The Safer Truck Act
H.R. 1248 (108th Congress)
To amend title 23 and title 49, United States Code,
relating to vehicle weight and width limitations.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Safer Truck Act’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) Unrecovered pollution, accident, and congestion costs of long haul
trucks exceeded 112.2 billion dollars in 2007 (
p.4 & p.23). These costs are six times greater than trains and
nine times greater than ships and barges (p.27).
(2) Trucking is the deadliest industry in the United States. Heavy trucks are not equipped with modern safety features presently found on cars such as crash absorbent bumpers and body panels, sway bars, roll bars, and underride beams. One in every seven Americans killed on the job is a trucker—exceeding 5,000 fatalities and 800 workplace deaths per year prior to the 2008 recession. Rail and waterways transportation combined cause fewer than 700 fatalities per year while carrying 16% more freight (p.49).
(3) Long haul trucks increase the nation’s trade deficit and dependence on foreign oil. Intermodalism is two to five times more fuel efficient ( FRA-ICF, p.5).
(4) Injuries, fatalities, and environmental costs can be reduced by exempting intermodal vehicles and modern safety features from truck size and weight restrictions. While widening and strengthening of some roads and bridges in industrial areas may be necessary to accommodate intermodal vehicles, the cost is insignificant compared to the savings that will accrue from reducing the high rate of death, injury, pollution, and wear and tear on the National Highway System caused by long haul trucks.
SEC. 3. VEHICLE WEIGHT LIMITATIONS.
Section 127 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
“(i) EXCEPTION.—Notwithstanding subsection (a), a state may allow an intermodal vehicle without a trailer to carry the same amount of cargo, packaging, and load securement materials allowed to be carried by long haul trucks with trailers regardless of the overall weight of the vehicle, its axle weights, or the weight of its safety and energy conservation devices if the cargo is evenly distributed in a compartment or combined compartments at least 40 feet long, the overall height of the vehicle and cargo does not exceed the width of the wheelbase, and the axles are positioned near the ends of the vehicle.
SEC. 4. VEHICLE WIDTH LIMITATIONS.
Section 31113(b) of title 49 United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
“(b) EXCLUSION OF SAFETY AND ENERGY CONSERVATION DEVICES.—
“(1) ENERGY CONSERVATION DEVICES.—Width calculated under this section does not include an energy conservation device the Secretary decides is necessary for safe and efficient operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
“(2) SAFETY DEVICES.—
“(A) IN GENERAL.—A safety device that reduces the possibility of death and injury shall not be included in the calculation of width for the purposes of this section if such device fits entirely within the travel lanes of all roads upon which the vehicle operates.
“(B) SAFETY DEVICE DEFINED.—In this subsection, the term ‘safety device’ includes mirrors, grab handles, steps, rearview video cameras, crash absorbent bumpers and body panels, batteries for regenerative braking, wheels, tires, structural members, and drive train components positioned to enhance vehicle stability.”.
SEC. 5. INCENTIVE FOR PRIVATE INVESTMENT.
The term of US Patent numbers 6,910,844; 6,840,724; 6,776,299; 6,494,313;
and 7,070,062 is extended 17 years from the date of enactment.
, 1000 CHURCHES
, BUS 2000
, HOURS OF SERVICE PROPOSAL
SAFETY MALL, OWNER'S MANUAL,
SAFER TRUCK BILL, MILITARY APPLICATIONS,
INFORMATION , SAFETY TRUCK , SAILING VIDEOS , TRUCKER'S BILL OF RIGHTS