Thus far, we have not addressed the truck size and weight issue on this website. But it is clearly an issue that needs addressing.
The trucking lobby has once again thrown its weight to sabotage legislative measures meant to improve the safety of travelers on the road. What is their purpose in doing so? Can they back up their claims that the provisions they are backing will make the roads safer and that the measures that they are preventing are unnecessary?
Decide for yourself. . .
Jeff Plungis has once again thoroughly researched and reported on truck safety issues: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-05-04/trucking-friendly-plan-in-congress-decried-as-attack-on-safety
In particular, I have been looking into the area of increasing truck size and weight. The trucking lobby claims that allowing “Double 33s” will make the roads safer because there will be fewer trucks on the road. And exactly what research have they done to back up this supposition?
Furthermore, has the trucking industry taken steps to provide the necessary additional training for truck drivers who would be handling these bigger trucks? I have had several conversations–in person and via email–with a seasoned trainer of truck drivers. This is what he said last night when I asked him about this concern of mine:
Drivers of modified trucks ( longer trailers or “doubles”) do in fact require additional training. Because of their size, they require a higher level of skill and knowledge. The whole idea of safer roads because of fewer trucks is just a “gimmick”. We need to be careful as we move into this area. If the training requirements are not appropriate, the roads in fact will be more dangerous. (Charlie Gray, Carolina Trucking Academy)
Here are some other articles and research studies on this issue, including evidence of possible failure to maintain lane upon braking:
- Coalition Against Bigger Trucks: http://tinyurl.com/p57kye6
- Copies of Detailed Research on This Issue–including past DOT Reports on Truck Size & Weight: http://www.cabt.org/research
- http://tinyurl.com/myhlr2k: p. iii, “During the fast stops the trailers did not always stop in a straight line and would not always remain in its own lane.”
I’d like to know the answers to these questions. I’d like to know because it could well be a matter of life and death. . .
Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death—about 40,000 people die in crashes each year. The Department of Transportation makes highway safety rules based upon how much safety measures will cost. We are hoping to change that and move toward a Vision Zero safety strategy model with goals of: Zero Deaths, Zero Serious Injuries, Zero Fear of Traffic.
“Towards Zero – There’s no one someone won’t miss.” https://youtu.be/bsyvrkEjoXI