Sen. Lautenberg renews fight against longer, heavier trucks

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 5/3/2011

As expected, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, renewed his opposition to longer, heavier trucks this week by filing the Senate version of a bill to extend the current size and weight freeze. OOIDA supports passage of the bill.

Lautenberg filed his version of the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act – known as SHIPA – on Tuesday, May 3. A companion bill already exists on the House side.

“Keeping super-sized tractor-trailers off our roads will save lives and protect our highways and bridges from heavy damage,” Lautenberg said in a statement.

“Closing the loophole that allows these long, overweight trucks on our National Highway System will protect our families and our nation’s infrastructure.”

Lautenberg said his legislation takes a “balanced, common-sense approach to maintaining our highways, keeping our economy moving forward, and making sure our roads are safe for everyone traveling on them.”

U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-MA, previously filed the House version of the SHIPA bill. McGovern, Lautenberg and other lawmakers have filed similar bills in the past few years. The recent attempts are, in part, a reaction to bills filed by other lawmakers to increase truck sizes and weights on the highways.

“As the House and Senate begin work on a highway reauthorization bill, we have the opportunity to say loud and clear ‘no’ to bigger, heavier trucks,” McGovern said on Tuesday.

Although SHIPA could be addressed as a stand-alone bill, its likely path is to be rolled into the long-term surface transportation authorization bill currently being discussed in Congress and at the White House.

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