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Citing safety, enforcement and infrastructure concerns, AAA recently registered its opposition to federally proposed increases in commercial truck sizes and weights.
Several industry groups and members of Congress recently called for increasing the federal truck size and weight limits to 97,000 lbs. The current limit is 80,000 lbs for most trucks operating on the Interstate Highway System.
“AAA recognizes the importance of efficient freight movement to the nation’s economy,” said Chris Plaushin, AAA’s Federal Relations Director. “However, we cannot allow longer, heavier trucks without compromising safety.”
Serious consideration of the impact of heavier vehicles on the nation’s roads and bridges is needed. Transportation resources are already insufficient to support current infrastructure needs, and truck weight increases will inevitably result in even greater costs. The proposed new truck limits exceed the current Federal Bridge Formula, which is used during bridge design and construction. While many Interstate bridges may be able to accommodate such loads, trucks also use local roadways, which often include bridges with lower weight capacity.
More than one in four of the nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete. Allowing heavier trucks will be a significant safety risk.
AAA outlined its concerns in a letter of support to Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), sponsor of the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA), which calls for a freeze on the current weight limits.
While economic benefits are cited as justification for an increase, the potential impacts on road safety, enforcement and infrastructure are often omitted. For the safety of all motorists, AAA will oppose any increase until these key questions are addressed.
President and CEO
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