Heavyweight Trucks Spell Big Trouble for U.S. Highways

Heavy weight trucks would make roads more dangerous, cost taxpayers more money, increase gridlock and harm the environment.

The IAM is calling on members of Congress to oppose the so-called Safe, Flexible and Efficient Trucking Act of 2015, H.R. 3488. Supported by advocates of the trucking industry, the legislation would needlessly increase truck weight limitations while doing little to improve safety or transportation commerce. If passed, the bill would also result in higher costs for taxpayers, worsened gridlock and additional harm to the environment.

“The issue of increasing truck weight has been brought before Congress numerous times by advocates of the trucking industry, that – simply put – want to be able to transport a larger, heavier load on a single truck or longer combination vehicle,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives. “Their interests lie solely in the profitability of such a rule change instead of prioritizing the safety of all drivers as well as the maintenance costs saddled onto taxpayers.”

An increase in truck weights would heavily impact our nation’s roads and bridges. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates the existing backlog of bridge repairs is more than $121 billion. If Congress were to increase the weight limits, that figure could balloon by an additional $53 billion.

“The IAM believes safety must always come first,” said Buffenbarger. “And it is clear to our membership that this bill makes our roads more dangerous for everyone involved.”

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