Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 111962
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File Number: 111962 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-907-11 Control: County Commission
File Name: OPPOSING INCREASE OF TRUCK WEIGHTS ON INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS Introduced: 9/21/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 10/4/2011
Agenda Date: 10/4/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A42
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION OPPOSING FEDERAL LEGISLATION ALLOWING FOR INCREASED TRUCK WEIGHTS ON INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS; URGING CONGRESS NOT TO PASS SUCH LEGISLATION; SUPPORTING FEDERAL LEGISLATION FREEZING CURRENT TRUCK WEIGHT LIMITS AND URGING CONGRESS TO PASS SUCH LEGISLATION
Indexes: URGING
Sponsors: Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 10/4/2011 11A42 Adopted P

County Attorney 9/21/2011 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION OPPOSING FEDERAL LEGISLATION ALLOWING FOR INCREASED TRUCK WEIGHTS ON INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS; URGING CONGRESS NOT TO PASS SUCH LEGISLATION; SUPPORTING FEDERAL LEGISLATION FREEZING CURRENT TRUCK WEIGHT LIMITS AND URGING CONGRESS TO PASS SUCH LEGISLATION

BODY
WHEREAS, on average 4,000 people are killed in truck crashes each year in the U.S. and 100,000 more are injured; and
WHEREAS, large trucks have a fatal crash involvement rate 40 percent higher than that of passenger vehicles, according to the National Highway Safety Administration; and
WHEREAS, in fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck, 98 percent of the deaths are occupants of the passenger vehicles; and
WHEREAS, Florida law currently has an 80,000 pound weight limit on state roads, but during the 2010 session, the Florida Legislature passed Chapter 2010-225 (HB 1271), which allowed certain vehicles with an 88,000 pound weight limit on state roads that are not part of the interstate highway system; and
WHEREAS, current federal law provides that only trucks carrying 80,000 pounds or less are permitted legally on the interstate highway system; and
WHEREAS, bills have been filed for consideration during the 112th Congress that would raise the federal 80,000 pound weight limit on interstate highways or alternatively allow states to raise this limit, including:
* The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2011, H.R. 763 by Representative Michael Michaud (D – Maine) and S. 747 by Senator Mike Crapo (R – Idaho), which would allow any state to authorize the operation of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight up to 97,000 pounds on the interstate highway system routes in the state;
* The Truck Weight Uniformity Act of 2011, H.R. 801 by Representative Chip Cravaack (R – Minnesota), which would allow a state to authorize a vehicle exceeding federal interstate highway weight limits to operate on interstate highways in that state if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of no more than 99,000 pounds, at least six axles and no more than 20,000 pounds per axle; no more than 34,000 pounds on the tandem axle; and no more than 51,000 pounds on any three axles;
• S. 1450, the Commercial Truck Safety Act, by Senator Olympia Snowe (R – Maine), which would allow the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to grant a waiver from current 80,000 pound interstate highway weight limit for a 3-year pilot program, during which time state engineers, highway users and safety advocates would weigh the advantages and disadvantages and report to the Secretary who could then set reasonable, permanent weight limits; and

WHEREAS, these bills all take various approaches to allow for heavier trucks on interstate highways; and
WHEREAS, bills also have been filed for consideration during the 112th Congress that would freeze current truck weights and lengths in all states, H.R. 1574 by Representative James McGovern (D – Massachusetts) and S. 876 by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D – New Jersey), the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA); and
WHEREAS, this pair of bills would prohibit trucks on interstate highways heavier than the current 80,000 pound weight limit; and
WHEREAS, trucks heavier than 80,000 pounds threaten the safety of other highway drivers because of the time it takes them to stop and the extra weight they are hauling, making already dangerous highways even more dangerous; and
WHEREAS, trucks heavier than 80,000 pounds also raise concerns related to the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, more than half the bridges on the National Highway System are more than 40 years old and over 20 percent are already either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation report from last year; and
WHEREAS, trucks heavier than 80,000 pounds are likely to accelerate the deterioration of interstate road surfaces and bridges; and
WHEREAS, environmentalists also assert that bigger trucks are less fuel efficient than smaller ones and allowing heavier trucks could increase usage of trucks to the detriment of more fuel efficient forms of transport, such as rail; and
WHEREAS, legislation allowing for heavier trucks is opposed by law enforcement associations, the American Automobile Association, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and railroads associations,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Opposes any and all federal legislation that would allow for increased truck sizes and weights on interstate highways and urges Congress not to pass these bills, including but not limited to:
• The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2011, H.R. 763 and S. 747;
• The Truck Weight Uniformity Act of 2011, H.R. 801; and
• The Commercial Truck Safety Act, S. 1450.
Section 2. Supports any and all federal legislation that would freeze current truck weights and lengths in all states, including but not limited to the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA), H.R. 1574 and S. 876, and urges Congress to pass these bills.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation.
Section 4. Directs the County's federal lobbyists to advocate against the passage of the legislation as set forth in Section 1 above and to advocate for the passage of the legislation as forth in Section 2 above.
Section 5. Authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2011 and 2012 Federal Legislative Packages.



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