The U.S. Department of Transportation on April 14 released its federally mandated study on truck size and weight, concluding that there is insufficient data to recommend any type of regulatory change.
In issuing the 26-page report, DOT said, “the Department finds that the data limitations are so profound that no changes in the relevant laws and regulations should be considered until these limitations are overcome.”
The report concludes that additional data analysis is necessary to fully understand the impacts of heavier and larger trucks on the transportation system.
Congress directed DOT to complete a comprehensive study of truck size and weight under the highway reauthorization legislation passed in 2012 known as MAP-21. Specifically, MAP-21 directed DOT to study the issues associated with trucks operating within and in excess of current size and weight limits and assess the impacts on safety, pavement and bridge deterioration, enforcement, and shifts to other modes of transport such as rail.
In June 2015 DOT issued a series of technical reports and at that time recommended that lawmakers refrain from making changes to truck size and weight policy until data limitations were overcome.
DOT said in its April 2016 report to Congress that subsequent public input and peer review has “not altered that view.” “Despite recent Congressional action approving additional size and weight exceptions and waivers on a piecemeal and nationwide basis, DOT recommends a thoughtful approach to future policymaking.”
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