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Making Roads Safer

Making Roads Safer



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 GVW limit is outdated.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).