WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 22, 2018 – As special interests continue to lobby Congress for heavier and longer trucks, the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT) today released a nationally representative poll that found that nearly 80 percent of Americans oppose putting longer and heavier trucks on roads and highways. Opposition was due in large part to safety concerns – a majority of voters rate the safety of driving next to a semi-truck as fair or poor while the leading indicator for opposition to truck size increases was “more crashes on the roads” – but respondents were also concerned with the impact large trucks place on infrastructure. Below are key findings:
- A staggering 79 percent of voters oppose longer and heavier trucks.
- Reasons for opposition vary, with the biggest concerns being safety, followed by infrastructure damage and costs.
- 79 percent of respondents found 22 feet longer stopping distances for longer, double-trailer trucks as a very compelling reason to oppose longer trucks.
- 79 percent of respondents felt increased crash rates, anywhere from 47 to 400 percent, was a compelling reason to oppose heavier trucks.
- 61 percent of likely voters would be less likely to vote for a congressional candidate who supports allowing longer and heavier trucks.
- 70 percent of respondents agree that heavier trucks should pay the full costs of the damage they cause to roads and bridges. Republicans (69 percent), Democrats (74 percent) and Independents (68 percent) all agree.
CABT commissioned the poll while large trucking companies and shippers continue to lobby federal and state legislators, as well as the Trump administration, to allow longer and heavier trucks on the road. Those companies leading coalitions are Anheuser-Busch lobbying Congress for heavier tractor-trailers, and Amazon, FedEx and UPS pushing Congress for longer double-trailer trucks.
“We continue to see major companies petition Congress to allow longer and heavier trucks, despite widespread concern for truck safety or the fact that heavier trucks impose huge costs on infrastructure,” said Shane Reese, director of communications for the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks. “This poll sends a clear message to federal policymakers to not allow their infrastructure discussions to be co-opted by those seeking longer and heavier trucks,” he said. “Doing so stands in stark contrast to the priorities of American voters, and is counterproductive to the efforts to improve roads and road safety.”
Harper Polling conducted the live-operator survey in January of 2018, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Harper Polling president Brock McCleary was struck by the indisputable results.
“This nationwide poll illustrates that motorists clearly do not want to be flanked by longer or heavier tractor trailers on the highway, and that goes for Republicans and Democrats alike,” said McCleary.
CABT plans to release the results across the United States as a large number of state legislatures also consider bigger-truck proposals.
CABT is a nonprofit grassroots organization with coalitions of approximately 3,000 local supporters in over 30 states. CABT supporters include law enforcement officers, local elected officials, truck drivers, motorists, safety advocates, railroads and trucking companies. To learn more, please visit www.cabt.org.