Participate online if you can't attend the truck size-and-weight listening session

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Friday, May 17, 2013

The DOT is inviting truckers to participate in the first truck size-and-weight listening session on May 29. If you can’t get there in person, make plans to participate online.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is conducting the listening session as part of a congressional mandate to study the effects of truck size and weight on the nation’s infrastructure, highway safety, crash rates, freight patterns and cost.

Congress mandated the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study in the current highway bill, MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century.

In the DOT’s words, “The study will evaluate and compare the differences between trucks loaded at or below current federal truck size and weight limits to those operating in excess of those limits. The CTSW Study will produce findings on highway safety and truck crash frequency and severity, pavement and bridge infrastructure service life impacts, the cost and effectiveness of enforcement and implications for the national transportation system including the modal share of freight movements that would result if federal truck size and weight limits were to change.”

The American Trucking Associations, large shippers, receivers and manufacturers are pushing Congress to increase truck size and weights to 97,000 pounds on six axles on interstates. The current standard, with some exemptions by state, requires permits for trucks to weigh more than 80,000 pounds on five axles.

OOIDA supports the current freeze that has been in place since 1982.

Congressional committees are currently considering bills both for and against truck size-and-weight increases. That’s why it’s important for truckers to be involved and participate in the discussion.

The DOT has scheduled the four-hour listening session from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, May 29, at U.S. DOT headquarters, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590.

To attend in person, register in advance by sending an email to CTSWStudy@dot.gov

If you cannot attend in person, you can view and participate in a webcast of the session by clicking here. Webcast viewers will be asked to sign in for the record to be part of the discussion.

The bill that would increase truck size and weight is SETA, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, sponsored by Rep. Michael Michaud, D-ME, and Rep. Reid Ribble, R-WI. The bill, HR612, does not have a counterpart bill in the Senate at this time.

The bill that supports the current freeze and denies the truck size increase is known as SHIPA, the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act. The U.S. Senate and House are currently considering identical versions. The first is S880, sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ. The House counterpart is HR1906, sponsored by Rep. James McGovern, D-MA.

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