Houston may charge fees for oversized trucks

| 7/18/2007

The Houston City Council could vote as early as next week to force truckers to pay extra fees to run inside city limits but off the interstate network if their trucks are oversize or overweight.

Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association say the fees are excessive and could work against interstate commerce.

The City Council was scheduled to vote Wednesday, July 18, on whether to adopt the ordinance, but several council members wanted more time to gather information, a city staff member told Land Line.

Council members moved to change the voting day to Wednesday, July 25. The deadline for public comment – Friday, July 20 – had not been changed as of Wednesday afternoon, though city staff said that it could be extended.

Proposed fees start at $145 for a single trip off the network but within the city limits of Houston and go up from there. A one-year package for running oversize is a proposed $2,035 per truck.

By restricting oversize and overweight trucks, Houston city officials in favor of the fees hope to gain revenue to offset road-repair costs.

A draft of the ordinance obtained by Land Line does not provide a timeframe for when the ordinance would take effect other than “when signs are erected.”

Sizes, dimensions and weights outlined in the ordinance closely resemble dimensions outlined for interstate transportation in federal regulations.

– By David Tanner, staff writer