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Senate Bill Proposes Longer 18-Wheelers

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Patrick Murray2 years ago

A proposed Senate bill may allow longer 18-wheelers on the road than there ever have been, and it’s causing quite the debate in Texas.

About the Trucking Bill

According to KRIS TV, the proposed bill, Senate Bill 1732, would allow truckers to haul trailers that are five feet longer than before. Currently the law allows two 28-foot trailers, and the proposed law would allow two 33-foot trailers.

When the 25-foot tractor is taken into account, the law would allow 91-foot vehicles on the road as opposed to the current 81-foot vehicles.

Why the Bill Matters?

This bill does come with pros and cons, and those cons are the main subject of debate amongst Texans.

The pros, according to the Texas Trucking Association (TTA), are that with more load capacity and increased stability there would be fewer trucks on the road, leading to fewer accidents. This increased efficiency would also be a good thing for the environment, and has garnered widespread support across drivers.

John Esparza, President of the TTA, said of the bill:

“This is about moving more freight that fall within the weight restrictions currently in the State of Texas and across the country frankly, with less trips, and that's an efficiency that as a trucking industry we can all appreciate and try to support as best we can.”

The cons, according to Tim Jayroe, Rockport’s Chief of Police, are that with longer trucks, 18-wheelers will become even more difficult to pass on two-lane highways than they already are now, leading to more fatal accidents.

“I don’t see a good outcome for the whole thing,” said Chief Jayroe, who is testifying against the bill in Washington D.C. next week.

Statistics on Truck-Involved Crashes
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas leads the nation in truck-involved fatal crashes.
  • There were 493 fatal crashes in 2013.
  • That makes up 12% of the 3,964 fatal crashes in the United States.
  • There were 381 fatalities of occupants in vehicles other than the large trucks in Texas alone, leading the nation.
  • There were 111 fatalities of occupants inside the large trucks, again leading the nation.


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