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Department of Transportation Releases Technical Analysis of Truck Sizes, Weights

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Department of Transportation Releases Technical Analysis of Truck Sizes, Weights

U.S. Department of Transportation
December 30, 1998

Wednesday, December 30, 1998
Contact: Bill Adams
Tel.: 202-366-5580
DOT 230-98

Fulfilling a commitment to Congress made when he was Federal Highway Administrator, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced the release of the draft Volume III of the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study.

The four volume study is a technical tool to analyze the impacts of various truck sizes and weights.

"This study represents the Department of Transportation’s most extensive examination of truck size and weight impacts since the early 1980's," said Secretary Slater. "When complete, the report will provide federal, state and local officials with an essential tool to make thoughtful analyses regarding truck sizes and weights."

In a letter to Congress accompanying the draft version of Volume III, Slater stressed the need to assess truck size and weight limits in the context of the department’s highest priority, safety. Should congressional policy makers propose any change to the size and weight of trucks, Slater said, it "should enhance, not diminish, overall safety." Throughout his tenure as Secretary, Slater has called safety the North Star of the department, and has spearheaded national drives to increase safety in every mode of transportation.

The draft volume describes analytical tools designed to evaluate the nation’s truck size and weight regulations, taking into account, safety, the environment, traffic congestion, the economy and infrastructure costs. It makes no recommendations as to whether, or how, truck size and weight policies should be changed. Rather, it demonstrates the study’s methodologies by applying the analytical tools to a set of illustrative policy scenarios. The test scenarios were specifically constructed to identify the maximum range of impacts on the selected criteria.

The complete study will have four volumes: I) Executive Summary; II) Issues and Background; III) Scenario Analysis; and IV) Guide to Documentation. The draft of Volume II was released in June 1997. Comments on both Volume II and Volume III will be incorporated into the final report, expected in Spring 1999.

The distribution of the draft Volume III continues an extensive outreach process that has included public meetings, regional focus sessions, a Federal Register notice seeking public comment, and conferences with local transportation and enforcement officials around the country. The Department of Transportation is also welcoming direct public comment on the draft for the next 60 days. Copies will be available from the Department of Transportation Office of Public Affairs at (202) 366-5580.


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