DOT issues size/weight report, says lack of data prevents policy rec; ATA criticizes

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Updated Jun 14, 2015

oversizedThe Department of Transportation on Friday issued a report saying it does not have enough data about truck size and weight to be able to make recommendations to Congress or regulators about changing the current truck size and weight laws, much to the chagrin of the American Trucking Associations, who called the study politically leaning and the timing of its release suspect.

The DOT, however, calls its report simply a technical paper and asks for peer review and comment from the motoring public.

According to a summary of the report published Friday by the DOT, “significant data limitations” exist to gauge the impacts on safety, infrastructure and freight movement of trucks operating over current size and weight limits.

Lawmakers should not act to change current law until more data can be found, the DOT said. “Importantly, the Department finds that the data limitations are so profound that no changes in the relevant laws and regulations should be considered until these limitations are overcome,” the DOT says in its report summary.

The study comes about 8 months after the November 2014 due date set by 2012’s MAP-21 highway funding law.

But the results, according to the American Trucking Associations, are not the “unbiased information” that Congress requested on the matter.

Instead, ATA President and CEO Bill Graves says, the report “is an obvious attempt to promote administration policy,” pointing to its release in the same week the president cited truck size and weight changes as a reason he would veto a 2016 DOT-funding bill currently in the works in the U.S. House.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, however, is happy with the study’s conclusions. OOIDA maintains that limits should stay where they are now, citing safety risks of heavier, bigger vehicles as its reason.

Stay tuned to CCJ this week for more from the report and other documents surrounding it.