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Troopers fear change in law will create more truck accidents

Anyone who has traveled on the highway has probably had the experience of driving next to a large commercial tractor-trailer. Sometimes, it's a rather ominous feeling being dwarfed by such an enormous and ponderous vehicle. Now imagine that same vehicle -- only 10 feet longer and 20,000 pounds heavier. According to one man, that's exactly what a new proposal from the trucking industry would allow to happen along Illinois roads.

The president of the Illinois Troopers Lodge, an organization that advocates on behalf of state police, was in Washington D.C. on June 18 to oppose the measure. The union president says that the bill would enable tractor-trailers to rival locomotives. He says that there is already a place for such bigger, longer and heavier vehicles -- on train tracks. He likened the proposed changes to allowing a 33-foot-long, 97,000-pound train with rubber wheels onto state highways.

The state police advocate says that there is statistical evidence that supports the theory that enlarging the allowable weight and length restrictions translates to more truck accidents. He says that he would not want to be a state trooper working on the apron of a highway when the larger trucks pass by. According to him, the vehicles can drift and sway several feet without the driver's control.

Regardless of whether the new bill passes, commercial tractor-trailers already have the potential to cause great injury. Sometimes, truck drivers operate while fatigued. Still, others may not have had adequate training for the loads they are hauling. Motorists injured in truck accidents should know that there are legal channels which may allow them to recover compensation for their injuries and lost wages.

Source: CBS 2 Chicago, "State Troopers Push Back Against Proposal To Raise Truck Size Limits" No author given, Jun. 18, 2014

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