URGENT – OPPOSE AMENDMENT 21 (Part H, #2) TO H.R. 2 ALLOWING SPECIAL INTEREST EXEMPTION TO FEDERAL TRUCK SIZE & WEIGHT LAWS ON CONNECTICUT’S INTERSTATES
Amendment Opposed by: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Center for Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Connecticut State Police Union, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Parents Against Tired Truckers, Trauma Foundation & Truck Safety Coalition
Excerpt from 6/28/20 letter to the Connecticut Congressional delegation from Andrew Matthews, Executive Director, CT State Police Union and Executive Director, National Troopers Coalition:
“Today, we are all facing major challenges in Connecticut and throughout this country. We would simply ask that you not add to these challenges by endangering your constituents and your Troopers by allowing heavier trucks on our interstates. Please oppose 100,000-pound agriculture trucks on Connecticut’s highways. Thank you for your time and consideration on this critical issue.”
Important Safety & Infrastructure Reasons to Oppose Amendment #21
- Exemptions from federal truck weight limits are deadly and dangerous to all motorists and truck drivers. Truck crash deaths are going up. Since 2009, truck crash deaths have increased nearly 50 percent.
- 2018 final data from the U.S. Department of Transportation show nearly 5,000 people were killed in large truck crashes. 2019 projections are up for the 5th consecutive year.
- In fatal crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle, 96% of the deaths are occupants of the car.
- Connecticut fatalities involving large trucks have more than doubled in the state over the past ten years.
- H.R. 2 provides needed investments in roads and bridges and safety to address the growing backlog of maintenance and repairs and should not be undermined by allowing heavier trucks to operate on the Interstate system.
- According to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2018 Connecticut Infrastructure Report Card, the State’s roads were graded D+ and bridges C-.
- Even if limited to a specific industry such as “agricultural commodities,” this definition is incredibly broad and includes a wide range of goods allowing major segments of the industry to skirt federal rules.
- Exemptions are problematic for enforcement efforts.
- When one state is granted an exemption to the federal weight limit, there is pressure on nearby states to similarly increase their limits.
- Public opinion polls show strong and consistent opposition to increasing truck size and weights.
- 3 Connecticut Members sponsoring the amendment signed a May 29, 2020 Dear Colleague letter to Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio stating “we urge you to reject any proposals that would increase the maximum allowable weight or length of trucks on interstate highways including state and/or industry specific exemptions as well as pilot programs…any increase to truck size or weight would present both an unacceptable risk to motorist safety, including the safety of truck drivers themselves, and an unaffordable strain on roads and bridges in our communities” (emphasis added).
VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 21 (PART H, #2) FROM COURTNEY, HIMES, HAYES, DELAURO, LARSON