The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of nearly 200 of the nation’s top manufacturers, shippers, carriers and allied associations, sent a letter urging members of Congress to include the Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act (H.R. 3488) as an amendment to the Highway Reauthorization Bill when it goes before the full House.

In its letter, CTP outlined key safety features of the legislation, which would give states the flexibility to safely confront highway capacity issues by utilizing more productive, six-axle trucks on Interstate highways, and refuted misinformation being disseminated by railroad interests seeking to block truck productivity.

“The SAFE Trucking Act is a reasonable middle ground in the long-standing truck weight debate,” wrote CTP Executive Director John Runyan. In addition to highlighting the mandated sixth axle, which improves braking capability at the higher weight limit, Runyan noted, “The bill includes a significant provision that allows the U.S. DOT to add an additional piece of safety equipment to SAFE Trucking Act vehicles as a requirement. This requirement creates a world-class standard truck for the movement of heavy goods and ensures that SAFE Trucking Act vehicles are the safest vehicles on the highway for such loads.”

Runyan continued, “Today, dozens of states allow heavier trucks to travel on five-axle trucks by permit – often well in excess of the SAFE Trucking Act limit of 91,000 pounds. By allowing additional safety technology beyond what is required on other trucks, the SAFE Trucking Act provides states with a safer option for the movement of heavy goods.”

Runyan also emphasized that the SAFE Trucking Act grants the U.S. DOT the authority to override a state’s decision to allow access to certain bridges: “This is a critical safeguard in the bill that ensures that the U.S. DOT will be a partner, not a bystander, in these implementation decisions,” he wrote.