Council puts the brakes on longer trucks

July 29, 2009

Ward 4 Councilwoman Renee Greene offered a resolution urging the U.S. Senate to enact a bill which would ban triple trailer trucks from the nation's highway system.

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg introduced Senate Bill 779, the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act, in April. If passed, the act would maintain a maximum truck length of 53 feet and an 80,000 pound weight limit.

"It has been brought to my attention that our legislators are considering allowing the trucking industry to increase the weight limit and size of vehicles on our highways to three times the length of a regular truck without regard for our bridges, highways and safety," Greene said. "Longer and heavier trucks are not only a public safety risk, but they cause excessive damage to our roads and bridges that, frankly, the associated fees, tolls and taxes just do not cover."

In response to trucking industry advocates who proposed the length and weight increases to economize human resources, Greene suggested the industry could use the opportunity to help the economy by hiring more drivers instead.

"If the trucking industry is seeking this change out of concern for the economic benefit of moving more merchandise with fewer drivers, how's this for an economic consideration: Why not hire three drivers to drive three trucks?"

Council will forward a copy of the resolution, supported by Council as a whole, to Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich.