I want to thank Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety for their tireless work to make our roads safer for everyone. I especially want to thank today's speakers who were personally affected by a roadway tragedy. It takes a lot of courage to share your stories.
As many of you know, I'm a vocal opponent of proposals to increase truck size and weight on our nation's highways.
We have all been driving on a rainy night when one of these giant rigs comes barreling up next to us. It's nerve-wracking, and it's dangerous.
I would remind those who are advocating for bigger, heavier trucks behind closed doors that, during mark-up in the T & I Committee, Members voted 33 to 22 to strip the most egregious truck size and weight provisions from the bill.
Instead, Democrats and Republicans supported a commonsense proposal to have the Department of Transportation conduct a 3 year study on the effects of bigger, heavier trucks on our roadways before making any radical changes. The Senate bill included a 2 year study.
DOT's last truck size and weight study was completed 12 years ago. It would be foolish to move forward with any increases without knowing the full safety and infrastructure implications.
Truck size and weight studies take time to thoroughly plan, conduct and analyze. I urge conferees to take up the House bill's 3 year study language and reject any attempts rush the study by reducing it to a year or less.
I also urge conferees to retain the Senate's transportation safety title which includes a number of safety advances and new technologies.
We need to move forward on a smart, safe highway bill that invests in our infrastructure and creates jobs.