The North Carolina Highway Patrol has returned to enforcing an existing statute that bans trailers longer than 48 feet on roads other than the National Network System, known to truckers simply as “the network.”
Weight and size limits listed in the Rand-McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas show North Carolina permits 53-foot trailers on “designated access highways only.”
Otherwise, 48 feet is the rule in North Carolina.
Recently, according to the Goldsboro New-Argus newspaper in Wayne County, NC, the Highway Patrol has been handing out tickets for longer trucks caught off the network.
A spokesman with the North Carolina Highway Patrol did not immediately return Land Line’s calls.
Twelve states currently limit trailer lengths to 48 feet on routes that are not hooked into the national network. That network was established for trucks by federal legislation in 1982.
Over the years, more routes off the network have been approved for 53-foot trailers, while enforcement of the 48-foot rule has dropped off in some areas.
A sergeant with the North Carolina Highway Patrol, interviewed by the Goldsboro New-Argus, said that the 48-foot rule was not strictly enforced until law enforcement agencies received new network maps from NCDOT and began paying more attention to trucks traveling off the network.
– By David Tanner, staff writer