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Proposal to increase trucking weight limit struck down in House

When it comes to improving highway safety, no stone should be left unturned. One particularly important stone is trucking safety, and federal regulators, it seems, are continually working to work at improvements in this area.

One of the more recent issues under consideration in this area is whether lawmakers should change federal law so that states could allow heavier trucks on their roads. At present, federal law limits trucks to 80,000 pounds, but a group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives had proposed to increase that limit to 91,000 pounds. 

The motive for the change is to relieve the trucking industry from limitations on cargo transportation. As it stands now, the industry is struggling to keep up with shipping demands, and one of the solutions has been to permit trucks to load up more cargo to reduce the number of shipments. Naturally, the industry is supportive of the measure, but there are safety concerns among safety advocates.

Not only are there concerns over whether truck drivers will have the ability to safely manage the additional weight, there are also concerns about whether roads and bridges would be able to handle the weight trucks would be carrying. In light of the concerns, the House struck down the proposed amendment this week.

Driver fatigue is another issue that has been in the news a lot in recent months. The issue is connected to federal hours of service regulations, which limit the amount of time truckers may spend behind the wheel in any given day and week. Because these trucking safety issues are closely connected to roadway safety, all of us should be concerned about them. This is especially the case for folks who have been in an accident involving a negligent trucker. 

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