ALEXANDRIA, VA – APRIL 23, 2020 — The law enforcement leaders of the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks are asking the nation’s governors to ensure that truck weight limits are returned to safe levels after the pandemic crisis passes.
Congress has allowed temporary increases in weight limits in response to the pandemic. Any increase in truck weight limits to help weather this crisis should remain only temporary, they recently wrote all governors. The weight increases must “ be strictly limited to the duration of the crisis and apply only to qualifying relief supplies.”
“Law enforcement across the country must patrol our highways and police our cities and towns,” they said. “The operation of bigger trucks would put them at even greater risk as they continue to serve and protect motorists,” they noted, adding that many truck drivers also oppose the operation of larger trucks.
CABT’s law enforcement leadership includes officials with decades of experience as sheriffs, chiefs of police or as state troopers. Several major law enforcement groups oppose larger trucks, including the National Troopers Coalition, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations.
Heavier trucks are more dangerous and bring greater risks for first responders, truck drivers and motorists engaged in essential travel. Heavier trucks would also worsen the nation’s already deteriorating roads and bridges. The U.S. Department of Transportation has found that:
- Heavier trucks, in limited state testing, had a 47 percent to 400 percent higher crash rate than 80,000-pound trucks;
- Heavier trucks had a higher out-of-service rate, including an 18 percent higher brake violation rate than 80,000-pound trucks;
- Heavier trucks are likely to result in more severe crashes; and,
- Heavier trucks will put immense strain on the nation’s aging infrastructure, especially older bridges, creating serious safety issues and causing taxpayers to foot the bill.