A new law now in effect in Ohio allows trucks loaded with three steel coils to run heavier on certain highways.
Gov. Ted Strickland signed a bill into law that allows trucks traveling state or local highways to haul three steel coils totaling 120,000 pounds. Special permits would be required. Existing Ohio law limits those loads to 92,000 pounds. However, trucks transporting one or two steel coils under permit can weigh up to 120,000 pounds.
The new law, previously HB30, also requires that signs be posted to notify drivers of red-light enforcement cameras.
Supporters say the intent of the coil rule is not to alter the total weight limit. They simply want to make Ohio competitive with other states by changing the number of coils that can be hauled under the limit.
Others say the change will benefit the trucking industry that is trying to cope with fuel prices that continue to exceed all-time highs. It also will reduce congestion, they say.
Critics contend most trucks are not designed to stop at that much weight. They recommend adding a third axle to evenly distribute the load weight and increase braking power.
The three-coil weight exemption took effect Tuesday, July 1, and will be extended for one year. During that time, the Ohio Department of Transportation will be responsible for determining if the heavier trucks damaged highways.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Ohio in 2008, click here.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor