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Last month the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan amendment proposed by Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to prevent a federal mandate that would force states to allow large commercial trucks to pull double 33-foot trailers. The Wicker-Feinstein amendment would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete a comprehensive safety study before these huge vehicles are permitted on the nation’s highways.
A commercial truck with two 33-foot trailers is approximately 91 feet long – the size of an 8-story office building lying on its side. Now imagine that office building going 70 miles per hour in the next lane. “Allowing the monstrous twin-33 trucks on our highways without a full understanding of the safety implications would be irresponsible and dangerous,” Feinstein said.
About three-fourths of the states, including Missouri, currently prohibit the operation of these longer trucks. Advocates for allowing twin 33’s argue that the increase in trailer length would reduce the number of commercial truck trips needed to move a rising amount of freight, resulting in improved efficiency. But a recent study suggests commercial trucks pulling double 33-foot trailers would add $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion in increased maintenance costs each year, in addition to the obvious safety concerns.
“A recent independent poll revealed that 77 percent of Americans oppose twin 33-foot trailer trucks on the nation’s highways and byways,” Wicker said. “The Senate stands with this overwhelming majority and with the 38 states who have said ‘no’ to these longer double trailers. This is a victory for public safety, states’ rights, and hard-working taxpayers.”
Commercial truck accidents already kill nearly 4,000 Americans each year. Congratulations to Senators Wicker and Feinstein for their efforts to keep the federal government from forcing us to allow even larger and more dangerous vehicles on Missouri highways.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, please contact Wendt Law Firm P.C., for a free consultation with a Kansas City truck accident lawyer. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.