Senators introduce bill to raise truck weight limits

Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) on Aug. 5 introduced a bill that would allow truck weights to increase to 97,000 pounds from 80,000 pounds on the Interstate Highway System in any state that opted-in to the plan.

The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2010 (S. 3705) is identical to legislation (H.R. 1799) introduced in the House last year by Reps. Mike Michaud (D-ME) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH).

The senators claim the legislation will result in reduced emissions, fewer trucks on the road and a decrease in fuel usage, in addition to allowing states to determine if the weight increase would be allowed on the highways throughout that state. Critics have said allowing an increase in truck weight without requiring any additional axles or brakes for control or stopping power will cause more traffic crashes, as heavier trucks take longer to stop.

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