The Idaho House of Representatives
has passed a bill that would increase the weight of trucks allowed
on some Idaho roads.
Under HB282, multiple
trailer trucks with overweight permits could weigh up to 129,000
pounds. The current restriction is 105,500 pounds. The trucks
would only be allowed on specified highways in the state, all
in the southern half.
The bill passed by a vote
of 50-20 on March 13. It now heads to the Senate.
OOIDA, which opposes the
bill, says it will put truckers out of work, cause further damage
to the state’s roads, hurt Idaho’s already struggling economy
and potentially create hazards for all motorists who use the state’s
smaller two-lane highways.
“HB282 will only help
a few large companies to get more freight hauled for less money,
as they will need less trucks and drivers,” Eagle, ID, resident
and OOIDA board member Bill Rode told the House transportation
committee during a hearing on the bill March 6. “HB282 will hurt
the small business trucker here in Idaho.”
“It appears the skids
are greased legislatively, and the only thing that’s going to
keep it from passing will be a tremendous outcry from the motoring
public in Idaho, and there ought to be that outcry,” Todd Spencer,
executive vice president of OOIDA, said.
The South Idaho Press reported
Feb. 28 that the bill was supported by agribusiness interests
in the state, but is opposed by railroad interests, despite the
fact that the railroads do not serve the loads the trucks would
carry, JoAnn Wood, Chairman of the House Transportation and Defense
Committee Transportation Department, said.
--by Mark H. Reddig,