefits as pointed out by supporters of the new bill were having a greener environment. They said that this would lessen congestion on the streets because it would be lessening the number of vehicles that actually traverse the road daily. If there would be bigger trucks, it means that there would be a fewer number of vehicles that would be needed to transport the same amount of goods.
On the other hand, the bill does not also appeal to a lot of people who believe that heavier trucks means putting more stress on the road, which would also mean burdening taxpayers more whenever repairs would be needed. There are also bridges and roads that could not handle such weight and in order to adjust to the provisions of the bill, extensive repairs need to be made, which would be very costly.
And, one of the primary concerns of those in opposition to the bill was that bigger trucks would also mean more danger to other drivers on the road.