Truck industry looking to increase length of tractor trailers - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Truck industry looking to increase length of tractor trailers

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Truck industry looking to increase length of tractor trailers (WFSB) Truck industry looking to increase length of tractor trailers (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The trucking industry is looking to put larger rigs on the road, but one crash victim is trying to put the brakes on the nationwide plan.

The industry wants to increase the size of tandem trailers allowed on the roads from 28 feet to 33 feet, effectively making a truck/trailer length 88 feet, or the height of an eight-story building rumbling down the road at 65 to 70 miles per hour.

On Wednesday though, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal campaigned along with crash victim Julie Magnan against increasing the size of trailers behind tractors, also known as “doubles.”

"I already lost normal in my life and I don't want any other family to suffer like my family has,” Magnan said.

In 2002, Magnan lost her husband in a crash in Nebraska with a 53-foot tractor trailer.

She wants the world to know the trucking industry is pushing Washington lawmakers to mandate that all states allow twin 33-foot long trucks.

The industry said it is to improve safety and efficiency, but Blumenthal said it is out of greed.

“(They) simply want to fatten their bottom line by putting people at risk,” Magnan said.

"Unfortunately these changes will jeopardize the safety of the public creating greater stopping distances and higher risk of rollovers,” said Andrew Mathews of the National Troopers Coalition.

In a statement, the Coalition for Efficient and Responsibly Trucking (CERT) quoted former NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker saying “While the proposal will not impact the vast majority of roads, studies have shown it will significantly reduce truck traffic on national highways, cutting pollution and prevent more than 900 crashed per year."

CERT claimed those against increasing the trailer size are funded by the rail industry.

It is up to lawmakers now in Washington.

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