Last week, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) presented the Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act, legislation that is designed to provide the opportunity for the freight shipping industry to be more efficient, while at the same time reducing the wear and tear on pavement and improving safety on shared roads and bridges.
“The reality is that our roads are already overcrowded with families heading to school and work, and trucks carrying the things we buy across the country,” Ribble said. “The U.S. population has almost doubled since our Interstate highway system was built, and demand for freight shipping is only going up.”
In its essence, the SAFE Trucking Act would permit each individual state to decide whether or not they want to allow freight shipping trucks to carry a maximum of 91 thousand pounds, up from the current allotment of 80 thousand pounds. Heavier trucks would be required to maintain the same or better stopping distance and pavement wear, so they would also be mandated to include a sixth axle, up from the current five.
“The SAFE Trucking Act will help us safely move more of the things Americans want with fewer trucks taking up space on the road, and it is based on data to ensure that truck stopping times and pavement wear are as good or better than our current trucks,” Ribble said. “When we can increase efficiency, decrease traffic and make everyone safer in the process, that is a win, and the SAFE Trucking Act is able to help us achieve all these objectives.”