Heavier Trucks in Missouri Will Do More Harm Than Good, Columbia Attorneys Say

Columbia, MO, attorneys Mark Evans and Wally Bley said that the costs to infrastructure and road safety outweigh the benefits of allowing bigger trucks on roadways.

Columbia, MO, April 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Shippers across the United States have long pushed lawmakers to consider allowing heavier, bigger trucks on roads. After a letter from 1,000 local leaders across the nation that urged lawmakers not to consider such measures, two attorneys in Columbia remain hopeful that they won’t be seeing larger trucks on Missouri roads any time soon.


“Local leaders, including some in our own state, have rightfully expressed their concerns about allowing heavier trucks on our roads,” said Mark Evans. “They are clearly worried about the impact of these trucks on our infrastructure, but keeping existing limits intact is also in the best interest of road safety.”


Missouri residents and officials have good reason to prioritize road safety. The state ranked in the bottom five in a National Safety Council report. Every year, around 100 people are killed and more than 3,000 are injured in crashes involving commercial vehicles, according to statistics from the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.


Some shippers have pushed for increasing national weight limits from 80,000 to 91,000 pounds; structural limits from a five-axle/18-wheel to a six-axle/22-wheel configuration; and a twin-trailer size increase from 28 to 33 feet. Amazon, FedEx and UPS have been advocates of size increases.


Several states already allow larger trucks on designated corridors. Bley and Evans believe that increasing those limits to include more vehicles is a step in the wrong direction for the safety of road users.


“Shippers want to increase size and weight limits to improve costs, but that results in greater damage to our roads and bridges,” said Wally Bley. “Most importantly, the potential harm these trucks can cause in a collision with other motorists is disastrous.”


The firm said that shippers are in a small minority of those who want to see an increase in truck sizes.


According to a nationwide January poll commissioned by the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, seven out of 10 voters opposed increasing the size and weight of trucks allowed on roads. Forty-three percent of those opposed to the increases cited the potential for more crashes as their reason.


Safety advocates, such as those involved in the CABT, say that heavier trucks take longer to brake and have higher numbers of brake violations.


Bley and Evans said their strong opinions on the issue come largely from personal experience of representing clients injured in large truck crashes.


“When you see the devastation that a heavy commercial vehicle can cause, you appreciate the need to keep limits on the size of large trucks,” said Evans.

About Bley & Evans:
Wally Bley is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been a trial lawyer in Missouri for over 35 years. Mark Evans has a career that spans over 25 years, including working at one of the nation’s largest defense firms. Find out more about Bley & Evans by visiting their website - http://www.bleyevanslaw.com/


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