John Mica (R-Winter Park) urged Florida transportation officials
to consider pulling semis off I-4 and I-95 during rush hours and
possibly lower the speed limit for big rigs.
the Orlando Sentinel on Monday he is urging transportation officials
to look at routing truck traffic onto the Central Florida Greene
Way around Orlando to keep tractor-trailers out of downtown areas
where traffic clogs.
In a released
statement Mica also said the state should look at whether to lower
the speed limit for big rigs and restrict them to certain lanes
on the interstates, and whether to tighten licensing requirements
for drivers of tractor-trailers.
a whole list of options," said Mica, who is facing a tough
re-election battle. "And I want to explore every one."
Mica called his plans "simple solutions" to "what
is becoming a very big problem."
director of operations for the Florida Trucking Association, said
it had "grave" reservations about any plans to limit
commercially licensed trucks from using I-4 and I-95. "Trucks
are already highly regulated in our state," he said.
Land Line there were several accidents involving semis on interstates
the week before Mica's press release came out. "Mica is well-positioned
in the state," he said. "We'll have to see what comes
of this. I agree that traffic exceeds the speed limit most of
the time on interstates, but maybe the solution is to lower the
speed limits for everyone."
and truckers alike are concerned with Florida roads and the fact
that statewide, the number of accidents involving cars and trucks
is increasing. Truckers, however, feel that Mica's solution is
not fair or even sensible. "It's ridiculous. What Mica fails
to bring into the equation is passenger cars and the behavior
of their drivers," says Florida trucker Paul Sasso of Edgewater.
"What's their responsibility in this?" According to
a recent AAA study, in more than 70 percent of all fatal auto
and truck crashes, police report that the automobile driver was
his proposals weren't based on historical data, just the series
of recent wrecks. "All I can tell you is there have been
several lately," he said to reporters.
officials reportedly have said they're eager to work with Mica.
However, some of his proposals may not work for Central Florida.
For example, Long said some studies suggest that split speeds for
trucks and passenger cars may cause more problems than they solve.
--Donna Carlson, staff writer