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Bigger Big Rigs: More Size in Exchange for Less Safety?

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 13-Jun-2009

According to a recent news item in USA Today, fierce debate is expected in Congress over the size of big rig trucks on the U.S. interstate highway system. "Current Federal law limits the weight and length of 18-wheelers on the USA’s 47,000-mile interstate highway system. Supporters say bigger commercial trucks allow drivers to deliver more freight in fewer trips, thus cutting pollution and reducing congestion on crowded highways. Opponents say the larger trucks would cause more wear-and-tear on the USA’s dilapidated roads and bridges and create a greater safety hazard to other drivers."

According to  Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and StopBiggerTrucks.org, a campaign urging Congress to reject any weight and size increases for commercial trucks: "These trucking companies don’t come close to paying their fair share for the damage they do. The American public is going to pay with their lives and their wallets if this goes through."

 "A measure supported by highway safety advocates, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and many independent truckers would extend weight and length limits to the entire National Highway System, a network of roads vital to the economy, defense and mobility."

Some truckers disagree: "Eighty thousand is enough for anybody. If it gets much bigger, it’s going to create an unsafe environment, and more deaths on the roads."

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