Congress hears more opposition to larger trucks on U.S. highways

Jim Hoffa, president of the Teamsters General Union, joined the ranks of consumer and auto safety advocates who oppose allowing bigger trucks on America’s highways Wednesday when he testified in front of a House subcommittee.

TheTrucker.com reports Hoffa spoke out against a proposed pilot program from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that would allow larger trucks to operate in certain states.

“Bigger trucks are more dangerous trucks. Lifting weight and size limits would turn big rigs into time bombs,” he said.

Hoffa also accused the Bush administration of consistently trying to undermine highway safety.

Looking at the numbers, there’s no question larger trucks pose a serious threat to the safety of other drivers. In 2006, 5,000 people were killed and 106,000 were injured in crashes involving large trucks. Large trucks also account for a disproportionate share of traffic fatalities each year: Despite making up only 3 percent of all registered vehicles, large trucks are involved in 9 percent of fatal crashes.

These larger trucks also cause damage to roads and bridges. Vince Brezinsky, a truck driver who also testified Wednesday, said the country’s current highway system isn’t built for these larger rigs.

Public Citizen has worked hard to inform lawmakers about the dangers of larger trucks. Our president, Joan Claybrook, participated in a press conference back in May that dealt with this very subject. To learn more about the dangers of larger trucks, visit the Truck Safety Coalition Web site.