Local Police Chief heads to D.C. to oppose proposal to increase - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local Police Chief heads to D.C. to oppose proposal to increase weight and size of trucks

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MADISON (WKOW) --- Congress is considering legislation to increase the size and weight limits for trucks. Companies like FedEx and UPS are lobbying to require every state to allow longer double-trailer trucks, also called “Double 33’s or Pups,” which are 17ft longer than typical 53ft trucks. The proposal also seeks to increase national truck weights from 80,000 pounds to 91,000.

Stoughton’s Chief of Police Gregory Leck is heading to Washington on behalf of the state to encourage lawmakers to oppose it.

“The heavy damage to our local roads, as many in Wisconsin know, our roads are in rough shape and having larger trucks won’t do any good whatsoever.”

Leck serves as the Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, which also opposes these increases. During his trip, Leck plans to meet with the members of Wisconsin’s federal delegation, including Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson.

The president of Wisconsin’s Motor Carriers Association said this is not the first time this proposal has come up. It’s been introduced since the 1980’s and is difficult to pass because the bigger trucks are hard to accommodate.

“They can’t park at any rest stops, there’s not enough space. They also can’t turn around, so they would need specialized ports to drop off cargo,” said Neal Kedzie, President of Motor Carriers Association.

Kedzie see’s both the positives and negatives of the proposal. It could help reduce the trucker shortage and bigger trucks can reduce fuel usage.

“Advocates of the twin 33’s are supportive for the need to improve air quality, reduce fuel and the amount of trips.”

Leck disagrees, saying longer and heavier trucks will make roads and interstates more dangerous for other drivers.    

"I think the negatives far outweigh the positives,” said Leck. “We like to see more support from the rail industry that's designed for heavy loads and we think it's under utilized throughout the country."

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