OOIDA: ‘Greenwashing’ speed limiters, heavier trucks is dangerous

| Wednesday, January 28, 2009

OOIDA says the arguments made before Congress recently by the ATA recently in favor of larger truck and trailer combinations and government mandated speed limiters are “irresponsible and ridiculous.”

The American Trucking Association presented its case for longer and heavier truckloads and speed limiters for diesel truck engines Tuesday during the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s hearing on energy reduction and environmental sustainability as it relates to surface transportation.

OOIDA officials noted the advantage larger companies would have by boosting truck volume per driver, though increased safety risks would be shouldered by all highway users.

“Upping truck weights and mandating speed limiters in the name of sustainability is irresponsible and ridiculous,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. “Those things have nothing to do with making trucking more ‘green’ and everything to do with adding more ‘green’ to the pockets of large corporations.”

OOIDA officials believe the government and shippers should address inefficiencies in the goods movement supply chain first, which would reduce an estimated $5.7 billion wasted hauling empty loads and spent waiting to load and unload. That $5.7 billion comes at the expense of truckers and consumers.

“We support efforts to clean up our environment, but not at the expense of highway safety or crippling competition,” Spencer said. “Those factors more than offset any theoretical productivity or environmental gains. The air isn’t made cleaner by fouling it with the smoke of powerful economic interests.”

To read OOIDA’s testimony on truck weight and length, click here. For information on speed limiters, click here.

ATA also recommended a 65 mph national speed limit, increased funding for EPA Smartway, fuel economy standards for trucks, and infrastructure improvements.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
charlie_morasch@landlinemag.com