WASHINGTON, DC -- Reps. Mike Michaud and Reid Ribble (R-Wisconsin), members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, have re-introduced the "Safe and Efficient Transportation Act," which would allow states to increase the weight of trucks allowed on their Interstate Systems. Trucks that utilize the higher weight limit would be required to add an additional axle in order to maintain the same stopping distance and weight distribution as trucks currently operating on interstate highways. Michaud's bill would also make Maine's current 20 year pilot program permanent.
"Making Maine's pilot program permanent, and permitting changes like it in other states, would provide long-term certainty for shippers and help our struggling economy," said Michaud, who's fought for a permanent weight limit change for years. "It would reduce emissions and save on fuel and road maintenance costs by ensuring we get the most out of every truck mile travelled. It would also help American manufacturers compete with other countries that already permit heavier trucks on their highways. Most importantly, it would promote safety by making sure trucks aren't forced to take secondary roads through town centers, busy intersections, and school crossings."
Michaud's bill has the support of more than 180 associations and companies nationally, including numerous agriculture, food, and forestry organizations.
Brian Parke, President of the Maine Motor Transport Association, said, "For our members, it has always been about improving the safety of Maine's roads. The idea of allowing more productive commercial trucks to use the entire Interstate System is much more than just a trucking industry issue, it is an issue that improved highway safety for all of Maine the moment it was implemented."
The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 612) is being cosponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D- Oregon), Michael Simpson (R-Idaho), Tim Walz (D-Minnesota), and Don Young (R-Alaska).