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2013-05-09

* USA - Longer, heavier trucks, discussions

* DC - Diverse groups stand up against longer, heavier trucks

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line, by David Tanner -7 May 2013: -- Certain lawmakers, safety groups and truckers don’t come together very often, but when the cause is big enough – and in this case heavy enough – a united front means a louder voice... Strange bedfellows at times, safety groups such as CRASH, Parents Against Tired Truckers and the Truck Safety Coalition are on the same side as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, AAA and the Teamsters when it comes to opposing longer, heavier trucks on America’s highways... These groups support bill known as SHIPA, the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act of 2013... If it passes or gets attached to the next highway bill, SHIPA would extend the current limit of 80,000 pounds on five axles in 53-foot trailers to the entire 220,000-mile National Highway System and not just the current 44,000 miles of interstates. The bill would close a loophole used by states to allow longer, heavier trucks on certain federally funded roadways... The safety groups, who oppose the SETA legislation, did not let Tuesday go by without promoting other items on their national agenda concerning trucks and truckers... Those issues include divisive issues such as mandatory speed limiters, apnea testing, electronic stability control systems, and lane-departure warning systems... One item that remains absent on their wish list is comprehensive driver training standards for entry-level commercial drivers...

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