Monday, May 24, 2010

Florida Coalition fights heavier-truck bill

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The Florida Coalition for Safe Highways asked Gov. Charlie Crist Monday to veto a bill that it said would make highways less safe as well as “subsidize the trucking industry and require local and state governments to spend approximately $150.7 million annually to compensate the infrastructure damage that would result from heavier trucks.”

Passed in the final hours of the 2010 legislative session, House Bill 1271 went to the governor’s desk late on Friday. The coalition said “lobbyists for powerful trucking companies” inserted language increasing the legal load from 80,000 to 88,000 pounds.

The coalition said that based on a 2000 U.S. Department of Transportation Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study, the additional 8,000 pounds world make trucks "more difficult to control and more likely to be involved in a serious accident."

Veto of the bill was also urged by Steve Casey, executive director at the Florida Sheriffs Association; Fraser Howe, PE, chairman of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) committee, which published a 2008 Report Card on Florida's Infrastructure; and Tom Guilmet, the executive director of the Florida Safety Council.