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Making Roads Safer
 

Making Roads Safer

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This presentation was made at the Regional Logistics Council meeting on January 20, 2011.

This presentation was made at the Regional Logistics Council meeting on January 20, 2011.

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    Making Roads Safer Making Roads Safer Presentation Transcript

    • Making Roads Safer, Protecting the Environment and Strengthening the Economy Through Vehicle Weight Limit Reform Tom Carpenter Director – Logistics, North America
    • Why Raise the Vehicle Weight Limit?
      • America’s transportation infrastructure faces challenges and is on the verge of becoming overwhelmed over the next decade.
      • Freight hauled in the U.S. is expected to nearly double by 2035, and truck traffic is growing 11 times faster than road capacity.
      • Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) will impact available drivers.
      • At current weight limits, more trucks will have to take to the road to ship these goods.
      • Raising weight limits on interstate highways will make roads safer and less congested as demand grows - allowing for more efficient shipping with reduced environmental impact.
      • Congress must address to safely and efficiently keep economy running.
    • What Changes are Needed?
      • The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 1799 / S. 3705) would safely raise truck weight limits without making trucks larger.
      • Under SETA, the federal vehicle weight limit would be 97,000 pounds - but only for those vehicles equipped with an additional (sixth) axle.
      • The required sixth axle would maintain braking capacity and the current distribution of weight per tire without changing the size of the truck.
      • While the additional axle maintains vehicle safety performance and minimizes pavement wear, a user fee for six-axle units would fund vital bridge repair.
    • What are the Benefits?
      • Raising vehicle weight limits for six-axle tractor-trailers would:
      • Make Roads Safer
      • Reduce Environmental Impact
      • Move More Freight with Fewer Truck Drivers
      • Preserve and Improve Infrastructure
      • Strengthen the Economy
    • Making Roads Safer
      • The 80,000 lb. GVW limit is outdated. Status quo will compromise public safety as freight growth will require more trucks on the road.
      • The single largest factor in determining the overall number of vehicle / tractor-trailer accidents is total vehicle miles traveled.
      • Anti-lock brakes, training requirements and other safety improvements have cut fatal accidents in half since 1982 – making the proposed weight increase a safe alternative to putting more trucks on the road.
      • Real world example: MillerCoors would need 2000 fewer trucks each week – eliminating more than one million weekly vehicle miles.
    • Making Roads Safer
      • Fact-based research is proving that raising the federal weight limit to 97,000 lbs. for six-axle trucks will improve highway safety and help maintain current road conditions.
      • Since the United Kingdom raised its 6-axle GVW limit to 97,000 lbs. in 2001, fatal truck-related accident rates have declined by 35 percent.
      • 2009 Wisconsin DOT study indicated that 90 truck-related accidents per year would be prevented with implementation of SETA.
      • The Transportation Research Board determined that heavier vehicles with additional axles do not lose stopping capability as long as axle weight limits are not exceeded.
    • Protecting the Environment
      • Weight reform will benefit the environment by requiring fewer trucks to ship goods, which saves fuel and reduces greenhouse emissions.
      • Six-axle trucks carrying 97,000 lbs. get 17 percent more ton-miles per gallon than five-axle trucks carrying 80,000 lbs. (2008 ATRI study)
      • US DOT estimates that raising the federal weight limit would save 2 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually and result in a 19 percent decrease in fuel consumption and emissions per ton-mile.
      • Real world example: Kraft Foods would save 6.6 million gallons of fuel consumed and eliminate 146 million pounds of carbon emissions each year.
    • Preserve and Improve Infrastructure
      • SETA includes user fees for 97,000-pound, six-axle trucks that will fund accelerated bridge repairs and maintenance, while these same trucks will inflict less wear on our nation’s roads.
      • The addition of the sixth axle actually reduces the amount of weight displaced per tire.
      • SETA would cut the number of trucks needed for shipments – saving $2.4 billion in pavement restoration costs over the next 20 years, according to a US DOT study.
      • Fewer trucks and drivers would be required to satisfy America’s shipping needs, putting less overall weight on any given stretch of pavement while effectively dealing with the driver shortage.
    • Strengthen the Economy
      • Raising weight limits will help US businesses improve their global competitiveness.
      • GVW limits in the US are among the lowest of industrialized nations. Canada, Mexico, and most European countries all have higher weight limits.
      • As the economy recovers from recession, a severe shortage of long-haul truck drivers is returning and is expected to get much worse.
      • Even with increased weight limits, we will need more safe and qualified drivers than are currently available.
      • Real world example: International Paper’s annual transportation costs could be reduced by $70 million, after full implementation.
    • Why Raise the Vehicle Weight Limit?
      • Infrastructure challenges.
      • Freight growth outpacing road capacity.
      • Severe driver shortage looming.
      • Without change, more trucks will be needed.
      • Raising weight limits on federal highways will:
        • Make roads safer.
        • Reduce congestion as demand grows.
        • Improve US competitive position globally.
        • Reduce environmental impact.
    • Take Action
      • Do your homework. Read the research that supports this effort.
      • http://www.transportationproductivity.com
      • Congress should pass the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009 (H.R. 1799 / S. 3705) to allow six-axle tractor trailers to carry up to 97,000 pounds on the interstate highways.
      • Six-axle trucks meet the same safety standards as lighter trucks. Allowing these trucks on interstates would make our highways safer, protect the environment and strengthen the economy.
      • Ask your member of Congress / Senate to co-sponsor the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act ( H.R. 1799 / S. 3705).