Highway safety (or lack thereof) is an issue we frequently write about on this blog. That's because each year, countless drivers in Chicago and around the country are injured or killed in preventable crashes. Heavy trucks driven by fatigued or negligent drivers are often to blame for a significant portion these accidents.
And as big as the massive vehicles are, the trucking industry continues to push for larger and heavier trucks. Thankfully, concerned Americans and safety advocacy groups are lobbying federal legislators pass a law that would stop truck size and weight limits from increasing beyond their current level. Advocates for the bill hope to prevent the almost inevitable rise in truck accidents that would result from even larger vehicles.
The bill being introduced in Washington is called the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act. If passed, the bill would:
- Freeze the federal weight and size limits for trucks that are currently in place
- Eradicate some legal loopholes that currently allow overweight trucks to continue operating
- Create an enforcement program to make sure that the trucking industry is held accountable for compliance
One of the safety advocacy groups supporting the legislation is Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH). Commenting on the need for this bill, the chair of CRASH noted that "Every year, more than 4,000 people are slaughtered on our nation's highways while corporate trucking and shipping interests continue to push Congress for heavier trucks. Heavy trucks are deadly, dangerous and destructive. Families are paying with their lives and with their wallets."
Check back later this week as we continue our discussion about the important issue of truck safety.
Source: Wall Street Journal, "Truck Crash Victims Urge Congress To Pass Lifesaving Truck Safety Legislation Introduced In Congress Today As New Poll Shows Strong Public Opposition To Heavier Trucks," May 7, 2013