Legislation Trucking

Senators oppose nationwide mandate for longer trucks


Photo: oksanaphoto/iStockphoto

Washington – A majority of senators are opposed to a federal mandate that would permit longer, heavier trucks to operate in every state.

The Senate voted 56-31 on a motion to oppose the mandate for 33-foot double trailers in the omnibus funding bill that must be finalized by Nov. 20. The motion calls for continued research into the safety ramifications of allowing longer double trailers, which may increase full truck lengths to as much as 91 feet (including the cab).

Twelve states already permit longer trucks. However, 38 states do not, and a federal mandate would override state laws. In June, Department of Transportation officials said more time was necessary to measure the safety effects of longer trucks.

Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) led the motion.

“Thirty-eight states say these longer trucks are not safe, and they tell us that they don’t want them on the highways and byways,” Wicker said in a press release. “I think we should respect their decision. Today’s vote against this federal government mandate sends a strong signal that we stand with the overwhelming majority of Americans who do not want to contend with these longer double trucks on their roads.”