The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of more than 160 shippers and allied associations, including IDFA, applauded action taken this week by the Obama administration that will help to increase federal weight limits on interstate highways. Urging Congress to act, the administration called for including a provision in the 2011 federal budget to extend two pilot programs in Maine and Vermont that give heavier, six-axle trucks full access to interstate highways.
Prior to the pilots, introduced last year by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), commercial vehicles weighing over 80,000 pounds were often barred from interstate travel and diverted onto state and local roads.
In its message to Congress, the administration credited the pilot programs - set to expire in December - with improving safety and productivity on highways in the two states.
"The administration's efforts represent a significant breakthrough in the fight for trucking industry safety and productivity," said CTP Executive Director John Runyan. "CTP members know first-hand that heavier trucks belong on better-engineered interstate highways, and we would like to thank President Obama and Senator Collins for their efforts to make sure the transportation networks in Maine and Vermont remain safe and efficient for motorists, truckers and pedestrians."
IDFA and other members of CTP believe other states deserve the same chance to improve highway safety and productivity. IDFA supports proposed federal legislation, called the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, because it would extend the same opportunity to all states. Originally introduced by Representative Mike Michaud (D-ME), the bill, H.R. 1799, would raise the federal weight limits for six-axle trucks on interstate highways to 97,000 pounds.
"We believe the administration's action will greatly improve the chances for passage of the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, which would help the dairy industry to improve trucking efficiency and reduce emissions," said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs.
For more details on this bill, contact Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on CTP and a list of its members, visit www.transportationproductivity.org.