January 25, 2012

House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Mica is expected to release the multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill (H.R. 7) imminently. Congressman Jimmy Duncan is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on that Committee and is very influential as such.

Trucking interests are lobbying for increases to federal truck sizes and weights as well as a "state option" of allowing states to control size and weight limits on Interstates.  A "state option" is a de facto increase because some states will immediately increase their limits, economically pressuring neighboring states to increase theirs – until the entire country will have 100,000 lb trucks on our roads. 


Please call Chairman Duncan NOW and urge him to oppose ANY truck size or weight increases or "state option" in H.R. 7.

Chairman Jimmy Duncan  (R-2nd TN) 202-225-5435. If you are a constituent of his district – the 2nd district, you can also send an email http://duncan.house.gov/services/zip-auth.shtml  

TALKING POINTS: (You can cut and paste these into an email but please personalize your email as well.)

  • I urge you to oppose any increase in truck size and weight-either nationally or as a "state option"- in the surface transportation reauthorization bill.
  • In 2010 overall traffic fatalities declined but truck crash fatalities increased by nearly nine percent to 3,675. Increasing truck size and weights would be a significant setback to safety.
  • Large trucks are more dangerous and more destructive.  In fatal crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle, 97 percent of the deaths occur to the occupants of the car. 

·         Overweight trucks create a disproportionate level of damage to our roads and bridges. Increasing the weight of a heavy truck by only 10 percent increases bridge damage by 33 percent.

·         A "state option" allowing truck weights to be determined individually by each state is a de facto nationwide increase because states will be forced to allow heavier trucks to stay economically competitive if adjoining states allow them.

·         Overly heavy trucks, particularly 100,000 lbs. trucks, dramatically underpay their fair share of taxes and user fees for the repair of U.S. roads and bridges.  States and Congress are already struggling to find funds to address the backlog of road and bridge needs across the country.

·         More than 26%, or 1 in 4, of our nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

·         Poor road conditions cost Americans $67 billion in repairs and operating costs. (ASCE)

·         One third of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. (ASCE)

Heavier Trucks Mean Bigger Safety Problems