CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois State Police troopers were taking on the trucking industry, over a proposal to add 10 feet and nearly ten tons to trucks on the highways.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the way Trooper Mike Powell sees it, allowing longer and heavier trucks on the roads defies common sense.
“I’ve asked many, many troopers across the state of Illinois, and not one has told me they’re supportive of bigger, longer, or heavier trucks,” he said.
Powell, president of the Illinois Troopers Lodge, the union for state police, was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to lobby Congress to reject a proposal to allow trucks with double trailers to add 10 feet in length and nearly 20,000 pounds in weight – for a total size of 33 feet and 97,000 pounds.
“This is a train with rubber wheels, and my personal belief is that we have a place for trains, and it’s called the train tracks,” Powell said.
He said such large trucks would make the roads less safe for everyone, including troopers, who spend a great deal of time stopped on highway shoulders.
“If you’re a trooper, and you’re standing on the side of the road, and that’s where you make your living, you don’t want a vehicle that can sway several feet, and the driver having no control over it,” he said.
Powell said the research is on his side.
“When you start increasing the size of trucks, the accident occurrence definitely, I would assume, goes up,” he said. “It’s factual that fatal accidents go up exponentially when you increase the size, weight, and length of vehicles.”
Powell said the debate boils down to safety versus profits.