Representative Reid Ribble (R-WI) announced that he has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Congressman Ribble also joined fellow Committee member, Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME), this week in introducing bipartisan legislation, The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 612), which would reduce transportation costs for Wisconsin's agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
"It's an honor to be appointed Vice Chair of the Highways Subcommittee and to have the opportunity to work on legislation that will help the entire state of Wisconsin," said Ribble. "A strong national infrastructure is the foundation of a strong economy and I will continue to work on policies that support its upkeep and reliability.
"I introduced this legislation as one of my first bills in the 113th Congress because it will provide relief for Wisconsin agriculture and manufacturing, which both rely heavily on transporting goods by truck. The bill would permit states to increase their truck weight limit to allow shippers to move the same amount of product using fewer trucks and less fuel. Infrastructure is a central link between the manufacturer, supplier, distributor and consumer, and this legislation will help reinforce this chain and increase economic growth in Wisconsin and all across the country."
H.R. 612 is endorsed by numerous agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing organizations with a significant presence in Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, American Forest & Paper Association, National Milk Producers Federation, International Dairy Foods Association, Hardwood Federation, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin Paper Council, and the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association.
Key Provisions of The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (H.R. 612)
The bill would allow states at their choosing to increase the gross vehicle weight limit on their Interstate highways from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds.
Any trucks that haul goods up to the higher weight limit would be required to add a sixth axle to maintain the same braking capacity and stopping distance while also decreasing the weight-per-tire.
It would modernize truck weight laws, which have not been updated in over 20 years, and bring welcome relief to Wisconsin's agriculture and manufacturing sectors as our economy continues to recover.
H.R. 612 would also help to keep roads safer in Wisconsin by moving the heaviest trucks off of state or rural roads and on to Interstate Highways, where truck-related accidents are much less likely to occur.
A 2009 Wisconsin Department of Transportation study determined that if a law like this had been in place in 2006, it would have prevented 90 truck-related accidents in Wisconsin that year.