Lawmakers reintroduce bills to limit large truck weight, size

Washington – Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) on May 7 reintroduced legislation that would extend existing federal truck size and weight limits to the National Highway System, including state-controlled smaller highways.

The bill, which is supported by multiple transportation safety organizations, would limit large truck weights to 80,000 pounds and lengths to 53 feet on all highways. States are allowed to raise these limits on smaller highways, which make up about 220,000 miles of road throughout the country.

According to a press release from Lautenberg's office, 100,000-pound trucks with unadjusted brakes have longer stopping distances and are more likely than 80,000-pound trucks to roll over and have trailers that sway into other lanes.

At press time, the bill had been referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. A House version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), was announced the same day.

A previous version of the legislation introduced in 2011 was never enacted.

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