St. Clair aldermen have approved a resolution that aligns with the viewpoint of the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks.
The Coalition Against Bigger Trucks is an organization opposed to increased truck sizes and weights.
During the Monday, April 2, meeting, City Administrator Travis Dierker said this issue was brought to him by Alderman Art Viehland.
According to a document from CABT, businesses have lobbied Congress for years to raise federal truck weight limits from 80,000 pounds to 91,000.
“Congress has consistently rejected these proposals because of concerns for public safety and infrastructure damage,” the document states. “In 2015, the House voted on a bipartisan basis to maintain the federal limits.”
Over the past 10 years, the increase in truck size and weight are being lobbied again for the same 91,000 pound limit for multiple states, including Missouri.
The document also states that in 2016, a U.S. Department of Transportation study on increased truck sizes and weight concluded there would be “serious safety problems and would impose additional safety costs to our highway infrastructure.”
The USDOT recommended to Congress to not approve to heavier trucks, according to the document.
Viehland said he found out that “one out of every eight traffic fatalities involve a trucking collision and 98 percent of all semi accidents result in one fatality.”
He added that he drove a truck for 30 years. He said that brakes have improved, but highways have become more crowded.
The businesses wanting the increase are FedEx, Amazon and UPS, Viehland said.
“They want to increase their profit at the cost of lives in the state of Missouri and across the country,” he said. “I think it needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped quickly, so that they don’t ever want to bring it up again.”
Viehland added that there are 15 and a half million trucks on the highways in the United States and 200 million are tractor-trailers.
“That’s a lot of rubber on the road. We all know it’s just tearing our highways to pieces,” he said.
The board voted 4-0 in favor of approving a resolution of opposition to legislation that seeks to increase truck size and weight on Missouri roads.
The document by CABT continues to state that in the USDOT study, heavier trucks with six axles both 91,000 and 97,000 pound configurations had higher crash rates in Washington, Idaho and Michigan.
In Washington, it was found that there was a 47 percent higher crash rates for six-axle trucks up to 91,000 pounds.
In Idaho, it was found that there was a 99 percent higher crash rates for six-axle trucks up to 97,000 pounds. Finally, in Michigan, it was found that there was a 400 percent higher crash rates for six-axle trucks up to 97,000 pounds.
The document also discusses the problems with heavier trucks that include more severe crashes, trucks are likely to roll over and increased wear and tear on trucks themselves.
For more information, visit cabt.org.
Stand With CABT
Organizations who stand with CABT include the National Sheriffs’ Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations;
The National Organization of Emergency Medical Technicians, AAA, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Towns and Townships;
The National Association of County Engineers, the American Public Works Association, the International City/County Management Association, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs;
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters;
The SMART Transportation Division, the Truck Safety Coalition, the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Road Safe America, the Brain Injury Association of America, Parents Against Tired Truckers;
The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Railway Supply Institute and the Association of American Railroads.