Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Other Side Of The Trucking Weight Debate

Today an article ran in the Maryland Community Newspaper online ( that discusses the other side of the current debate on capital hill over increasing the weight limits that Semi Trucks are able to haul.

The Truck Driving Industry says it will make the industry more efficient and lower pollution. Here as you can see the opposition argues against it.

Here is the article written by Melissa J. Brachfeld:

This image was included in the article:

The mother of a Col. Zadok Magruder High School alum who was killed in
January after a truck tire sprung loose and landed on her car has joined a group
of safety advocates in hopes of preventing more highway tragedies involving

Tracy Quinichett said she knows nothing can bring back her daughter Channing,
but hopes she can keep other families from experiencing a similar tragedy.

"I was shocked to learn that so many people die on our highways and byways
due to truck crashes that are preventable," the Anne Arundel County resident

The Truck Safety Coalition last week called on families that have lost loved
ones in truck crashes to tell their stories on Capitol Hill. The group, which is
a partnership between the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH)
Foundation and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), has taken issue with a
federal bill that could increase the size of the loads trucks can carry on
Interstate Highway System routes, saying big rigs are already too dangerous.

U.S Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) is the lead sponsor of the bill, which has 11
co-sponsors, said Bill Redding, a spokesman for the Truck Safety Coalition.

"It's really a call for Congress to stop increasing the size and weights of
trucks on our highways because the public doesn't want it and it's not safe,"
said Jackie Gillan, a member of CRASH's board of directors and a Silver Spring

Gillan, who is also the vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto
Safety, added the group wants stricter rules that would limit the size and
weight of trucks.

The coalition is supporting the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation
Act, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), U.S. Rep. Mark
Steven Kirk (R-Ill.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Redding said. The
legislation would extend the current restrictions on the size and weight of
trucks that travel U.S. highways.

But Clayton Boyce, a spokesman for the American Trucking Association, said
increasing the size of truck loads from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds would make
trucks more efficient by burning less fuel and helping decrease the number of
trucks needed on roads.

Quinichett said she thinks any kind of size or weight increase would be the
wrong thing to do. The former Derwood resident lost Channing, 21, on Jan. 21
when a tire came off a flat-bed delivery truck that was being towed along the
inner loop of the Capital Beltway in Prince George's County, bounced around the
roadway, hit a tractor trailer and slammed into Channing Quinichett's car. The
2005 Magruder graduate was pregnant and only several months away from graduating
from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in early childhood
education. Her diploma will be presented to her family posthumously on May 22.

The tow truck was being driven by then-43-year-old Roger Smith of Dale City,
Va., and is owned by Waggy's Towing of Dumfries, Maryland States Police said.

The complete article can be found at:

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