As major trucking companies across the country continue to pressure lawmakers on Capitol Hill to allow longer and heavier semitrailers on America’s highways, a newly-released poll found that three out of four Americans are totally against it.
The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, a nonprofit advocacy group opposing truck size and weight increases, surveyed 1,000 people across the country last month. The study found that a whopping 76 percent of respondents opposed longer and heavier semitrailer trucks on the highway, while 15 percent supported them and 9 percent were unsure. The survey was spearheaded by Harper Polling, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based company.
Currently, some of the nation’s largest and most powerful trucking and shipping ‘big wigs’ are wanting Congress to lift the 1991 federal freeze on longer combination vehicles (LCVs)—triple-trailer trucks and long double-trailer trucks. Other proposals include heavier single-trailer trucks that are up to 97,000 pounds—more than 8 tons heavier than today’s 80,000-pound weight limit.
On top of that, large trucking companies like Con-Way Freight, Old Dominion Freight Line and FedEx are pushing for legislation that would require every state to permit even longer double trailer trucks. Their proposal would lengthen current double 28-foot trucks by 10 feet to double 33-foot trucks. Often referred to as “Twin 33s,” double 33-foot trucks are 17-feet longer than the standard 53-foot trucks on many roads today.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation reviewed 30 years of research and found that gross vehicle weight appeared to be associated with higher crash rates. The Department’s 2000 study also found that multi-trailer trucks are already more dangerous than single-trailer trucks, and have an 11 percent higher fatal crash rate.
Aware of the dangers, opponents of heavier and longer trucks, including law enforcement and first responder organizations, are asking voters to call their respective U.S. Representatives and Senators and urge them to vote against any increase in truck size or weight limits.
The truck accident attorneys here at Leizerman & Associates also encourage constituents to do the same. We believe heavier and longer trucks do, indeed, put drivers at risk and, therefore, have no business on the road.
Knowing this, for lawmakers to ever consider allowing bigger trucks on America’s roadways would just be plain irresponsible.
Let lawmakers know exactly how you feel about this very important issue. We encourage you to call Congress at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to say “no” to bigger trucks. Remember. How they vote on this important issue could either save lives or cost them.