ATA gears up to oppose SHIPA weight restrictions

The American Trucking Assns. is ratcheting up its efforts to oppose the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA) to prevent the implementation of federal truck size and weight standards. William Canary, ATA’s interim president, and James Whittinghill, Senior vp for Legislative Affairs, sent a letter sent to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives last week blasting those

The American Trucking Assns. is ratcheting up its efforts to oppose the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA) to prevent the implementation of federal truck size and weight standards.

William Canary, ATA’s interim president, and James Whittinghill, Senior vp for Legislative Affairs, sent a letter sent to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives last week blasting those provisions and asking Congressional members not to support the SHIPA bill.

“SHIPA would purloin state authority and impose federal truck length and weight limits on the 159,000 miles of interstate and primary highways that make up the National Highway System (NHS),” the letter said. “Over the years, States have changed their laws to reflect the evolving needs of their economies, the nature and condition of their highway systems, and shifts in centers of population and economic activity. Abrogating our States' ability to change their size and weight limits will not stop these changes from occurring. Rather, the proposal would prevent States from effectively responding to constantly changing conditions.”

The ATA said that, due to tremendous growth in demand for trucking services, by 2008 there will be a need for 2.3 million additional trucks on the road and truck vehicle miles of travel will increase by 117 billion. “This will strain a highway system that, in many parts of the country, is already beyond capacity. States need more, not fewer, options to address their transportation challenges,” the letter said.

“We hope you will oppose this misguided effort and can count on your support for legislative initiatives that will give States the flexibility they need to set reasonable truck size and weight limits,” the letter added.

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