Congressman Ribble urges release of DOT study findings on six-axle truck weight reform

May 20, 2015

The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP) applauded Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI) for sending a letter urging the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to release new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data that points to the safety of the six-axle truck weight reform proposal outlined in the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act.

The FMCSA stopping distance data, which has been circulated among transportation circles but not formally released, is part of the DOT’s ongoing Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study, meant to guide congressional decisions related to truck weight reform and other efficiency proposals. The technical findings of the study were scheduled to be released in November 2014, followed by the final results this spring, yet no results have been made public or submitted to Congress.

“To my knowledge, least one Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representative has publically discussed the results of the agency’s safety analysis, noting that the stopping distance between a five-axle truck loaded to the current federal gross vehicle weight limit of 80,000 pounds is identical to the stopping distance of a six-axle truck loaded to 97,000 pounds,” wrote Rep. Ribble in a letter sent to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These FMCSA results will inform our decision-making as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee begins work on the highway bill. With the initial deadlines for the results already behind us, it is imperative that DOT release any completed results, including these findings, in real time.”

John Runyan, executive director of CTP, said: “It isn’t surprising that the FMCSA results point to the safety of the truck configuration contained in the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act. Empirical data from state, federal, international, and academic sources have all confirmed the safety and efficiency benefits of the six-axle, 97,000-pound truck configuration. But with members of Congress looking to the DOT study results to guide potential truck weight reform proposals, DOT officials need to release this data to Congress.”