On May 7, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) re-introduced his Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA) proposed legislation to the Senate. Lautenberg’s bill would expand the existing ban on tractor trailer combinations with weights exceeding 80,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), which currently applies on interstate highways, by extending it to all national highways. In contrast, on February 12, 2013, Rep. Michael Michaud (R-ME) reintroduced his Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 612). SETA would allow states to raise gross vehicle weight limits on all highways, including interstates and national highways, to 97,000 lbs., with the addition of a sixth axle and additional wheels and tires.
NASSTRAC supports SETA and opposes SHIPA. By reducing the trucking industry’s ability to use heavier and/or longer vehicles, the Lautenberg bill would reduce trucking industry productivity while also increasing highway congestion and doing nothing to improve safety. If motor carriers and shippers are blocked from using heavier and/or longer vehicles, projected increases in freight volume will have to move in increasing numbers of current, 80,000 lb. GVW-limited tractor trailers.
"Sen. Lautenberg’s SHIPA bill exemplifies the War on Trucking that has long been a focus of NASSTAC advocacy efforts,” says Mike Regan, Chairman of NASSTRAC’s Advocacy Committee. "One of the key points we will make during the next Washington, DC Fly-In will be that SHIPA is a bad bill. NASSTRAC supports the Coalition For Transportation Productivity’s position and is working with them to get common-sense legislation that will save billions of dollars annually and enhance safety on the roads.”
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