Hampton Roads highways could see heavier trucks

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) —Should heavier trucks be allowed on Virginia roads?

One House and one Senate bill would make it so Virginia could be part of any federal program allowing heavier trucks on the highways.

Delegate Scott Garrett sponsored the House bill. 13News Now received his talking points on House Bill 1276.

This bill could permit trucks with 6 axles to carry up to 91,000 pounds on interstates. The current maximum weight is 80,000 pounds for 5 axle trucks.

Spokesman for the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, Shane Reese said, “study after study shows these trucks are far too dangerous especially on East Coast busy congested and your state and local roads.”

He said, heavier trucks are dangerous to drivers and tend to damage both interstate and side roads.

“No truck starts or stops on interstate,” said Reese.

Congress decided against raising the truck weight limits, in 2015.

“It’s quite frankly baffling that it, that proponents continuing to push such dangerous legislation,” said Reese.

Those proponents argue that heavier trucks could help commerce in our port communities. Garrett’s talking points claimed the bill empowers the Commissioner of Highways to withdraw from the federal pilot at any point, if preliminary data demonstrates harm to the public.

Locals told us they have mixed feelings about the idea.

“I feel pretty safe here. I think our trucking is regulated and you know I don’t feel like it’s imposing any undue safety issues to have more trucks, ” said Suffolk resident, Lisa Tuhaika.

“I don’t feel that they should be in this area. Especially here in Hampton Boulevard it’s a little too congested especially for people trying to get to work and a military trying to get to work also,” said Suffolk resident, Kenneth Rey.

Source: WVEC-TV / ABC Norfolk