The United States relies heavily upon the commercial trucking industry to transport goods throughout the country. Consequently, when it comes to trucking laws and regulations, trucking companies and industry organizations are able to wield a certain amount of power in Washington D.C.
Currently, lobbyists representing several trucking and shipping companies and organizations are attempting to convince members of the U.S. Congress to lift existing bans on and pass measures allowing for larger and heavier commercial trucks. A main target of the groups is to get a 1991 ban lifted on the use of “triple-trailer trucks and long double-trailer trucks.”
Proposals to lift existing bans and pass other measures to allow trucking companies to utilize longer, larger and heavier trucks aren’t popular among U.S. law enforcement officials. A 2013 Marshall University survey of law enforcement officials revealed that 95 percent believe that larger and heavier trucks pose a greater danger to the safety of our nation’s roads and highways. What’s more, 88 percent of truck drivers who were surveyed for the study agreed that larger trucks are more dangerous and “would negatively impact highway safety.”
Drivers across the country are also opposed to sharing the road with even bigger and heavier trucks as a recent poll conducted by the Coalitions Against Bigger Trucks revealed that 75 percent of poll respondents are opposed to allowing trucking companies to use bigger trucks.
With so much compelling evidence related to the dangers of bigger trucks and so many key players opposed to their use, it seems unlikely that trucking and shipping companies will be successful in their efforts. However, considering the likely significant financial gains at stake, it remains to be seen whether safety will trump profit.