Kansas City Star: Don’t make Missouri and Kansas drivers guinea pigs in an experiment with heavier semis

For Missouri, FARS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System — considered the most complete and accurate crash dataset — shows a total of 140 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks in the state for 2021, the most recent year with complete data available. That represents an increase of nearly 18% compared to the previous year. For Kansas, the crash database shows that Kansas had 79 fatalities in 2021, up from 73 in 2020, an 8% increase.

But those yearly fatalities are likely to grow if some in Congress have their way. One proposal currently under consideration would create a 10-year pilot project that would allow 91,000-pound trucks on our roads — more than five tons heavier than today’s current limits. The goal: to see how many of these trucks are involved in crashes and to report the number of injuries and deaths.

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