Simpson Introduces Truck Weight Increase Legislation
Washington, January 9, 2015
Congressman Mike Simpson has introduced H.R. 129, the Idaho Safe and Efficient Vehicle Act of 2015. The bill will increase the allowed weight of trucks on Idaho Interstate Highways to 129,000 pounds. The current allowance is 105,500 pounds.
H.R. 129 would put Idaho in line with neighboring states and with Idaho’s state highways, which currently allow trucks up to 129,000 pounds. The State of Idaho has completed a comprehensive ten-year study which found the weight increase would have no significant impact on roadway safety, nor would it significantly impact the structural soundness of Idaho’s bridges or pavement.
“Last year we came closer than ever to this legislation becoming a reality,” said Congressman Simpson. “It is a common sense reform that not only puts Idaho on equal footing with its neighbors, but actually extends our system’s life by making it work better.”
A higher weight limit means trucks must have more axels than traditional trucks, distributing the weight in such a way that there is less weight on each axel than a standard truck. It also would reduce the number of trucks on the road.
Idaho’s current weight allowance is significantly less than that of neighboring states Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada, as well as British Columbia, Canada, causing difficulty for producers who ship goods on the Interstate across and into Idaho. Additionally, heavier trucks are currently allowed to travel all throughout Idaho, but not where they should be travelling – on Idaho’s Interstates. Instead, they are navigating state highways, intersections, pedestrian areas, railroad tracks, and school zones.
“This bill puts heavy trucks where they belong, on the Interstate,” added Simpson. “Congress needs to take action to improve our transportation system, and make it work better for everyone who uses it. This legislation would do just that.”
Simpson’s bill will require passage in the House and the Senate before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.