Thursday, July 8, 2021

Cochran-Johnson seeks limit on double tractor-trailer size

A DeKalb County Commissioner is asking the county to go on record as opposing any federal or state legislation that would increase in the size or weight of trucks passing through the area.

District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson has offered a resolution that notes the poor condition of some Georgia roads and bridges and says that allowing increased weight or length for double-trailer trucks would raise the costs of maintaining major roads.

At the Board of Commissioners' July 13 meeting, commissioners voted unanimously (7-0-0) to defer action on the proposal until July 27.

The impetus for the resolution seems to be a proposal, defeated by the U.S. Senate in 2015, that would have allowed longer tractor-trailer trucks, sometimes called "Double 33s." That vote came after the U.S. Department of Transportation recommended against changing truck size and weight laws, noting that trucks with multiple trailers have an 11 percent higher rate of fatal crashes than single-trailer trucks.

Representatives of the trucking industry contended in 2018 that extending 28-foot trailers to 33 feet would result in 4,500 fewer truck accidents each year and reduce truck traffic by 3.1 billion miles.